Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Two Two Day. (or happy ballerina day)

Well, it's official. I hate winter. If you think winter isn't so bad--that it's beautiful and a refreshing change from the summer heat, then you obviously have never lived in a geographically isolated po-dunk town called Monterey. If it snows even an inch here, life in every corner of the county comes to a brake-screeching, snow-crunching halt. Schools close. The stores are empty. Main street becomes a barren wasteland of snow, salt, and plow trucks.

This is where I grew up and apparently it's where I secretly wanted to come back to.  In all fairness, it does have it's redeeming qualities--even if I have to write those qualities down and plaster them all over my desk to help remind myself why I'm still here.

The view IS spectacular here. Even though I don't see it's overall splendor the way an outsider might, I still catch glimpses of its true majesty out of the corner of my mind every once in awhile. The air is also very clean. Yes, there is the occasional whiff of cow or sheep or turkey manure, depending on the wind shift, but that's almost more cleansing to me than the smells of the city. In the city, there's car exhaust and cigarette smoke and the smells of every restaurant in the area mingle into one big deep-fried burger. Here there is only the cow dung. And let's face it: dung is a fact of life.

In the summer there is the smell of wet dirt after it rains. The leaves turned their silver sides up to soak up the rain they knew would come, making the mountains seem brighter after it rains. To me, the best part about this po-dunk rural town is what grows here. The green thumb I inherited from my grandma always appreciated the way the plants grow so lush here. The tomatoes are plump, juicy and in every color you can imagine--red, orange, green, yellow, pink, and purple. The flowers in yards grow so tall, so fragrant that I cannot help but steal some from neighbor's yards to bring back to my kitchen table. In the summer, my porch is a jungle--the houseplants that sought shelter on every shelf and counter space in the house during the winter, are soaking up the summer sun, stretching their leafy arms and shaking the winter slumber from their roots.

Summer is when my small town comes to life. There is always something to do in the summer. So that's why my body aches for it now. Summers in Highland are why I came back and summers are how I'll make it through these wintry months. I just hope summer doesn't take it's sweet time getting here this year. I'm anxious for Summer and the festivities she brings with her.

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