Before I moved to California, I was one of those people who swore I couldn’t live someplace without four distinct seasons. Once here, though, I realized that California does have seasons. They’re subtle, but there. The poppies and lupines bloom in March and April. June is jackaronda season. Our lemon tree goes crazy in January and February. There’s even a fenugreek season, according to our favorite herb guy (. . . not that kind) at the farmers’ market. Eventually I realized that I didn’t miss the four seasons as much as I specifically missed a “proper” midwestern autumn, and everything associated with it — the changing leaves, apple-picking, hot cider, cool weather, football game days on campus, and even Halloween decorations. But mostly-warm weather year round? I’ll take it!
What I haven’t gotten used to yet is the way that coastal California is out of sync with the rest of the country. When everyone else is freezing in the winter, we’re enjoying sunshine and warm weather. In May and June, when it’s starting to get hot elsewhere, we’re stuck under cold marine layers. In October and November, when it’s starting to get cool elsewhere, we still get temperatures in the 90′s F (30′s C). But perhaps nothing is as bizarre as this week — there is a brutal, brutal heatwave in the Northeast, and here it is . . . 60 degrees F and rainy. RAINY. In California. In July. WTF. Do I blame El Niño? Or is this just what I get for gloating about the weather here?
Guess I should get used to it if we’re off to the Bay Area this fall. Throw in the extremely high local variability in weather, and I’m about to get very good at layering.