By Pallas Hupé
I was so happy to wake up to the sounds of rain rushing down the window outside my bedroom on Sunday. It’s been such a long time since I’ve heard it. All I wanted to do is stay under the covers where it was cozy. I did for a little while, before finally getting up to enjoy a lazy breakfast with the family – followed by a game of Monopoly! It’s been years since we sat down and actually played.

We actually have two boards, one features Spongebob characters and the other is Navy-themed. We had just done a new story on the board game, so I shared with my sons what I learned: Monopoly was invented 75 years ago! My 9 year old considered that for a moment and then said (with some suspicion) “Mom, Spongebob wasn’t around back then!”.

We laughed about that one for a while and lazed around a little more. It was late afternoon before the clouds cleared and we finally ventured outside. The boys started an impromptu football game with their neighborhood buddies and I took the dog out for a long walk.  He was overflowing with pent-up energy!

That’s when I noticed the streets were packed! People cooped up inside all day apparently couldn’t wait to get out either. “And that is life in California”, I thought to myself.

We wait for months just to get a good soaking and when it finally happens, can manage only a few hours without sunshine and freedom to roam. I noticed this idiosyncracy the first winter I was here and my new-found friends were complaining about the long, gray winter we were having. I think we’d suffered through maybe 4 weeks, max.

Mind you, I once lived in England, so my frame of reference may be a bit extreme. However, it didn’t take me along to adapt.  I’ve gone soft, so now I get it.

I always look forward to November in California because in every other place I’ve lived, this month is dreary, cold and blustery. Here, it is the crowning glory of all the months of the year. The air is either crisp or at most mild. The trees still turn beautiful colors. My senses feel more alive than at any other time of year.

I love the change of season in Northern California.  The prediction is this winter might be a wet one.  I, for one, can’t wait!