Winter has finally come to southern California. At this time of the year I usually pop out some cheery Facebook notes to our friends and relatives back in Pennsylvania: “It’s 80° here! Sorry about all your snow!” However, I just peeked at the weather news on the good ol’ internet—which is indisputably correct, you know—and it seems that it’s warmer there than here. WHAT?!

Of course, the sun is just creeping up in California and they’ve already had three hours of daylight to warm Pennsylvania fingers and toes. Still, the temperature here, at the moment, is 41°. Karns City PA’s thermometers are reading 43°. Something is obviously wrong. I guess I’ll have to wait for a couple of hours before I post anything.

It’s time for a little winter here. It would have been nice if it had kicked in a bit before Christmas, so the shopping seemed more tuned to the season. Somehow, the sight of hairy fellows in tank tops and shorts walking past the mall Santa with their giftly burdens is incongruous. Snow on Christmas trees around here tends to be of the spray can variety every year, though, so I shouldn’t be surprised at the summer apparel. Last week, people who finished their shopping early spent days on the beach soaking up rays.

We did get some rain a little while back, enough to reach the grass roots before the warm sunshine resurfaced, so everyone’s lawn is suddenly green, as opposed to the less-than-verdant appearance we got used to during the long drought. The amount of rainfall hasn’t begun to lessen the enormity of our water shortage, but we’re enjoying the green for now. I’ve even noticed new blooms on plants that should be done by this time of year. I thought the chrysanthemums were done, but there are handfuls of new white and gold blossoms on the little short stalks I’d already cut back. Roses are blooming again, and our typical December camellias and narcissus are rampant. I won’t even mention nasturtiums, except to say that the edges of the compost pile are well-decorated with volunteers. Again. A little water, a little sun…

It’s as typical as December gets here, I suppose. Maybe I’ll skip the weather posts for a while. If I just wait a bit, a nice ice storm should hit the Northeast sometime soon, and my little quips might make more sense. We’ll see.

I’ll see you again, after the commercial.