Friday, June 17, 2011

Every Cloud Has A Purple Lining

We're completely socked in by our traditional 'june gloom' right now. Fog so thick that Anna walked outside this morning and said "Mom! It's dribbling!" which I assume is Californian for 'drizzling'. Not a word she gets to use with much frequency.

From a practical standpoint, it's an absolute bugger to dress for this weather, because you're never entirely sure when the fog will burn off. Some days (as in the last few weeks) it has clung resolutely all day. On other days it lifts as early as mid morning, and then you're left at work sweltering through 80ยบ in your light woollens. My advice: scarves and cardigans, sounds deathly British, but really they are truly sensible when it comes to the gloom.

What's funny is that when the skies turn leaden, the trees turn purple. Santa Barbara is full of jacaranda trees, and as soon as the first May Grey or June Gloom hits, they start to bloom. They are fabulously beautiful, seemingly giving up leaves entirely for huge bright purple blossoms:

It's as if Mother Nature is throwing us a bone, trying to prove that summer is out there somewhere.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Do'ed It!

The other morning at Lucy's preschool the little ones were all called in from the garden for morning group. 'Circle time' is the official start of the day. I imagine the children were finding a spot on the floor and sitting cross-legged when the teacher looked around and said "where's Lucy K?"

Good question.

An even better answer came from C. a sweet boy of 4, who said "oh, she's stuck up a tree."

You might think that I'd be worried about this kind of preschool, or even about why C. didn't bother mentioning it until he was asked. I'm not though, because Lucy's preschool is absolutely brilliant. You can't really complain about your 2 year old being stuck up a tree in a huge garden dotted with peach trees, apricot trees, tangerine trees (wow, they're good), a gnarled but incredibly productive avocado tree, and a passion-fruit tunnel. Really, it's a paradise on earth. The kids are encouraged to pick their own fruit, and Lucy has almost inevitably developed a thing for climbing trees.

It was no surprise to anyone that she was up there (a whopping foot and a half off the ground). When I picked her up that very afternoon - she was stuck in an orange tree. Heavy with oranges, and the flowers of the next crop already starting - there sat Lucy K.

"I stuck!" She wailed.

"Watch this", said J., her teacher, with a wry smile on his face. He walks over and delicately extricates her from the branches, and as soon as her feet touch the ground she sprints across the lawn and starts scaling a peach tree. I walk over to her and she beams "my do'ed it!", and then "I stuck!".

"All day" her teacher replied.

Lucy K loves to climb trees.