Sorry I asked

It was one week ago today. My wife and I were walking our dog at around 9:30 in the morning. It was a gray, cloudy, windy day and it was around 51°F. I said to my wife, “It’s June, for crissake. When is it going to start feeling like summer?” Now I’m sorry I asked.

You may be aware that San Francisco is known for its cool summers. In fact, Mark Twain once asserted, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It’s a damn shame Twain never actually said that, but that’s beside the point.

So what is my point? My point is that San Francisco is going through one of its rare, highly unusual heat waves. The forecast calls for temperatures to exceed 90 today. The headline on the local paper app on my iPhone informed me that:7C723919-EFDF-4C13-910F-5B32112782B5Isn’t that special? Then I looked at the weather app on my iPhone and saw this.CF6F97D2-94F7-418F-9010-D47B69370FA3Yikes! Damn you, climate change!

Like most San Francisco city dwellers, our house doesn’t have air conditioning. Why would we? San Francisco high temperatures rarely get out of the 70s even at the height of summer. So when temperatures get into the 90s, things can get uncomfortable. We do have some ceiling fans and one large portable fan, but all they do is circulate hot air.

I know. I’ll pretend I live almost anywhere else on the globe, where people use Celsius rather than Fahrenheit to measure the ambient temperatures. Perhaps if I just think in terms of Celsius, where 91°F equates to 32.8°C, it will seem cooler…or at least sound cooler.

Weekend Writing Prompt — The Merry Month of May

01A8BE92-175B-4B96-8879-5130C31FC11AIt’s the month of May, and much to my delight, the weather is just right.

No need to force myself to go outside and do battle with the elements

When the world is sunny and bright.

So I think I’ll head to the park and simply meander.

(Exactly 47 words)

4E9250FD-6376-4378-8F8A-42C3D27123E0Written for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt, where we are challenged to write a poem or piece of prose using the word “meander” in exactly 47 words. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (may), Word of the Day Challenge (delight), Your Daily Word Prompt (force), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (battle).


Sunday Photo Fiction — Paradise

904A674F-6768-4A29-92C8-7128BCB03D49.jpegIt was picture perfect. As close to ideal as any place could possibly be. The weather all year long was wonderful, with mild days and cool, crisp nights. There were typically around 300 days of bright, sparkling sunshine a year, and when it did rain, it was almost alway at night. The ocean’s warm blue waters surrounded the peninsula on three sides.

They had promised themselves that they would sell their home in the city and move to paradise once Eric retired. They had scrimped and save and had accumulated enough money to finally fulfill their promise. And so, when they found what seemed to precisely meet their needs, they took the leap.

Sure, it was a little more than they planned on spending, but they decided to splurge. They bought a lovely three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath beachfront bungalow. There was room enough for the two of them plus for their grown kids for when they wanted to come by and stay over for a weekend or longer.

They moved in and got settled and were enjoying the good life.

A thousand miles away, an earthquake.

A few days later, the tsunami.

That was the end of paradise.

(198 words)

Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Anurag Bakhshi.

#writephoto — From the Gut

4F3B9FDE-E543-4EBA-92BD-8930EB83B992The first snow of the season. It wasn’t much, maybe a few inches, but it was enough to blanket the fields in snow and to cover the trails and paths.

“It’s early, John,” Maria said. “Is this a harbinger of a cold, wet, white winter?”

“It’s late November, dear,” John said. “So this first snow is actually a little late, in contrast to the past few years.”

“The weather seems to be changing,” Maria said. “Summers seem to be longer, dryer, and hotter. Fall is shorter, winters are colder and wetter, and spring has just about disappeared.”

“Oh come on, Maria,” John said. “Are you going to start going off on that climate change crap again?”

“But, John, are you unaware of the climate change assessment report that was prepared with input from 13 federal agencies involving around 300 scientists?” Maria said.

“Of course I’m aware of it,” John said. “But you know that Trump said that people like him, who have very high levels of intelligence, don’t believe it.”

“Why doesn’t he believe it, John? Where does he get his information?”

“He gets it from his gut,” John said. “He said that his gut tells him more than anybody else’s  brain can ever tell him. So he’s going with his gut.”

“But did you hear the nonsense he spewed when he said this?”

“You look at our air and our water, and it’s right now at a record clean. But when you look at China and you look at parts of Asia and when you look at South America, and when you look at many other places in this world, including Russia, including — just many other places — the air is incredibly dirty. And when you’re talking about an atmosphere, oceans are very small. And it blows over and it sails over. I mean, we take thousands of tons of garbage off our beaches all the time that comes over from Asia. It just flows right down the Pacific, it flows, and we say where does this come from. And it takes many people to start off with.”

“Does any of that word salad make sense to you, John?” Maria asked.

“Okay, maybe his gut was a little off when he said that,” John admitted. “Let’s just enjoy the first snow of the season, shall we?”

“I’m good with that, John,” Maria said, squeezing her husband’s hand.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt. I also fit in these prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (contrast), Ragtag Daily Prompt (unaware), and Your Daily Word Prompt (information).

FFfAW — So Much For Global Warming


“It freaking snowed last night,” Jonathan said as he looked out of the kitchen window.

“Get out!” Jeanine, exclaimed. “It never snows around here.” She came over to the window. “Will you look at that? That’s got to be a couple of inches, right?”

“See, Jeanine,” Jonathan said, “the President is right. This whole global warming thing. It’s just a big hoax. How can the the planet be getting hotter if it got cold enough to snow in LA last night?”

Jeanine looked at her husband. “I think you’re confusing weather and climate. Climate change is not just about warming temperatures. It alters weather patterns, which can result in extreme weather events. Heat waves and large storms will become more frequent and more intense. There will be more precipitation, storms, floods, and droughts due to climate change.”

“Woman,” Jonathan said. “You’ve been drinking too much of that liberal Kool Aid lately.”

“Well, Jonathan, maybe you should ask Trump why it snowed here last night. He undoubtably knows more than the climatologists.”

(171 words)

Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Photo credit: Yinglan.