********************Yesterday I posted about the beauty of Autumn in New England and whereas I thought it was an innoncent enough post, I apparently managed to offend and step on the toes of my very good friend Cyndi. Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis are probably aware that said good friend lives in the great State of California and that's where I met her some 20 + years ago.
Now ... when I say the "great" State of California I'm not just using an adjective - the place is huge and takes up most of the entire West Coast. From North to South it extends about 780 miles and East to West is an impressive 350 miles (for those of you who like to consider yourselves math majors this equals out to approximately 158,706 square miles when you count both land and water). No argument there - it is one HUGE State, especially compared to miniscule Connecticut with it's paltry 5,018 square miles (55 miles North to South and 90 miles East to West).
That said, it wasn't very fair or accurate for me to say that people in California didn't get to experience the change of seasons. As Cyndi posted in a comment to yesterday's post:
"Linda - I'm crushed. I thought you of all people would not fall prey to the national groupthink perpetuating the fascist myth that everyone in Ca. can drive to the beach in a matter of minutes to throw a crabfeed and surfing wang dang doodle on Christmas Eve. Throwing a bone to the Sierra Nevada mountains won't get you out of this one. I should not have to remind you that the seasons change quite dramatically (and colorfully) in Ye Olde Central Valley, which represents a larger total land mass than SoCal."For those not familiar with the Central Valley, also known as the Great Valley of California and The Big Valley - home of the Barkleys of 1960s TV fame - it, like the rest of the State it's located in, is HUGE. Measuring in at a whopping 450 miles long and average 50 miles wide you could probably tuck in close to five Connecticuts end to end and still have some room to fit in one Rhode Island. Like I said, it's HUGE and the weather there is as different from the Hollywood Hills as Florida is from Connecticut.
Back in the days when I possessed a California driver's license I spent most of that time living in Stockton, prominently located in the Central Valley, and only about two years in Southern California. Truth be told, I much preferred Stockton to Long Beach and San Bernardino and one of the reasons for that was that there actually was a change of seasons there. Granted, it was nothing on the scale of what we get here in New England but leaves do change color and fall from the trees in Autumn and there is some glorious color to be found on the Valley floor as well as in the mountains.
I apparently left out that fact in yesterday's post and was justifiably threatened by my good pal:
"I should hop a flight to smack you with my leaf blower."Cyndi has been trying to talk her husband, Jeff, into allowing her to fly out here for a visit but negotiations have not been going all that well due to Jeff's own personal aversion to flying and his aversion to putting his beloved wife on a plane but I get the feeling that should Cyndi tell him about my faux pas and defamation of their beloved Central Valley, he may very well give her the go-ahead to come out here and beat me severely about the head and shoulders with my own garden rake! And though I would dearly love to see her, I'd rather not have violence on the agenda for our time together!
That said - to Cyndi and Jeff and everyone else who lives north of Bakersfield - I stand accused and I sincerely apologize for any slight or insult I may have inadvertently made with yesterday's post. I was wrong - Autumn can be just as beautiful on the West Coast as it can be on the East Coast, you just have to cross over the Grapevine in a northerly direction to see it.
Am I forgiven?? Please??