Captain’s Log 4,567
It’s cold here in San Diego. How cold is it? For us (including Minnesota transplants who freeze when temperatures drop below 50 degrees), it is super cold. We have had frost warnings for almost a week. People who live here love to tell new arrivals that their “blood will thin” over time. It has nothing to do with thinning blood. But they still love to say it. When I first moved here and still wore shorts in November, people would tell me it was just a matter of time before my blood would thin and I would feel the cold. Crazy idea – but it happened. I am just like the rest of the wussies here now. I whine. But with good cause. It was only 46 degrees in my office yesterday morning. We have no heat in the old building that was put up in 1935 with lots of single-pane windows and no insulation at all. It was meant to be a temporary structure, so why make it weather-proof? It would be way too costly to do those modifications now, so we freeze. We did some re-wiring so everybody can at least have a space heater. But we can’t run the microwave if the space heaters are on in certain areas. So when it’s time for lunch, everybody has to turn the heaters off to warm up their pasta. Crazy shit.
Homes here are built with heat vents near the ceiling instead of near the floor. That’s a smart idea too. Heat rises. So warm air comes out near the ceiling and heats the ceiling. If you are sitting near the floor, you freeze. People in the rural areas have been advised to leave a faucet dripping all night so their pipes don’t freeze. Yes, we are having winter this year.
I went outside this morning to feed the birds and discovered that the birdbath had frozen. I pulled out the ring of ice and was completely amazed.
Even the thistle seed was frozen. Finches were playing hockey.
Further up the coast where the heat shield from the city doesn’t offer any protection, they really got smacked with ice and snow.
You have to be a serious surfer to go out in something like that.
Even so, I kind of miss winter. I think about it for a few moments every so often – and then I stop thinking about it. They day I made my decision to move to San Diego, the wind chill had dropped the temperatures in the Twin Cities to about -50 degrees. When Big Sister Mia (who was already in San Diego) watched the Weather Channel and then called me and invited me to move, it didn’t take much to convince me. I knew I was leaving behind 17 years of great people and great times, but the weather was just too much to take. I was tired of the cold, the snow removal, moving cars, and always thinking about dying of hypothermia if you made the slightest mistake out there.
So I moved in the spring of 1991. I put everything I owned into a rental truck, put my car on a tow dolly, made a nice nest for the dog between the trucks seats, and hit the road. A fellow I had know for some time agreed to come along and help me with the driving. It took us almost a week because we stopped in El Paso for a few days. I arrived in San Diego on Friday, moved into a house with two total strangers on Saturday, and started my new job on Monday. It was quite a change. I went from being a folksinger to being a program manager for a marketing company. I went from wearing casual clothing to wearing suits and heels. The paycheck was nice, but I thought I was going to die. I lasted two years.
I eventually found my niche in the job market here. I went back into non-profit and worked for a church, a children’s theatre company, and museums. I did a few turns back into the corporate world, and both of them were failures. I am not cut out to build empires for other people while getting nothing back in return but money. I cannot work for money. I have to work for purpose and higher ground. I know that sounds lofty, but it’s true. The best job I ever had was working on the tallship for a mere $10 an hour. I loved every minute of it (even the minutes when I tried to sleep in the cook’s cabin overnight). If they had not taken away our free parking, I might have continued to work there. At that pay rate, I could not afford $20 a day to park my car, so I was forced to leave.
I am okay with living on the edge – with cobbling job experiences together so that life is still fun and rewarding. Actually, I am at my best during those times. When I rely too much on one source, I get nervous. I have always been employed in more than one job. Even now as a big shot in a museum (ha ha ha), I still have a second job. At one time, I had four jobs. That was a bit much even for me. The constant juggling of schedules was almost maddening.
But my focus is now changing. I am more drawn to introspective things again. I desperately want the time to compose music, write plays, travel for adventure, and complete a book that so many friends have been nagging about for way too long. So it’s time again for another shift. It’s going to be interesting. Just thinking about it is interesting……even inspiring at times.