Blustery Days

I hate wind!

I hate how it makes my hair flat and full of static electricity. I hate how it pushes pollen up my nose so that I sneeze all day. I hate how it makes a sunny day feel cold.

But I’m not the only one who hates wind.

My border collie puppy hates wind. Terrified by scuttling dry leaves, he stops and assumes his watchdog face, certain a murderer is creeping up behind us on the way to the park.

Trees hate wind. My street is lined with 70-year-old Chinese Elm trees. When the wind blows, parked cars get hit by falling branches. Happened to me twice in one year. One day I came down the street to discover it completely blocked by a gigantic limb.

Umbrellas hate wind. I’ve lost a few outdoor table ones during windstorms. Later I found them battered and broken, upside down in my neighbor’s back yard.

Californians hate wind that whips up wildfires.

It is said, “If you sow the wind, you’ll reap the whirlwind.”

I don’t know who’s been planting wind, but I sure wish they’d stop it.

Blustery Day

 

Contrary to popular thought that California has perfect winters, we have wind. Not gentle ocean breezes. Rip your table umbrellas out and deposit them in your neighbor’s yard wind. Destructive and bone chilling, these winds blow into town and linger for days. In the summer, they can be furnace blasts, but the worst come whipping through the winter.

California elementary schools assume we will always have mild weather. There is no shelter between buildings and portables. Students have to brave mighty gusts to have lunch and use the restrooms. “Inclement weather” is declared, and all recesses cancelled for the day. Teachers and their classes remain huddled inside their rooms.

Attention spans diminish, and voices grow louder. Pollen kicks up to spark headaches and runny noses. Already sick children gather at the school nurse’s office while she calls their parents.

Meanwhile, palm fronds land like missiles on cars passing on the streets. Ancient branches raise their arms in surrender and fall on parked cars. Dust and leaves swirl in doorways, waiting to blow in.

Wind makes people angry. A local proverb advises not to make any major decisions on a windy day.

Perhaps we shared a haughty chuckle when it was sunny and 80 degrees last weekend and other regions of the country lie buried in snow. We thought ourselves worthy of that song, “California Dreaming.”

Maybe the wind is our punishment for being proud.