I have a little sunburn. In March. Is there anything more wonderful than that?
San Diego just might be the most perfect city ever, weather-wise. With sun and an average temperature of 72 degrees for 350 days a year, rain is apparently kind of a big deal in southern California. It was breaking news on every channel last Monday, the first day of our trip. Luckily, the rain stopped. By Tuesday, the Girl and I were enjoying a week of blue skies and ocean breezes during our spring break adventure.
And what an adventure it was. Here’s what I know for sure. I would be a much nicer person if I lived in San Diego. Because really, how could anyone possibly be crabby in March in a place where tropical flowers bloom year ’round and the avocados are always perfectly ripe? Where the grass is green and the ocean is blue and everyone is just so darn pleased with life? Heck. Even the dogs and sea lions were smiling in San Diego.
Our hotel was a block from the beach. Every morning, I walked over to stand and watch the surfers who must have been there at dawn to catch the first waves of the day. Homeless folks who’d spent the night sleeping on the beach under the stars rubbed the sleep from their eyes and rolled up sleeping bags before peddling down the boardwalk on rusty bikes. As I watched this daily occurrence, I was reminded of the scores of homeless individuals we saw in parks in downtown Chicago, bracing themselves against the wind howling off Lake Michigan last October when we were there. Location is everything, isn’t it?
We flew back to the Twin Cities on Friday. Springtime is happening here ahead of schedule, even here in the woods. It will be weeks before we see green grass or any purple mayflowers, but it is good to see the last, gravelly piles of snow melting and black ice on the lakes. Rain is forecast here this week, too, so that will help things along. This morning, I met Handyman Pete up at the lake to plan summer projects. A new deck, along with dozens of other small jobs are on the list. It will be a busy summer of sawing and hammering at our spot next to the river where mallards, not seagulls, are the norm. Soon, enormous white pelicans will be back for another summer of early morning fishing and we will celebrate seventy degrees and sunshine. I can wait. I’m nice enough most days, anyway.
We begin as tiny human tadpoles floating in the womb. I wonder if that’s the draw we feel to bodies of water for the rest of our lives. Oceans. Lakes. Rivers.
The water always calls us back home.