Flashback — Warm Nights

This year, I realized that I’ll never be a true San Franciscan. My love of summer eliminates any chance I ever had of claiming this Fog City as my own.

If there is a genetic component to the kind of weather one prefers, this year made it clear that my weather genes come from my Sacramento-born-and-raised dad, not my San Francisco-born-and-raised mom.

Most people in SF functioned just fine through the eternal winter of 2010. But I was increasingly depressed as winter steamrolled through spring and then through summer. I stopped looking at SF real estate and started thinking about moving. I didn’t post much here because I was having a hard time remembering what I liked about San Francisco (both August posts were about Sonoma, not SF).

So when the weather finally turned, when the gloom of fog lifted for more than a day, and we got one solid week of summer weather, I rejoiced. San Franciscans, though, complained bitterly and wished out loud for the fog to return.

The recent heat wave even brought two warm nights, a rarity in SF and a hallmark of real summer. On those nights, when the apartment got too stuffy, we’d sit on our front steps at 10pm, passing a pint of ice cream back and forth in the dark. For me, that was one of the best moments of the year, being outside in just a sundress and sharing Maple Walnut ice cream.  But as Mr. WholeHog pointed out recently, I am “a sun-loving heat-freak.”

Mr. WholeHog, on the other hand, is another hot weather hating San Franciscan. The “godforsaken sunshine”, as he called it, made him irritable. I remember feeling that way in the heat of my childhood summers after repeated 100 degree days, but, in San Francisco, the heat is too fleeting to really get to me. By the time I think, “This is too much”, it’s over, the fog has rolled back in and I’m back to wearing wool sweaters.

It’s like when I asked family friends who’d moved to Boston about how they survived the East Coast winters, and they said that winter was bearable, even enjoyable, because it was so different than what they were used to in California. That’s how I feel about these rare ‘too hot’ days in San Francisco. They’re different from the norm, and to me, that makes them special, something worth appreciating. (And unlike an East Coast winter or our Bay Area fog, SF’s hot days don’t last for months. They rarely last a week.)

During our recent week of summer weather, I felt better than I had in months. I felt happy, energized and relaxed, like I was on vacation from my usual worries. This year, I’ve often felt weighed down by Big Life Decisions (kids? job? SF?), but during this brief spell of summer, those decisions didn’t feel like such a burden. At least the question of whether to leave San Francisco was answered: not yet.

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