It’s ten days before Christmas and I am beyond far behind on preparations. I never got a tree, much as I wanted to this year. I only managed to light the menorah for five of the past eight nights because I wasn’t home. I never got my cards together. I haven’t even begun to put together packages to send back east. Frankly, I am completely lacking in Christmas spirit. This isn’t atypical for me. It’s been a long time since I liked Christmas. Most years I find myself feeling like Charlie Brown, wondering just what precisely the point of Christmas is. I get overwhelmed by the commercialism, the pressure, the feeling of trying to cram activities into busy schedules. And don’t get me started on Christmas music. I hate Christmas music. Hate it. The one exception might be “Last Christmas,” but that’s simply because, well, how you can you ever go wrong with Wham!?
This year marks the second Christmas I will spend away from my loved ones on the east coast, much to my great chagrin. I’m sure this has a lot to do with my particular apathy toward the holiday this year. However, I believe it also has a lot to do with the weather. Christmas and snow, ice and cold weather and inextricably intertwined. It’s nearly impossible for me to be thinking about the holidays when it is still warm enough to walk on the beach. I mean, I don’t even have to worry about scraping ice off my windshield here, or thawing the icicles in my hair before I go into work. I imagine that after living here long enough, you overcome this mental block. I’m curious to know exactly how long it will take me. A year and a half is definitely not long enough.
I’m goin’ home….
In just a few days I’ll take off on a plane from SFO to head back to my hometown of Albany, N.Y. for the first time in nearly a year.
While I’ve had a number of visitors here in Santa Cruz the past year, there are still plenty of family members and friends whom I haven’t seen in far too long. I am thrilled to bits to see them all.
However, much of the rest of the country has been experiencing a major heat wave. I feel so spoiled by the weather here. I had to go up north to Solano County one day last week and was horrified to realize it was 104 degrees.
It’s not quite that hot in New York state –mostly mid-to-high 90s — but the difference is the humidity. There are a lot of things I miss there but being unable to walk outside without immediately starting to perspire right away is not one of them. Nor is the inability to sleep comfortably because of the oppressive heat that lingers far into the night. The weather here in Santa Cruz has come to seem pretty much perfect to me. I’ve gotten so accustomed to it that now 75-80 feel hot. I can’t imagine how warm 97 will feel! Fortunately, from the looks of the weather report, temperatures are expected to drop down to the high 80s next week. Hallelujah!
There is one bonus though – it’s been awhile since I went swimming because I was legitimately hot and then didn’t have to worry about being cold once I got out.
I’m rather curious to see what it feels like to go home after being away this long. I miss a lot of people there but after so many months here, Santa Cruz is finally feeling a lot like home these days. I felt that way about Chicago too though. In a certain way, it feels like I have a whole lot of homes… and that makes me feel like I’m pretty lucky.