Christmas in California by Lorna Collins
As a native Californian, I'm often asked how it can feel like Christmas with no snow. After all, Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas while sitting around a hotel pool in Beverly Hills.
The sun is shining,
The grass is green,
The orange and palm trees sway.
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L.A.
(Verse of "White Christmas".
People always think there's no snow in this part of the state. In fact, we even had snow at our house. Of course, the only time it happened in my lifetime was in 1949.
However, this is one of the few places in the world where we have such varied micro-climates. Within a couple of hours, it is possible to go from the beach to the snow in the mountains to the desert. In fact, for many years, three men in San Clemente had a New Year's Day ritual. They began the morning by surfing at San Clemente pier. Then they jumped in the car and went to Big Bear to go skiing. In the late afternoon, they went to the desert.
You may think that since we live here, we've never experienced white Christmases. You'd be wrong.
In 1969, we spent the holidays in the Chicago area of Illinois with gray skies and wet, heavy snow. It was bitterly cold and going outside was a chore. And the fierce winds off the lake blew the bone-chilling freezing cold through us. No amount of warm clothing could really keep us warm. Since it was our first time away from our families during the holidays, we really wanted to be back in the warmth of our home.
Two years later, we lived in Denver, Colorado. This snow was white powder. After a day or two of stormy weather, the skies cleared, the roads were cleaned, and the area became a winter play land. Although we still had to bundle up against the cold, the nearby mountains were worth the effort.
When we left Chicago, I was sure we'd never live anywhere with worse winters. Then we moved to Osaka, Japan. Our home was in the suburb of Takarazuka, about an hour outside the city. The fierce wind blew down the ice-covered slopes of Mt. Rokko and penetrated our bones.
Once again, being so far from home made the holidays harder.
After three winters in Japan, we were so glad to be back home in Dana Point. The weather gets cool and crisp between November and March but without the bitter cold. As Larry says, "And you don't have to scrape the sunshine off the windshield."
December is my favorite month here at the beach. The skies are blue, unlike in the summer when 'June gloom' (morning fog) blankets the coast until noon. It's usually cool enough for a sweatshirt but warm enough to be comfortable. And the summer crowds are long gone.
Having experienced the traditional white Christmas, we prefer the holiday right here at the beach without snow!
And here's something about Lorna's Book:
When an unemployed computer programmer inherits a California beach cottage from her great-great-aunt, she’s delighted. But she’s in for a huge surprise: The house is haunted by the ghost of a famous romance writer who insists the young woman complete his last novel, threatening to keep her from sleeping until she agrees. The ensuing clash pits youth against the long-dead but still egotistical author with humorous and moving results.
Stay Tuned For Next Week To Read About Lorna's Husband, Surfing Larry, and The Books They've Written Together.
|Lorna and Larry Collins|
In the meantime, you can check out their books at http://www.lornalarry.com
Lorna Collins and her husband, Larry, were raised in Alhambra, California where they attended grammar school and high school together. They have been married for over forty years and have one daughter, Kimberly.
Larry is an engineer and spent many years working on various projects throughout the United States and around the world. They both love to travel whenever they get the chance. Lorna was in Document Control, IT Change Management, and Technical Writing prior to her recent retirement.
They both worked in Osaka, Japan on the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Larry was a Project Engineer, responsible for the
Their memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best nonfiction books of 2005.
Their cozy mysteries, Murder... They Wrote and Murder in Paradise (2011 EPIC eBook Award finalist) were published by Whiskey Creek Press. Both are set in Hawaii featuring protagonist Agapé Jones. They have at least two more books planned in this cozy mystery series.
Lorna also writes anthologies with several friends, also for Whiskey Creek Press. Together they have published Snowflake Secrets (Dream Realm Award, Eric Hoffer, and EPPIE finalist), Seasons of Love, Directions of Love (2011 EPIC eBook Award winner) and An Aspen Grove Christmas. The first three were written with Sherry Derr-Wille,
Lorna’s first solo work, Ghost Writer was released in 2012 by Oak Tree Press.
She is currently hard at work on another ghost story, a new anthology, and the next mystery. In addition, she and Larry have begun an historical novel set in San Juan Capistrano.
They currently live in Dana Point, California.