Mother Nature is bestowing a questionably welcome holiday gift of rain on our Southern California community. The rainy weather is projected to continue through Christmas Eve, with a possible slight clearing Christmas Day, then resume giving us what will be more pretty steady moisture falling from the sky. I mention all this to alert eastern readers that we may be sending some of this interesting weather your way which could transform into your own version of a winter white christmas.
I don’t mind missing our traditional perpetual sunshine since we have the rest of the year when I expect rays aplenty. Our rain means snow in the upper mountain elevations which is a pretty sight to view in the distance from my home – if the dark clouds would recede. Regrettably those clouds have caused me to miss the rare total lunar eclipse occurring with the winter solstice for the first time in centuries. I did see repeats of the eclipse on news stories but it’s not quite the same. I think it’s highly unlikely I’ll be around the next time this real time opportunity presents itself.
There is a downside to all this rain for residents who live in previous years forest fire burn areas as they’re subjected to mud slides. Sections of the fabled Pacific Coast Highway have had to be closed to traffic due to boulders rolling down onto the roadway. A TV emergency broadcast system announcement broke into an earlier program to alert foothill communities to potential dangers. For the first time ever that I recall in almost forty years living here my city was named. Later tonight much heavier rains in a short time than we’ve had so far are expected which may result in lots of water runoff. I don’t anticipate any difficulty in our neighborhood though.
My TV viewing is seriously hampered since I use only a roof antenna so my set uses a converter box. That change from analog to digital HDTV has resulted in my always having interference with television stations broadcast signals causing my set to lose picture and sound. This storm has been the worst we’ve had and affected the most TV stations and channels I receive. So far I can still receive our local ABC-TV affiliate and one independent station called My TV.
Radio – remember that medium? – always has good reception. This experience does give me a taste of what life could be like in a major disaster with my having decreased media access. Batteries would last only so long with limited replacement availability and I’d really be challenged if our electric power grid was out.
On a different note, I had an unusual unwanted experience last week. One afternoon I unexpectedly was given a few squeezes from a bottle of a new-to-me gingerbread fragrant body lotion. I hesitantly massaged the lotion all over my hands to my wrists. Two hours later I was in the midst of viewing “Fair Game” at my local movie theater when I became aware of some itchy body feelings. Apparently, I had my first ever allergic skin reaction. The symptoms were limited to skin red streaks and spots all over my body. Itchiness continued for 2-3 days before clearing.
Before the movie I had been talking with a friend about recent news reports of bedbug resurgence around the globe and throughout our 50 states. Some of the fanciest hotels, upscale stores and movie theater seats in NYC have been reported to be infested requiring fumigation. The thought briefly crossed my mind that the bugs had attacked me at the movie, but I was relieved that was not the case, fortunately.
The lights have gone off and on a few times as I write this. I’ll take some time away from this composition to make sure my flashlights are functional and bring one to this room. I might as well prepare a snack apple while I’m up. ……….. Later, I’m back……….Wow! I just heard a sharp snapping crack from another room. Wonder if it could be electrical? ………… Well, I’ve done an in-door walk-about and all seems well -- no strange sights or smells. Back to writing this…...
I hadn’t planned to write a Holiday letter to friends and family this year, but then when their cards started arriving in the mail I changed my mind. Some just sign their name. Others may comment “will write later” (but may not.) A few sentences from several reveal a time crunch with caregiving challenges. There are hand-written, type-written, and computer generated letters with and without their family pictures. For the first time I received a genuine Christmas “card,” – a post card greeting with their family group picture and a personal note stating the writer didn’t even know how to turn on a computer. Seems many I know have yet to acquaint themselves with the Internet much less visit the blogosphere and here.
I can’t help but note that for too many years the holiday greetings I receive gradually dwindle in number as do local friends. Those of us who do write of our adventures, and daily activities increasingly realize a health status report is warranted. Having an entire year go by before hearing from some friends seems to be quite a long time. Contradictorily, each year seems to pass with increasing rapidity. This has become especially true in the time since my husband’s death. Our shared years sometimes seem like they occurred yesterday, other times a lifetime ago, or maybe our time together was in some mystical world.
Here’s a movie trailer with the song from the classic “White Christmas” (1954) starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Ellen, Dean Jagger.