Merry Christmas! Any snow where you are? Here in Hilton Head it’s a balmy 80 degrees and I’m sweating. Growing up in San Diego I guess I’m somewhat used to the warm weather during the holidays (water skiing on New Year’s Day anyone?). But I did spend over 30 years in New Jersey, experiencing more than my share of cold and wet and frozen.
I remember San Diego days driving up into the mountains, cavorting in the snow, and driving back to the beach for some gnarly waves. They used to say that San Diego would never support a major sports team because there was too many other fun things to do: who wanted to sit on a hard seat and watch what you could more comfortably enjoy on the television, possibly when relaxing at your neighbor’s beach bungalow.
The coldest Christmas I remember in Southern California was when I was at the University. I was pretty much on my own and decided to get a Christmas tree for the apartment. I drove a topless MB TD at the time and the nighttime drive down Santa Monica Boulevard was brutal. Of course I failed to remember that I owned no lights or glass balls for the tree. I believe I made a long paper chain from old magazine clippings and convinced myself that the memorable odor of the evergreen branches was more than enough to excite my Christmas spirit. My fancy holiday dinner consisted of re-fab turkey roll in watery gravy with refried beans and an orange.
Of course, thinking back to that cold night in L. A. that seemed to bone-chilling and comparing it to those early mornings standing at the bus stop in a driving blizzard with icicles dangling from my scarlet ears waiting for rolling public transportation stuffed with stinky wet wool to be at best a dripping strap-hanger dangerously sliding around on the slippery floor of the bus … no contest (but I still shiver when reminded of that Christmas night on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Being basically alone on the holiday this year (my neighbor is bringing over a ham later) I looked back at some old photos taken during and just after the Christmas storm in New Jersey (when? probably in the late ’90s).
This is a photo taken off our second story deck looking into the lagoon.
And this is a favorite photo of a cross-country skier taken down at the beach near our house.
This, of course is my least favorite activity.