Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last Fall Color

This post was inspired by USElaine who said in comments yesterday, "I wonder how long I can get away with posting autumn photos..."

This is it. Autumn is over. It's officially cold here. I officially didn't wear enough clothes yesterday. I officially froze.

I have observed a kind of denial in southern Californians other than myself. They don't want to believe it gets cold here. People don't own winter coats. Some people never think to turn the heat on in their houses. ("It was so cold in our house last night, we almost had to turn on the heat!") Many homes aren't even insulated. "This is California!" people say. "We don't have winter!"

I beg to differ. We don't have what you might call winter in Chicago. The temperature doesn't get below freezing or anything. But I'm a transplanted Chicagoan. I moved here for the heat. And when the heat is gone, I MISS IT.

The winter solstice is December 21st, but I don't need a calendar to tell me it's cold. There aren't enough socks in Pasadena to keep my toes warm. I comfort myself in the fact that I don't live in denial.

27 comments:

Dina said...

How did you and I ever survive Chicago cold? The wind off the Lake?
Can I send you some fleece-lined jeans? ;)
Even my LA son turned on the heat now. Good luck.

Keith said...

Good timing. I wore a jacket yesterday, turned on the heat and slept in sweats. I've never lived where it snows so to me it's cold outside. Nice colorful photo!

BTW, not only are many homes not insulated, there are a lot without any functioning heater at all. Owners don't believe they're necessary.

Sharon said...

I understand completely. I work with a lot of people in Minneapolis and when they hear me complain about the cold, they just laugh. It may not be below zero like there, but it is cold to me.

Katie said...

I love the combo of the last of the fall leaves with the colorful flowers in bloom. So California! And I know exactly what you mean about the cold! My apartment gets really cold (no winter sun gets in to warm things up) and although my little heater can kick up the temp really quick (the only good thing about living in a teeny place), there's nothing like waking up like this morning to 50 degrees inside and trying to put on cold clothes, and deal with VERY cold, um, porcelain. When I lived in Minneapolis, all the buildings seemed to have boilers that could heat a city block. The coldest winters I spent while in Minneapolis were visiting my mom in northern CA where she keeps the heat at 62. (I'm used to it now, and my apartment rarely gets above 60 in the winter, and to me that seems warm.) It's this time of year though that I think longingly of the 3 months I spent one winter in Sarasota, Florida.

Vanda said...

When I want to college in Indiana you could always tell the California students from wearing shorts in December.

I don't like cold either. I turn up the heat and have big fluffy goose down comforter.

ben wideman said...

agree with your sentiment fully - I'm guilty of never turning on our heat. I do think I'm getting soft however - I'll put on a sweater or light jacket when the temp dips below 70. if people from home (Toronto) knew that I'd be ridiculed.

Petrea said...

I'm a little better today. The sun's out. But we're apparently expecting some kind of storm tomorrow. Katie, it should be hitting you any minute (aim a space heater at the porcelain). I know Chuck and Kim have already had it in Seattle.

Dina, I can't answer your question. John's always asking me. I think I was tougher when I was young. I've been in L.A. 20 years now. But never without a heater! Keith, that is beyond my imagining.

Sharon, Minnesotans are hardy folk. They're bound to think of us desert dwellers as a bunch of pansies. (In my case they'd be right.)

Ben, I wouldn't want your friends back home to think of *you* as a pansy, but how does Meredith feel about turning on the heat?

Laurie said...

I hear ya! WHen my hubby and I first got together and I tried to turn the heat on in his house, it didn't work. I asked what the trick was and he said, "Probalby lighting the pilot at some point..." AGHHH! I'm a wuss -- if it's below 75 I need a sweater and boots.

JT said...

Often friends of Pasadena and LA area are surprised to learn that it sometimes dips below freezing here. I looked on my thermometer this morning, which records highs and lows, and we hit a low of 28.2 last winter. That's cold for here!

Pascal Jim said...

During my Chicago period, one news-photo remains in memory, a man approaching his front steps, door hidden by ice and snow, holding a sledge hammer about to smash this barrier to enter the home....

As a native Californian, I say "they can have every snowflake"!

Rose said...

This is so lovely and vibrant...

Kris said...

Wondeful colours.

Petrea said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Laurie. I'm often bundled up when others are in shorts. And JT! 28 degrees! I feel vindicated.

