Punxsutawny Phil said there would be six more weeks of Winter. Is that an East Coast thing? Cause here in California, Winter has packed her bags, and she’s got one foot out the door. Yesterday the mercury hit 60, the mosquitoes came out of nowhere, and all around my yard little tidbits of color are popping out.
The almond blossoms are sweet, too sweet – as soon as we get close to that tree, our faces begin to twitter – ker-CHEW!
Not that I ain’t been waiting. I actually took a nap in my lawn chair yesterday, the sun felt like an old friend. Where you been Friend? Where’d I put that hammock?
I woke up to the screeching of a couple of hawks, a third sitting in a nearby tree. The two males performed outrageously, swooping and circling back, very dramatic. They flew off, the female trailing behind, I have no idea how this love triangle ended. These birds come every January, like part-time neighbors, they make a loud entrance, pair up, and set up a nest in somebody’s big tree. Then they become very shy, we have never seen the actual nest, we can only guess they are here somewhere. Every now and then we see them snatch some prey – they’re very shy about eating, if you look at them, they’ll leave. After the way they carry on in Spring, you’d think they want everybody to pay attention to them, but I guess they’re just happy.
I try to be happy too, but things get to me, I get stuck in the negative rut. I tell myself, “It’s January, you hate January…” But now it’s February, and I’m waiting for that thrill of Spring. It’s just not coming, something’s bothering me, I can’t tell what. I worry about my husband’s health, I worry about my kids’ progress and happiness, I worry I worry I worry. It’s hard to let things go, that feeling that something bad is going to happen, or that things are just crappy, keeps washing over me. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a little boat in the ocean, and I can’t see over the waves.
Sometimes I am just terrified of what will happen tomorrow. Usually when I feel this way, I try to think of something positive that is going to happen in the future, some little thread. But lately, the world around me is very dark – this whole Trump thing is what my dad would call “eating shit and running rabbits…” I know, the Texans talk funny – that means “crazy”.
And here in Chico, we just dodged a major disaster – the enormous dam at Oroville almost blew. By the grace of Mother Nature, we were spared a mayor catastrophe – the moonscape left behind would have dwarfed every big fire we’ve ever had, people would not only have died, but our economy would be sent back to the stone age. A whole community would have been displaced, and the surrounding communities would have been overwhelmed with refugees who might never recover.
The worst thing about it was how hysterical our “leaders” got – no matter how they denied anything bad would happen. During back-to-back tv interviews, District 1 county supervisor Bill Connelly and US congressman Doug LaMalfa both contradicted the official evacuation advice, telling people to go in different directions. Connelly seemed completely freaked out and at one point said he really wasn’t sure what the sheriff’s department was advising, but he thought people should “head east”. LaMalfa also became a little hysterical, unable to name highways, using Cycle Land Speedway as a landmark.
When they finally convened a press conference with county and state officials, Sheriff Cory Honea seemed more interested in clearing his own reputation than advising the public. When tv news people from Sacramento began questioning his evacuation schedule he got very defensive. They pointed out that over the weekend he was telling people not to panic, the dam would not burst, then suddenly Monday, in the middle of a busy weekday afternoon, it was “Get Out! Get Out Now!” There was pandemonium, nobody knew where to go, there were no recommended routes, just “Go to Chico!”
Our local news offered very little coverage. We were visiting friends in Forest Ranch, just 15 minutes up the hill from Chico, and we saw better coverage on Ch 3 out of Sacramento. They sent a helicopter, or we wouldn’t know how close O-ville came from being a scratch mark on the hillside.
Officials have lifted the evacuation order because, despite promises to the contrary, there has been looting. But there’s a “significant” storm moving in tomorrow, what next?
I don’t know why I feel so much anxiety, Chico is not in danger. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to barf. When I try to distract myself with the mundane chores, I find myself clumsy, forgetful. I don’t think it’s just this dam thing, I think life is getting more stressful in general. So I found this book called “Feeling Good.” It’s full of what I would call “positive thinking” exercises, I’m going to give it a whack. I feel like I’m making myself sick with negativity, time to do a mental cleansing.
I’ll keep you posted!