Lorrie Lynn: Fall in “The Golden State”


Credit: Lorrie Lynn. Used with permission.

Lorrie Lynn

Don’t you just love fall? The leaves are changing, the weather is getting crispier, Halloween costumes are up on the shelves, new relationships are forming, and all of the fresh school supplies in your purse make you feel like your life is completely together.

Or, if you live in Ventura, it gets warmer. Then it’s freezing (67 degrees) for three days, then hotter than ever (88 degrees). The leaves are only lost earlier because of the dreaded Santa Ana winds that violently sweep them away, Christmas decorations are taking over Costco, everyone seems to be breaking up, and no amount of time in Office Depot could make you forget your 12 AP classes and looming college applications.

Ventura is so wonderful, it is. We can get in the ocean year round, the daytime weather is pretty much always within 15 degrees of 70 degrees, and there’s this adorable little community of people that seem to have been here forever. I admit it; I’m spoiled, and I do love having grown up here. But the one thing I really long for? Seasons. I want a real autumn. Two nights ago, the outside temperature was a glorious 58 degrees, and as I twirled around my kitchen singing Norah Jones and making my favorite fall split pea soup, I heard that scarily tan ABC weatherman yell at me from the TV in the other room about the heat coming back this week. And all I could think was, “Well, crap. I can’t eat this soup in 80 degrees.”

Then I thought, “80 degrees, I’m such a wimp,” remembering a friend who was originally from Ojai who I visited in Boston weeks before her graduation from Boston University. She’d mentioned to me that the biggest adjustment going to college was the weather change and that something as little as temperature could be a huge character builder. She was working on a political campaign and three times a week she had to take two different buses and walk a half hour through snow to get to the headquarters for an evening of work. Can any of us even imagine doing that?

When I think of going away to school, I think of expanding my brain and building strength and basically just running away from everything “Ventura.” I keep filling out applications for schools in the Northeast and listening to that song “The Golden State” by City and Colour that talks about how overrated California is, and while again, I totally appreciate that we live in one of the most coveted places to make a home in the world, I crave that challenge of combating a winter to eventually see the world melt into spring. Maybe the grass really is always greener on the other side, but I’d like to hope for those experiences anyway. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy going to the beach through November for hopefully the last year for a while and wait for the rain. 

What do you think?