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Yesterday my life was filled with rain.

I haven’t blogged here lately, because it just seems like sheer gloating. Sorry.

The holiday report from Los Angeles : 73 frikkin degrees, and brilliantly sunny. Breezy. Freezing last night, rain expected by Friday.  There is meteorological variety, diversity and complexity here, versus 40 degrees, black skies, screeching, Valkyrie-flattening winds and sleet 365/24-7. The sun on my face at breakfast this morning, at an outdoor table at Paty’s Coffeeshop, was shamanic healing, with hot buttered sourdough toast.  I am still thawing from 2.5 years in northern frigid stupefaction.


The street I live on is lined with what may be Chinese maples. The neighborhood is old, and the trees must be nearing the century-mark. It is as vivid as anything in the Finger Lakes or other leaf-peeper meccas, but without the annoying woodchuck accents. All over the city there are apparently deciduous trees offering up a spectrum of dark gold, deep muscadine to olive to amber, to copper and persimmon and maraschino-red. More than just palm trees.

And can I just say, breakfast out? Just like that?

Standard diner fare, served steamin’ on the table in moments, full sun, cuppa joe, blue skies over Burbank? Then I dropped off my vintage,  cream-colored cashmere coat at the (shiver and sigh of gratitude and bliss) DRY CLEANER’S on the corner. It’ll be ready at 5 pm tomorrow (not two weeks from now, via decrepit stoner-granny van). I’ll need it for the next chill.


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And another reason I love Los Angeles: hot water.

About a week ago, the hot water stopped. Just stopped coming. I called the Gas Company, and the guy was here within an hour. He looked, and said it needed a major part, and a plumber.

I washed the dishes with cold water, and for a shampoo, heated a big pot on the stove, mixed in cold, and poured it over me, “Like Water for Chocolate.”

Then I called the landlord. She called the plumber, who came, looked, ordered the part. The part had to be overnighted from somewhere else. It arrived the next morning, and by the next night, I was soaking.

The whole shebang was about 36 hours, total.

The things that Americans of my generation take for granted.

Let me remind you: this time last year, I lived in the dismal sticks. Sometime in the late fall, the furnace crapped out in the northern house. It was 20 degrees outside, and sleeting drizzle under bruised black skies.

The guy came, after several calls and several days. He informed me that the furnace had never been installed properly. And since I was gunning the settings to “Thaw, Since I Don’t Get Hot Flashes”, it had indeed melted the PVC piping. That was the tip-off that something was terribly wrong: the smell of burning rubber throughout that hideous ghostly barn.

A new furnace– not merely a new part– had to be ordered. To the tune of $4K.

And the cold leaked in through the cheap single pane windows, around the warped moldings, under the swollen doors, through the uninsulated walls.

I could see ice-crystals on my breath inside the house. My love and I slept in all of our winter clothes, beneath goosedown and Pendleton woolens. The cats knotted fiercely at our feet for warmth, and I heaped sweaters over them in the dark.

There was no hotel, no restaurant. A blend of “Deliverance”, “The Shining”, and the Donner party.

This went on for 16, 17 days. Until Jethro and Cleophus could figure out how to work the talking-box and order the damn heater.

So, lucky thing that I have hot water again. I require regular chamomile soaks. A few days ago, I received a direct blow from a horse’s hoof, mid-thigh. Had it been my knee, I would be hobbling in a cast. The horse got spooked as I walked her along a trail which parallels the freeway– a fact of life in Los Angeles.

The bruise is the size of a legal pad, opaque indigo.

But that is a tale for another winter’s evening.


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