Friday, March 14, 2014

Last SoCal Summer

Mild in the winter, beautiful in the spring and fall, low humidity - with very few extremes - the weather in Southern California is something natives of other states dream about with envy.

Who could tolerate such a place?

Mountains, deserts, beaches, cultural events, trails - we've got it all in a 45-mile radius. Yes the taxes are high to support an infastruture that in turn supports the largest population in the
country, but really we're okay with that.  Gas prices suck, but we got rid of one car.  Although still lacking in many areas, diversity and tolerance are the norm and we like that in a
community.  Most of our history, combined and individual, is here.  Our fully-paid medical plans are here.  Five of our six sons are here. There are favorites and familiars here.

Why would we ever want to leave?

Freedom, inspiration, variety, challenge, wanderlust, daring, peace, surprise, community, fun, exploration, education, stimulation, immersion, stretching, local breweries.  All of this calls to
us.  Loudly.  SoCal is not going away (unless it slides into the Pacific as predicted for years, but then just another reason not to be here), and we will still return whenever we want or need
to. There are places here we still haven't seen and we look forward to returning with a traveler's eye to see them. 

Yes, Fall and Winter and Spring are pretty wonderful here, but neither of us are fans of the summers.  High temps and smog are just gross.  Like those in other areas who are housebound staying warm and dry in Winter, we are stuck inside in Summer to stay cool and dry.  We know we will encounter weather on the road, it's why we will have a heater and A/C, but because we don't have to work or have a set schedule, we can move to better temps when we need to.  Actually, I figure wind will be the greatest challenge over hot or cold, but time and experience will tell.  Bill loves the cool while I love the warm, but we both hate the hot and will attempt to avoid it in our travels.  The cold?  I'll be hunkered down with four blankets, Bill will walk the dog.

With the first day of Spring approaching on the calendar (still a week away), and the first days of Summer approaching on the weather forecast (89 on Sunday), I think about this being our last full Summer in SoCal.  Next year at this time things will be hopping for sure (unintentional easter bunny plug).  Bill will be winding up his 30+ year career with only a couple weeks of work left.  Hopefully the "stuff" will be shrunk down to only what we're taking and what fits in the small storage container.  If current plans hold firm, the paperwork on the house sale will start with the buyer we already have (fingers and toes and eyes crossed). The deposit on the motorhome will be paid, and we will be scheduling a pick up date.  Reservations at the local RV park will be made to cover the weeks until high school graduation.  Of course all of this will be a jumbled mess of chaos that looks little like the picture painted here......but indeed next year will look very different from this year.

Many current full-timers caution us wannabes to avoid concentrating on "last" anything in preparation for this huge life change, and I certainly see the wisdom in that.  In most cases.  The "last summer" thoughts for me however are positive and exciting.  I'm actually looking forward to Summer for the first time in a long time.  Not just to get through it and be even closer to launch time, but to spend the summer in SoCal.  Like a last cigarette or a last goodbye, this last summer has meaning in our lives and is something we will always remember.  So I choose to make a good memory of this moment in time and embrace the summer.
How will I do that? 

No clue.  There are new things to see and do certainly, but my first thought is that memories are as much about our attitude at the time.  The "how" we saw and did something as much as the "what".  So initially I will approach the onset of summer with a change in attitude.  Today I look at that Sunday forecast and think "I could really use a little color on these white legs before the reunion next month" so yay to 89 degrees!  They're really white so I bet I can use that one for a couple weeks just to get started :-).

Summer in SoCal - it's going to be great!


  1. Last year, we spent June and two weeks in July in the Southern Calif heat. Wowzers. what made it tolerable was out sweet daughter. We are late getting there this year and will have an even shorter time with her this year, but plan to be back well before Thanksgiving this fall.

    1. Late November is my favorite time of year here. Family makes everything better :-). You're (or were) near my dad's old place in Quartzsite. He owned a home near Tyson Wash north of the main drag. Safe travels.

  2. I see a crazy, exciting and liberating year ahead of you! You'll have fun the next summer getting to choose what temperate climate you want to explore!

    1. Yes indeed! There are so many great options in this beautiful country. Enjoy your month in that breathtaking area!