Pascal Jim, you remind me of a photo that was taken of me in DeKalb, IL after the ice storm of 1976. I'm sure it was a logistics nightmare but it was fairyland beautiful to see everything coated in ice. I was wearing a cloth coat and no hat, staring at a frozen tree. I must have tolerated cold much better then.

Rose and Kris, the colors are still here. Our winter feels cold but it looks like autumn.

USelaine said...

I hope that bougainvillea is well established, south-facing, with roots protected, because they hate to freeze. It was supposed to snow today, but we just got drizzling rain. Maybe tonight...

I'm just listening to NPR talking about the massive power outage in New England from an ice storm, so I'm feeling pretty cozy with my thermostat set at 72, wearing my comfy sweats and slippers.

Thanks for the nod, P. 8^)

St├ęphane Kardos said...

Now you know which door is mine, you can stop for coffee :)

altadenahiker said...

Shivering woose here. I set at 68 when I'm home, and 62 at night. But let me tell you about Norway. The reason they survive up there is that the houses are set to like 90. Walk inside on a cold winter's day, and you're entering a sauna. Maybe they pack the heat in some bodily memory chamber.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

I've either got to get a heater or get the fireplace fixed. I need a chimney sweep and electricity that doesn't go out every five minutes.

Nice Santa hat, Petrea.

My bougainvillea is southeast--should I mulch?

Oh good heavens winter. Winter!

USelaine said...

Miss H - Mulching would be prudent, and tarping the whole plant even more secure, but it all depends on the actual low temps and how deep the root system is. Listen to your garden columnists.

HearkenCreative said...

I'm writing this from in front of a nice fire in the fireplace. So I'm feeling the chill, too, here in Pasadena. Anyways, for my wife's birthday tomorrow, I was potting a new herb garden in some containers for our side porch. Bad timing; it's going to be extremely cold (relatively) and rainy for several days now. But hey! It's gonna be lovely. Sorry, Petrea, I love the cold. I've lived within 15 miles of Pasadena for my entire life, and I enjoy Southern California winters: mild, but colder, with less smog and beautiful light for photography.

What makes this photo great is the contrast of autumn colors with the floral colors. Very nice.

Cafe Observer said...

I rarely rare coats even when it dips into de 40's.

2day I was in a flannel shirt. Well, I guess for a dog that's admitting sumthing!

However, I did bring in one of my pets last nite, a Cat of course, bcuz you know how sissy those felines r compared to us canines.

mademoiselle gramophone said...

Giggled when I saw you holding the Clementines, so I had to see what I could find. It's Bobby Darin. I think it's too funny.

Petrea said...

All those things are true about that bougainvillea, USElaine. It belongs to my neighbor. It suffered in the big freeze a couple of years ago, but made it through.

Look out, Stef! I might do that.

AH, you're stronger than I am. I don't set it as low as 68 even at night. Miss H. is the strongest of all, though. You needs a heater, dearie.

Loren, you're right about the light. It's crispy and perfect. Today was glorious.

C.O., do you have a dog? You know they're pack animals and should always come in at night, regardless of the temperature, so as not to exile them from the pack. Unless of course you have several, then the whole pack can stay outside together, howling at the moon.

Mademoiselle G: Oh my god, how did he manage to make everything he did into Mack the Knife?

Virginia said...

It's all relative. I hear ya. I didn't dress warmly enough several days this week. I hate to touch that heat myself, but you have to cave at some point. Lived in Iowa and wisconsin, I now hate snow. Lived in Ft.. Lauderdale, hate no seasons. Love B'ham weather except the months of hellish heat and humidity. Still no contest.

St├ęphane Kardos said...

Like your new avatar Petrea! and you are more that welcome to stop by :)


Karin, the first time I went to Sweden to visit some friends, I had headaches all week because it was so warm inside their houses even at night! I know what you're talking about. My wife who's from the north of Sweden is so cold here at the moment :)

USelaine said...

All right, I'll be the one to say it.

There aren't enough socks in Pasadena to keep my toes warm. I comfort myself in the fact that I don't live in denial.

If you lived in de nial, you'd need more than socks, you'd need a wetsuit.

altadenahiker said...

That new avatar the product of an afternoon of spiked eggnog? Are we all going to Stephane's house? If his wife is Swedish, that means the Christmas cookies are spectacular.

Petrea said...

He lives near you, AH. I have it on the authority of someone I barely know.