SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The shock of 60+ degree days after the past few winter months at Seneca Lake was, not surprisingly, almost as startling as when Adm. Sylvia Fox and I used to fly into Puerto Vallarta, stepping out of an air-conditioned plane into a sauna masquerading as a resort city.
But here in California it hasn't been just the temperature, it is the sunshine. Hours and hours of it. Hours. Sunshine.
Allergies. Lots of allergies.
My airplane flights from Elmira to Chicago, and then Chicago to Sacramento, sent my sinuses into such a paroxysm of congestion I wondered if it might need to use a half stick of nasal dynamite to unclog the logjam. But a day of hot showers and gentle sinus rinsing brought my breathing almost back to normal.
Then we started taking long, glorious walks in the sunshine, past carefully tended flower beds and gardens, all gloriously in bloom here while still a faroff dream for upstate New Yorkers. And amid the glorious sunshine and blooming there were also some less-glorious puffs of pollen that have sent my sinuses almost back to where they were when I got off the cattle-car flight from Chicago.
All that said, sitting in the sun and not having to put on boots (for either snow or mud) is a treat. And if it means I have to lug a small box of tissues with me, it's worth it.
I bought an extra box to take home with me to New York when I travel in about two weeks. Thing should just start blooming shortly after I get back.
And I hope the sun has returned, too.