There’s an old song with a line that states, “It never rains in Southern California.” For the most part that’s true, but every now and then we have a day like today, a rainy, overcast, windy, and wet day, and I couldn’t be happier. That might sound strange to some, but for someone like me who grew up in Chicago, it’s a little taste of home. I’ve been in California long enough to be considered a Californian, but I’ll always be a Chicagoan at heart. I love the beautiful weather here in Temecula, but I really miss the change of seasons. There is something so magical about the first Spring day when it is warm enough to crack open a window. In Chicago that could be at forty degrees. Trust me, when it has been near freezing for months on end, forty is practically tropical. There is also that first day of Fall when the wind is just crisp enough to call for a sweater, or the quiet pristine beauty of freshly fallen Winter snow. I miss all of it. Yes, it is wonderful to not have to scrape the ice off my windshield, or to dig out a parking space, but there is something about the cycle of the seasons that appeals to me. Maybe because in a way we all live our lives in a cycle of seasons. I love the rebirth of Spring, and the maturity of Fall. There is an anticipation of the seasons that is lacking here. A few years ago when we were back visiting my parents, my kids were enthralled by a good old-fashioned thunder and lightning storm. I have memories from my childhood of standing in the garden during a Summer rain, when the air was warm and the rain water was cool on my skin. When I was a little girl there was a blizzard in Chicago, twenty-three inches of snow fell. I remember the snow over my head, and the games we played. My sisters and I built a house in the snow. We made a couch, a table, and I think even a television. I remember the thrill of running across the fence that had been covered by snow into the neighbor’s yard. Mrs. Hackel wasn’t very nice to us, and we thought we were so daring to run into that garden. Brian, my son, was devastated to discover upon moving to California that he was losing his “Snow Days”, bad weather free days built into the school calendar. Maybe it’s because I’ve been here in California for ten years that I can wax so poetic about those bad weather days. All I know is that when I have a day like today, a day when you want to cuddle up inside with something warm to drink, and a good book or a movie, I feel nostalgic.
I had company tonight, and a rather busy day. As always looking through photos from something to paint, I came across a photo from my phone of one of my cats. I was trying to photograph Riley, and she became very curious. She put her face right up to the phone. Riley in watercolor and pencil. Riley is a Chicagoan too.