Calm Before the Storms
It doesn’t take much to remind me why I’m a California girl. On Thursday night, New Year’s Eve, Steve and I headed over to Star Café for dinner (I’m crazy about their butternut squash ravioli). As usual, the holiday décor was stunning – large ornaments hung from the ceiling adding color and a festive mood.
With full stomachs, we headed to the home of our friends Mike and Nancy Leum. Mike is on Montrose Search and Rescue with Steve and while the guys reminisce about their latest rescue Nancy and I can compare notes on being the mothers of sons.
A tradition for the Leum family is heading to Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Eve to check out the crowds. So we piled into their car and off we went to Pasadena. It was fun to see how folks were battling the cold while waiting for the morning Rose Parade. Some had firepits set up; others had brought blow up mattresses so they wouldn’t have to sit or sleep on the hard pavement. Some launched marshmallows or flung whipped cream-topped tortillas at the cars that drove by. It was crazy, but not scary.
Afterward we headed over to the Rose Bowl where the float decorating pavilions were. (That’s Mike and me in front of the Rotary International float.) Several of the floats were being led out, escorted to their places on Orange Grove where they would be judged in the wee hours of the morning. Being a native Californian, the 47-degree temperature was darn near freezing for me and in no time I was back in the car.
Snuggled back at home in our warm bed, Steve and I barely got a “Happy New Year” off our lips before we were sound asleep. Oh, the joys of middle age.
I woke on Friday to crystal clear skies – making it easy enough I’m sure to read comments written in the sky above the parade route about Donald Trump.
After watching the re-run of the parade, I laced up my sneakers and headed for a walk. I usually don’t wear earbuds or anything like that while I walk. I sort of like to just listen to the sounds of the neighborhoods that I travel through. Around 1:45, thunder seemed to rumble off the surrounding mountains. I scanned the sky and saw the two B-2 stealth bombers circling while they waited to make their appearance at the Rose Bowl game. Holy cow! I saw them make seven passes. In my enthusiasm I tried to record them on my phone as they came around but I didn’t do a very good job. But I did get great video of some palm and pine trees.
Oh well. I guess my future is not in videography.
While watching those aircraft as I stood in the 60-plus degree sunshine a thought that often recurs entered my head: how lucky I was to live in the Crescenta Valley.
I know it can be tough – you read enough of my griping all through 2015 – but it can also be good. Sometimes we truly do need to stop and smell the roses (or see the bombers or the parade floats) to remember how fortunate we are.
And that wasn’t a bad way to start the New Year.