It's been a weird winter. Cold snaps (and snow in December) have been swapping places with Santa Ana winds and temperatures in the 70s here in the mountains (80s in town).
Right now the blue skies are turning grey, and clouds are filling in our tiny valley. Winds are ruffling the tall pines in the neighbor's yard, branches swaying to and fro like arms waving a warning. I can hear the wind groan as it passes between the tree limbs -- a low, mournful sound that rumble in my stomach. Even the forlorn roses and hollyhocks remaining in my garden are tossing about, battered and bruised by the cold winds.
Inside, the heater is blowing warm air around our ankles, and a candle is burning steadily on the mantel. Keith's homemade bean soup is waiting to be rewarmed for dinner. Hot tea is the beverage of choice as one child after another grasps a mug filled with their favorite herbal flavor: E loves peppermint; J prefers apple cinnamon, and I inhale the clean scent of blueberry. God bless Celestial Seasonings!
The weather report varies as to the snow levels of the incoming storm: some say 4500 feet (above us); others say 3000 feet (below us). My sister-in-law just e-mailed me a projection of snow levels down to 900 feet (which encompasses a good part of East San Diego County!). We're battening down the hatches and putting away the bicycles as we prepare for the storm to arrive in its full force tomorrow.
So as storms start here in California and blow and bluster eastwards to your home, may you stay safe and cosy, warmed by hot tea, good furnaces, bean soup, candlelight, and the love of family and friends.
Cheers to winter!