…in other words, it’s time to haul out the patio furniture (once our monsoons stop), grab the gardening tools, get ready to plant those annuals and gear up for summer.
But for me, this time of year also means organizing every closet, cupboard and drawer in the house. Not because I want to, mind you. I can think of 37 much more interesting things I’d rather do. But since I’ve been lax of late, my cupboards look like we had a recent earthquake. No longer are the cans and bottles lined up facing forward and boxes neatly stacked. It’s what you’d call a…
Have you ever driven down the freeway and thought to yourself: Wow, there’s hardly any traffic today. How lucky am I? And then you crest the hill only to witness a mass of cars seemingly attached like miles-long sausages. Or, if you brag to friends about rarely getting sick or injured, you’ve pretty much just guaranteed the next day you’ll get the flu and fall down the stairs.
Why do I bring this up? Because a couple weeks ago I had the audacity to actually say to someone, “I’ve been so fortunate these 39 years in my home because very little has gone wrong that needed fixing.” And that was, in 4 little words,
Now don’t get me wrong; a fire didn’t demolish my residence. The roof didn’t blow off during the huge storm we endured a few weeks ago. No trees fell on my car; nothing that bad. But apparently simply commenting about one’s good fortune just about guarantees it will soon change. I was never a true believer of that myth, until now. And here’s why…
Last week I had occasion to visit the neighborhood where I grew up in Santa Venetia, also derogatorily known as Scabo. I’m not sure what that stands for but since it’s an ugly word, I’m guessing it wasn’t known as the most desirable place to live. But I beg to differ.
Kids don’t know they don’t live in a mansion. I certainly didn’t. We had 4 bedrooms that weren’t much bigger than some large walk-in closets and closets not much wider than a refrigerator. Now don’t get me wrong; I didn’t care one bit. I had what I needed and that was enough.
Our little house
To me, our Doughboy Pool was the bomb (better known as groovy back then). Other neighborhood dads helped my dad install it. That’s how it was; neighbors helping neighbors. On summer afternoons, being in that pool or playing ping pong on the patio were my favorite places to be.
Even if you don’t live here, you might know about the wildfires we’re experiencing in California this year. And last year. And the year before. Unfortunately, it’s our new normal. And that sucks. Some of my friends had to evacuate from their homes in hills where fire overtook hundreds of acres. Thankfully, nobody I know lost their home or their life.
Nature is unpredictable, especially these days. Not knowing when or if another fire will break out is stressful. Which direction will it travel? How many acres will it burn? How many homes will be destroyed? How many lives lost? Who knows. But one thing is certain: it will happen again.
I used to think people were crazy who feared living in California because of earthquakes. Seriously, how many earthquakes do we have (very few) compared to the devastation eastern and southern coastal states endure from yearly hurricanes and tornadoes? But with fires being an annual thing now, there may be reason to fear living here, especially near hills and mountains.