Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where is my summer?

This May has been so weird.  It's been raining pretty much every week, and cold.   On May 17th last year, San Francisco had a high of 84, this year 60. I know you can do the math, but I feel the need to remark: that's an astounding 24 degrees lower.

A year ago this weekend it was something like 100 at my house.  I remember because that was the weekend of Panoche Valley Road Race at which Joe crashed and broke his humerus.  I drove an hour and a half to go get him in Hollister where it was 110.  Hollister is bad enough, but Hollister when it's 110?  Ridiculous.

Here's a visual on the aftermath of that crash.  I couldn't resist taking photos of Joe in the ER where, seriously, every other patient had an armed guard. There was a point at which I had to leave Joe alone in the car while I had his prescriptions filled, while still in Hollister.  He was too wasted on whatever pain meds they'd given him to even walk, so wasted that he wanted me to turn off the A/C while he waited in the car because he'd been too cold in the hospital.  The whole time I stood waiting in the pharmacy, talking to scary people who loved my tattoos and wanted to know all about them, I kept expecting to look up and see my high husband shambling around the parking lot in his hospital gown in the full and blazing heat.  Thankfully he nodded out and dreamed his crazy dreams about polar bears and Jamaican cycling teams with which he regaled me on the drive home.

As someone who grew up in San Francisco, albeit in a relatively sunny and warm neighborhood, I revel in the warmer summer temperatures in central Marin where I have lived since 1991.  I do not miss the fog.  I love the heat.  I love those nights when it's so hot that it's hard to sleep, those days when going outside feels like stepping into an oven.  I love the quality of the light on a really hot day, how unbearably hot the sidewalk gets, how great it is to eat outside in the garden when it's dark but still 80.  I love not needing a sweater in August.   I love, most of all, how easy it is to grow things, how plants soak up the sunlight and warmth and visibly change every single day.

So this year, with this weird weather, I am experiencing some strangely-timed seasonal affective disorder.   Along with hay fever,  a given in these windy early summer days, I'm cold.  Cold!  Today, while gardening, I was in jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt.  Reminder: this time last year it was 100!  OK, that was abnormally scorching, but generally 80 is the norm around these parts as we approach the end of May.

I'm thinking about those devices they sell in that Gaiam catalog for people who get sad in the winter, to generate more light, to bring them out of their wintertime, shorter-days funk.  I'm thinking about that as I lie here on the couch, at 7pm, fuzzy with allergies and irritated by a day of cold wind, wondering how the vegetables will do this year if things don't turn around pretty quickly.  I feel strangely hopeless, worn out, which I know is the stupid hay fever, but it's also, I think, a product of my weather-based discombobulation.  I am craving the heat this year and can't wait until it's back.

Until then maybe I'll just stay in this exact spot with my computer on my stomach, keeping me warm, and wait it out.

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