Spring in Santa Rosa

By Joanne Peterson | Mar 28, 2013

In Santa Rosa, CA, the forecast for today was 73 and sunny. Obviously, the forecast was accurate--sunshine is everywhere. What a great time to visit my friend and writing sister Mimi, who moved to Santa Rosa from Edmonds several years ago.

Flowering trees cast petals on the surface of the swimming pool, cover the grass around the trees, settle on the lid to the hot tub--which is located beneath the branches of a flowering crabapple.

The tulip tree blooms prolifically, the little pear tree is a full-blown bouquet of blossoms, and the sun-drenched flower pots by the pool show off peach, orange and yellow poppies and ranunculus, marigolds and white alyssum.

Changing angles of the sun cast lacy shadows, copying summer. Mimi's sweet dog Zeta--who moved with her from Edmonds-- naps in the shade.

It's shirtsleeve and sunglasses weather, and I am delighted to be here.

Yesterday, the first day of spring, was quite a contrast to today's June-like weather. A drenching rain fell on Santa Rosa, beginning before 3 a.m., pounding on the roof of the pool house where I stay when I visit

Midmorning, with gutters filled and corner storm drains overflowing. I was happy enough with the rain, as I knew the area was way behind in measurable precipitation.

Anyway, does a Pacific Northwest girl mind the rain? She'd better not.

I decided to explore the neighborhood on a wet walk, realizing the importance of pausing occasionally to focus on the names of streets I'd have to retrace later. Parsons Lane. Terrace. Montecito Drive.

Before I left the house, I helped myself to a yellow Lands End rain slicker I found in the pool house closet--an oversize thing with sleeves covering my hands and a substantial hood effectively blocking the rain--and obscuring much of my vision.

Twice I collided with the ribs of umbrellas, as I met other people walking on narrow sidewalks--locals, presumably, anticipating that I would see them and make room for them, and for their umbrellas. Oops. Sorry.

I continued on, humming, waiting cheerfully on wet street corners for lights to change, and--eventually--turning to retrace my route, pleased to recognize a school, a four-way stop, a corner store.

I realized the heavy rain probably would be the last rain I'd see during this visit. (Back home, I'd heard, schools were running two hours late due to icy morning roads.)

During my week here, I know I'll enjoy a number of outings and events more notable than the weather, storing up memories to sift through later, home again in Edmonds.

Next week--back in the cool coastal spring of my hometown--I'll write more about my trip.


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