Everyone Knows It’s Windy (Especially in So Cal)
Is it just me, or has anyone else had the song, “Windy” blowing around in their head lately? I realize I’m dating myself (something I do all too often, unfortunately), but that song by the ‘60s group, “The Association” was at the top of the pop charts when I was in elementary school. Today, every time the wind blows – which it has been doing a lot the past couple of weeks – I start singing the lyrics to myself: “Who’s peeking out from under the stairway / Calling the name that’s lighter than air / Who’s bending down to give me a rainbow / Everyone knows it’s Windy!”
(If you’re wondering who The Association was, well, let’s just say it was a six man vocal group and that pop music back then had very little in common with Miley Cyrus or her soft-porn contemporaries. The group was popular when tight harmonies were considered much more important than tight … but I diverge.)
I don’t know if any members of The Association were inspired by our nefarious Southern California winds, but as a native, I can attest that fierce, desert-hot winds are not unusual in our little corner of So Cal paradise.
Many years ago, in fact when our youngest boys were students at Monte Vista Elementary, one of their classmates – a tiny wisp of a girl – was actually blown off the sidewalk in front of school, lifted off her feet and slammed back down into a nearby hedge. Thankfully, she was only shaken up and not physically hurt by the impromptu Mary Poppins impersonation, but we joked with our boys that from then on, they would have to put rocks in their classmates’ pockets or get on either side to hold her down whenever the wind kicked up.
I actually like it when the winds kick up as long as we don’t lose power for longer than a few hours. To my thinking, even a week of Santa Ana winds is better than boring Southern California heat, haze and stillness. Yawn.
It might be odd, but one of the items on my bucket list is to have the experience of hunkering down somewhere relatively safe in the midst of a hurricane or tornado. No kidding. To be surrounded by the full fury of weather would be an awesome thing. Now, I would never become an obsessed storm chaser, but I watch news stories about people huddled together in boarded-up buildings, reading or playing games by candlelight while rain and wind pummel their shelter and I think, yeah, that would be cool.
My wife, on the other hand, hates the wind because of the super-low humidity it usually brings with it. During Santa Ana events, we break out the 50-gallon drum of Lubriderm or some other moisturizer bought by the pallet-full at Costco. Dry skin is not her friend.
I will admit, however, that I don’t like the way the wind strips every pine tree in La Crescenta of needles and deposits them like a four-inch thick blanket of compost all over our yard.
My dogs also don’t like the wind. There is hardly a more pathetic sight than an 85-pound, bear-of-a-dog laying on the kitchen floor with his snout resting on the bottom of the doggy door frame, the flap pushed out just enough so the brave beast can peek into the yard. The big goofy fur ball wants desperately to go out and play, but as soon as a gust of wind blows noisily through the trees, he comes barreling back through the door like he’s being chased by a pack of vicious badgers. Makes me so proud.
And with that, I’ll put down the keyboard and pick up my gloves and rake. After all, there are about 35 million pine needles out there calling my name. But first, I’m gonna download a certain song onto my iPod.
I’ll see you ‘round town.