Friday, December 27, 2013

California Christmas

As I sat outside in my yard on Christmas on Christmas morning enjoying the silky warm air, I realized the very idea of weather like that on Christmas would have horrified me as a kid. I lived in Chicago and to me Christmas was supposed to be cold and hopefully snowy. When we first moved out here, I felt pretty much the same. I'd see the Santa in his sleigh in Beverly Hills with palm trees in the background and think it was all so wrong.

Times have changed. I rejoiced that it was warm yesterday and again today. Instead of being snuggled inside with frost on the windows, my son and I went walking up in the Santa Monica mountains at sunset. It's been dry here, so the brush is still mostly golden brown, but the view of the San Fernando Valley was as magical as ever. I can never quite capture it in a picture. The pastel blue and pink of the sky, the way the Valley spreads below us with the lights beginning to twinkle and the way the main street below looks like a red and white ribbon from the cars coming and going.

The houses set on the nearby ridge look like toys. I could pick out the lights of Northridge mall and beyond the shopping center in Porter Ranch. I tracked the blinking red light of a helicopter as flies lower than we are

A hawk soared over us, riding on the warm air coming up from the Valley floor. We watched planes coming over the Santa Susanna mountains with their twinkling lights in the darkening sky before they turned and headed across the Valley using Vanowen Street as their guide as they prepared to land at Burbank airport.

With all that life below us in the Valley, it was silent up there. Just the sound of the wind hitting a sign and making it rattle. Already so dark and it was still so early. Time to go back along the dirt road as everything melted into silhouettes.

The walk wasn't a typical picture postcard of the holiday season and the childhood version of me would have probably had an anxiety attack over the fact our coats were open and we didn't need boots, but I loved it.


Katreader said...

I grew up in Western New York, but lived in Texas for 10 years. I hated Christmas in the heat! It simply never felt like Christmas. Oh I enjoyed going to see the lights in Zilker park with friends, and seeing that one tiny street that made the Griswald house look understated-but it just wasn't right. Now I'm back in WNY, happy to have a white Christmas!

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a charming walk, Betty! I hope your holiday season continues to be so lovely.

Planner said...

I can feel the happiness and contentment in your words.

For me, the warmth of the sun is always welcome, no matter the season or occasion.

Happy Holidays to you and all your readers!

Betty Hechtman said...

Katreader, it's great that you are enjoying your white Christmas.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, you've beee enjoying this lovely weather in your part of the Valley, too.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, being outside always makes me feel good.