My, it is tossing and turning out there. Storms have been buffeting the Northern California coast for a few days now, but this one is the best yet. It came in yesterday afternoon, starting pretty mild. Last night before driving home from work I was able to fill up my gas tank and finally get the shoes I need: waterproof sneakers. Montrail has been my brand of choice, but down at REI they had a type of Merrells that were half the price and actually fit my foot, unusual for Merrells. They ride higher than I’m used to, have an ultra padded insole, great arch support, and look nice to boot. I call them little SUVs for my feet.
Thus shod, I drove back into town through the rain this morning very slowly, noting all the places where water was pouring over the road already. To a work meeting, then a session with my wonderful body/soul/worker Terra Mizwa, and then winding through the backroads to avoid some of the wetter spots on the way back out to the coast. As soon as the road rose out of the valley to descend into Freestone and Bodega, the wind started slamming the car and I had to turn my wipers on double time. The wind kept up all the way out, but coming into Bodega Bay the rain tapered off. I came inside, plugged in everything that needed to be charged up in case the power went out later, stuck a lasagne in the oven, and went out in my little SUVs to walk Vince while I could.
By some small act of grace, we were able to take a windy but relatively dry walk. Thanks to a birdwatching lady I met yesterday at the rail ponds, I can now identify the little birds I’ve been seeing everywhere for the past few weeks: the red pharalope. Except they’re not red; their winter plumage is in Arctic colors, not too helpful for camoflage once it comes ashore in California, which fortunately it apparently rarely does. Still, they’re everywhere on our walk, along with egrets enjoying the tasty earthworms that have left the saturated earth, gulls passing the time, and the occasional vulture circling hopefully, albeit in a macabre reminder sort of way.
Not two minutes after we arrived back at the house the clouds let loose and it has been raining full tilt ever since. All in all it has been a thoroughly enjoyable evening: the lasagne was great, the woodstove warm and attractive, the power has stayed on so I can satisfy my internet addiction, I got some work done and had time to watch Orlando Bloom battle the Saracens, something I hadn’t quite gotten around to earlier this fall. If it stays this way for most of tomorrow, I’ll do some ornament packing and de-Yule-ify my living room. Maybe bring in some more firewood and dry it on the hearth. I’ve got movies, I’ve got whiskey, half a lasagne and a king’s ransom in chocolate. It’s going to be a really nice New Year’s Eve.