February 8 2011
As I write this, I’m drinking the 2008 Royal Tokaji Wine Company Mad Cuvee Tokaji, an incredible dessert wine (and impeccably balanced), while contemplating the Winter Blues, a disorder that only denizens east of the Mississippi can appreciate as Californians flirt with warm temperatures and an early spring … a fact that I was delicately reminded of by a dear friend.
Ed, something of a wine mentor to me and a SoCal resident, sent the following missive with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Ahem. To Ed I raise a glass … of ice wine, a treat best enjoyed when the outside temperatures are below 32 F.
Dear Family and Friends on the East Coast,
There’s no cause for alarm here, but I feel that I must inform you of the tremendous cold wave that has struck San Diego.
By nightfall yesterday temperatures had plummeted into the lower 60’s. By 8:00 pm, I knew last night that we were in for trouble when the wind began to increase ... to maybe 5 or 6 knots. With wind-chill factored in, I’d swear the temps dipped below 60 F.
The news people broadcast several alerts throughout the night…and a warning was issues that we should all “turn up our thermostats”. Jen and I scrambled to try and find where the “thermostat” was…apparently years ago Southern California was crushed with a similar cold wave and people decided to install these miraculous little heating systems on the wall. Having never seen one of these “thermostats” we went on line and found what one looks like…and voila! We found that we DO in fact have one too. This little machine was great. We turned it on and warm air started to waft into the room. I am so glad we live in these modern times. At last the initial panic was abated.
Oh but it does gets worse…by the time we went to bed the ferocious winds outside had whipped up to a frenzy - maybe 9 knots. We just don’t see God’s fury like this in San Diego, so I decided to take the bull by the horns…I was going to go outside to witness the wrath and devastation myself. It took me awhile to find my only jacket (a windbreaker that I keep in a trunk just in case we ever go to Alaska).
Eventually I got my bearings about me, kissed Jen and the kids and went outside. I have to say that it was exhilarating to feel firsthand what freezing cold was all about. If I had any hair, I’m certain it would have moved slightly.
Jen and the kids watched from the window as I made my way across the walking path and over to the dirt that we call grass. I checked the tomatoes and realized in horror that one had fallen off the vine - that devil wind had struck her ugly head. Two lemons also had fallen victim to the wrath of God. At one point, I felt a tremendous chill soak into my chest and realized to my horror that in my haste and frenzy, I had forgotten to zip my jacket all the way up. I was cold ... really cold. I had contemplated wearing long pants before going outside, but I realized that it was too late for that now…I was committed. I swear to you all that the temperature may be as low as 58 degrees! As I forged ahead across the dirt, reality struck - I think it was hypothermia ... but I did not know where I was going ... then I heard the voice of my dearly departed father saying, “Don’t be a hero son”... and I was smacked back to reality ... I decided to turn back.
It was a restless night I can tell you ... I actually heard branches moving several times outside. Neither of us slept well, but mercifully the morning came and we awoke safe and sound. The wind had “broke” and by 9:00am the temps had returned to 65 degrees. Apparently there is a God. It looks like we are out of the woods.
Please don’t worry about us ... we have each other ... we can share my jacket ... and we have our faith in God.
By the way, how’s the weather out there for you guys?