Sunday, October 21, 2007

California is Burning!

I have no idea whether any of this is making the news anywhere else in the U.S., but southern Califonia is on fire! Malibu is burning to the ground and there's actually another huge fire on the other side of the interstate from us. When we were driving home from church this morning, you could see a massive cloud of smoke that covered half the sky a little ways off in the distance from us, and as the afternoon has progressed, the fire has gotten a LOT bigger and they're evacuating people. Thankfully we're across the highway a ways from it and in a pretty commercialized area, so it's pretty unlikely to come too close to us, but there is definitely smoke in the air and tiny ashes falling (don't worry, they are VERY tiny).

We're not in Alabama (or Kansas or Texas) anymore, Toto. No more humidity, tornadoes, or rain...

I must say that California has some very different weather than I'm used to. Stephen's been out here for a few years now, so this is pretty normal for him, but I'm honestly amazed at how different the weather is. I guess whenever I thought about moving out here I just thought about the fact that it's always sunny and warm in California, but there's a lot I wasn't expecting. Here's what I've got so far:
  • Rain - it doesn't rain in LA and the few times it does, it's a VERY big deal to the people out here. Last month it rained for the first time in 150 something days and they were showing people on the news who were dancing in it and going crazy. It's a big deal when it rains.
  • Desert - We live in the mountainous desert. You don't think about that when you think of Los Angeles. Desert means VERY dry, generally very warm in the days and very cool during the night. I love the warm, sunny days and cool nights and mornings. Don't so much love the dry part. We definitely registered for a humidifier when we were engaged :-)
  • Wind - oh my goodness! So if you've seen the movie "The Holliday," they talk about the Santa Anna winds. I am living in the midst of them! Dust storms blow across the highway and take the visibility down to nothing. Seriously. They shut down highways this week because of the dust storms. But more than that, they are so strong! They blow cars around on the highway and make you aware of your balance as you walk outside. Stephen says the winds don't last very long and that the "windy season" as I'm going to call it might be over by next week.
  • Earthquakes - Yikes! The FIRST NIGHT I was out here there was a real earthquake! It shook the room and I thought a big car had crashed into our building or something. No, it was just an earthquake. I have now been in two, although they were definitely nothing major, but I had never been able to say that I'd been in an earthquake until now.
I think that's all I've got at the moment, but it's only been 2 months... I must say that although the weather is very different, I really like it! I LOVE that it is sunny pretty much every single day! And I can wear a t-shirt during the day and a light jacket at night...perfect! I still walk outside and say "What a beautiful day it is" and then realize that every single day has been beautiful! I definitely see why people want to live out here. All in all, I'm thankful for this time in life to experience something new and enjoy some different aspects of God's creation.

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