The one thing I love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is how March warms up and gives us a taste of summer. Every year I'm sweating as I cook corned beef and cabbage and if this weekend was a taste of what next weekend will be like, I'll be opening up all the windows while the brisket simmers.
Recently a friend from Portland stopped by for a short visit and he asked if we could see ourselves moving back there. As I looked out the window at the glorious sunshine, I realized that the answer was definitively and emphatically...
We lucked out while we lived there and experienced a mild winter. It's not that I mind rain, I just can't do snow, ice, especially, and extreme cold. I'm a hibernator by nature, and I know if I were snow- or ice-bound for 5 months out of the year, I'd go mental. I had a taste of being kept in for a weekend by a bad ice storm in Portland, and that was enough for me to know I couldn't hack several months more of that.
Now that we live in the balmy Mediterrianean "sun belt" just south of San Francisco, I know that it's the climate that will keep us here. Yesterday we went for a long walk with the girls (we used to call them "City Hikes") that kept us out most of the afternoon. We piled the girls into the stroller with no real destination, we just wanted to explore. The roads were smooth and we walked under shady trees bursting with spring blossoms of all sorts. We were passed by families on bikes and people jogging. We called out our hellos to each other. The girls are cutely sun-kissed today.
We have one, small car (a habit from our city-dwelling days) and people keep asking us when we are going to get another. I think it might be inevitable, but I'd like to put it off as long as possible. So far we are managing fine with just the one. We walk, we stroll, we catch trains here and there. It's working out.
This weekend, temperatures reached the mid-seventies, and we threw the windows and doors open and let the warm, sweet breeze blow through our house. I made a pitcher of sun tea and plotted where I'd like a clothes line to go. We worked in the yard and the trees out back have two new swings to show for it. The girls spent the afternoon swinging while J. and I sat on the back patio and sipped tart margaritas with a friend.
"The first house you bought was down here, right?" our friend asked.
"Yes," I responded.
"So it's like you've come full circle," she noted.
"We should have moved down here when we moved back from Portland," I added. "Living in San Francisco for a year was a mistake."
"But you needed to go on that journey to realize that you belong here," she observed. She's a wise, old soul.
She's right, of course. And two squealing girls on swings seconded that emotion.