Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter in California

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apparently, it rains for a great deal of the winter here in Northern California, as you can see from my front window. It hasn't been entirely unpleasant, as I've always enjoyed the rain. We're really beginning to figure out what to expect during the winter. There are some crisp, chilly days, but it hasn't really gotten frigid outside, and on the days it's not raining, the sun is bright and cheerful, and temperatures are moderate. I was very surprised when I was in Texas for a wedding two weeks ago, and was thoroughly chilled the entire time I was there. California is just not as seasonal, I suppose. We do have the lovely advantage of red and gold leaves showering down from the trees, but the lawns and citrus remain fresh and green. At least, they have stayed that way so far. We're not far from the mountains, however, and just last week they were coated with a light smattering of snow. You can just glimpse them here, in the following picture, which I snapped whilst driving. I DID pull over to take it, thank you very much.

It's really quite beautiful to be able to see snow-covered mountains on your drive home from work. Yes, technically, it's my drive home from taking my husband to work, but it still counts! I stopped to take the picture barely a block from our house, and I can't help but feel very blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful place.

I discovered that one of the wonderful advantages of living in California at Christmas-time are the AMAZING Christmas trees! Now, my husband and I are very traditional when it comes to Christmas trees, and we've made it a point to buy a REAL, fragrant, green tree every year since we've been married, in spite of the ridiculous cost. I was worried about that factor especially this year, so I thought I might have to go with a small, bush of a tree from Home Depot, rather than head out to a local farm. I was all prepared to pick it out, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the selection of trees at Home Depot was WONDERFUL-huge trees with bright green, springy needles that I could practically smell from the parking lot as I walked up. The best part? The price was beyond reasonable-I paid $25 for a 6'6" tree, and it is by far the nicest tree we've ever had. Apparently, the trees came from Oregon, but I know the California trees must be just as lovely. It is rather sparsely decorated, but I'm rather happy with the way we've gradually accumulated ornaments each year, instead of spending lots of money to have a tree with a theme, or a tree covered in ornaments. Yes, that would be our Duke Blue Devil in the center of the tree-he kind of stands out. GO DUKE!

Hope everyone is having fun, and not stressing out, during these last few days before Christmas.

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