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Orange County

Cool Indulgence: Warm Embrace From Winter

February 01, 2003|Mike Anton | Times Staff Writer

A Southern California winter: The thermometer tickles 90. Car seats sizzle. The sun is August hot on the neck. Should have worn a short-sleeve shirt to work.

Why am I at work? Where's the sunscreen?

Open the windows at home. Air the place out. Time for the air conditioner? Heater comes on. Turn the thermostat down.

Grass is dry. Crank on the sprinklers. White ornamental pears, pink Indian hawthorn and lavender hibiscus think it's March. Freeway embankments are in bloom.

Bees and birds gorge on an early breakfast. Sweet pollen burns the nose. Eyes itch and sinuses throb.

Hot tub's too hot. Pool's too cold. The beach is uncrowded and just right.

Surf in the morning. Ski in the afternoon.

The morning sky is a piercing blue. Mountains are etched in sharp relief 30 miles away. Santa Catalina is so close you can almost touch it.

Weekend's here. Sweep off the back deck. Fill the propane tank. Smoke rises from burgers on the grill.

Tomorrow would be a good day to do some chores.

Or maybe not. Winter doesn't last long.

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