I heard a sound this evening that gave me pause: a small engine, maybe two or three horsepower roaring away down the street. What could it be? Then it occurred to me that I had closed my mind to the most obvious source. It was a lawnmower. Five days before Christmas, some industrious lad was out cutting the grass in his family's front yard. How very nice. It's Christmastime in the city.
I know it's an old saw, but I still catch myself wondering where my snow shovel is. Fifteen years ago when I landed here in the land of milk and honey, I went to a friend's house in Sunnyvale for Thanksgiving. After dinner, we all piled into her great big convertible, and drove around with the top down as we watched the sun set. It was a California moment that let me know I wasn't in Kansas (or Colorado) anymore.
Flash forward to this week, and the relative cold spell that has gripped the bay area for nearly a week. No snow. No hail. Very little precipitation to speak of, but there was frost on the ground until the sun made short work of it. I watched the kids at my school find the slick patch on the playground padding, and carefully measured my reaction as they slid wildly from side to side. Grumpy old Mister Caven was ready to tell them to knock it off before somebody got really hurt, but the more thoughtful and child-like cortex of my brain told them to take turns and try to avoid any grievous bodily harm. For fifteen minutes, until the bell rang, it was a winter wonderland next to the play structure.
I watched one kid's legs shoot straight out from under him as he fell square on his backside. He looked up at me for that moment of kid/adult recognition. Was he in trouble? Would he cry? Nope. He just laughed, and so did I. It's Christmastime in Oaktown.