Saturday, February 12, 2011

warm winds and other delights

We're all about choosing the Joys, yes? I thought it'd be fun to find the Joy in WIND. (huh?) seems...

Lots of folks don't much care for wind. Makes 'em crabby. I recall when I lived in Taos (New Mexico) whenever the winds kicked up, people would get downright ugly. Even the nicest of them would show all the symptoms of PMS (and too). It was quite the puzzle to me. I found the winds quite exhilarating. Even when I had to deliver balloon bouquets (that's a WHOLE 'nother story). It didn't really bother me. I just took along some extras because there was no getting around the fact that some of them were going to either get loose and fly away or burst from the pressure. I'm talking about winds that could literally have tables and chairs flyin' by your windows like in the Wizard of Oz. Crazy winds.

And then there are the Santa Ana winds. Anyone who has ever lived in Southern California knows all about 'em. They usually arrive around this time of year; blowing westward from off the dessert. Hot, strong winds that can frazzle your skin and your hair and your lips and your nerves in a New York minute (which, as we all know, is much faster than a regular minute). You can shut every window in the house and still find a very thick layer of dust on everything in the house by nightfall (which is when the wind dies down). Water in the indoor fountains evaporates lickety-split. House plants scream for watering. Even the dogs seem to drink more (smart little critters). Let's not forget the static electricity. If you walk across the carpet and then touch anything metal, you can actually SEE the sparks. Hurts like hell. Poor critters get zapped every time you touch them. No question, the Santa Anas can be quite pesky.

Unless you're doing laundry.

I kid you not; I can hang an entire load of laundry at 9:00 a.m. and it'll be dry by 9:30. Those winds are so much more efficient than even the best clothes dryers. No electricity or gas needed. Just a clothes line and some clothespins. The wind is so strong, it even "irons" the wrinkles out. I've washed thick wool blankets and hung them out, gone to check 15 minutes later...and they're completely dry! Very handy indeed.

Another terrific benefit of the Santa Ana is that it cleans the air. {Okay. I know it also carries pollen and really, I feel for you. It doesn't look like much fun for folks with allergies. But hey! We're here to talk about the JOYS, remember?) If there is any sign of smog (which, if you've never seen it, looks like a brown layer of filth hovering over everything. Quite disgusting.), the Santa Ana will blow that crap outta here in no time. Blows it right out over the ocean where it gets 'filtered' by the salt water air. Pretty clever.

If you're in the mood for some big-time fun, kite flying is INCREDIBLE during the Santa Ana. But you'd better have one sturdy kite. Because this wind will rip it to shreds if it's not. All the's pretty fun to go out to the big field up the road and let that puppy soar. Sometimes even the Red Tail Hawks will come to investigate and fly around up there with it. Talk about a sensational experience!

But soon... the winds pass. They move out to sea or wherever it is that Wind goes, and don't reappear until next season. When they're gone, they leave a splendid array of new seedlings. Flowers and various other flora are carried with the winds, as if some giant hand moved across the land and dropped them in its wake.

The wind may be a nuisance, but it serves a beautiful purpose. It cleans the air and drops new seeds and dries your clothes.

How can ya not like that?

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