Winter Light

Off once again to San Pedro, where it is a wet and chilly almost-winter. Mary’s house turns 100 this coming year, and is not exactly equipped to meet the needs of a nearly frozen Texas resident, so items like a space heater and the warmest socks the internet has to offer were top priorities.

When I wake up early as usual and return to my cozy bunk with a Thermos of hot coffee, I feel I’m channeling writers like Elizabeth David, who was known to spend the first half of the day in bed with a Thermos of hot coffee. It is only right that the other part of the day should include cooking, often Mediterranean inspired.

There must be some sunshine somewhere.

On many days it’s been hard to tell where the sea leaves off and the sky begins; it’s all the same pale blue-white of skim milk.

At other times the clouds take on a little definition, letting the watery sunlight through.

Mary and I have been much indoors, for a few days getting ready for a new couch. How much do you have to trust a friend to let them see under all your furniture, even the piano? But now the living room is rugless and somehow roomier, and tiny colored lights festoon the large bookcases in preparation for the arrival of an old friend who loves Christmas.

It’s good weather to work on a blanket for a very tall grandson, with plenty of feline assistance available.

We’ve been making it a point to take a good walk every day, our pace and distance dictated to a certain degree by Mary’s fancy new hip. Her recovery has been truly amazing, and I am usually the one having to set limits on terrain and distance. Just yesterday we tested the new hip on a long slope downhill, to where a few surfers had a small cove all to themselves.

From top:

to bottom:

down to where the waves rush in and then pull back in a roar of water and the constant clatter of stones wearing each other smooth.

Even on the cloudiest days, winter flowers seem lit from within.

When the sun does come out, my phone seems to produce photos in Technicolor.

Just as in Central Texas, the winter days go from that damp cold that inserts itself into your bones, to warmth that peels off sweaters and makes life livable again.

Back at the house, a big bush I’ve been teasing Mary about for years has proven me wrong. I don’t know when she tossed that apple core in the back yard, but the impossible seems to have happened.

In real life I know apples don’t come from tossed cores, but you don’t come to Southern California for reality, do you?

Late on a recent afternoon Mary and I ventured down to White Point to see what the winter sunset had to offer. I was interested to see what my phone would do when pointed straight into the departing sun.

In Austin, if you drive out to the Oasis for some mediocre Tex-Mex and a full view of the sunset, when the sun finally drops down below lake level everyone claps and cheers. At White Point I was the only one clapping.

Then everything went quiet again.

And we headed back up toward home.

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