Summer's Winter Home...
We moved here about three and one-half years ago,
A series of lucky circumstances led us,
Also seems to have followed us,
As we followed the childhood of our grandchildren.
Who could've known in those cold Chicago Winters,
That we would land at the heart of an unknown paradise?
Let me wake you with a morning,
Cool and sometimes misty,
Early balloons fly off the wineries,
Their baskets small and high and glorious,
Floating above the palm trees.
I walk the hills,
Steep hills at that,
Past a golf course I love to look at,
But never will use.
Roses and California poppies are littered alongside the walk,
Dots of color lead to beds of flame,
Ducks and loons and even herons and egrets grace the ponds,
As the temperature soars thirty degrees in two hours.
The citrus trees in our sideyard have fortified me,
And the blazing Sun emboldens the now dry air,
All the world is abustle and busy,
Until the breeze swoops up the valley at three PM.
By eight it will have fallen from ninety-five to seventy-seven,
Overnight look to the fifties or sixties,
Until the mist drifts up the valley from a San Diego harbor morning,
Forty-five minutes' drive South.
The mountains that surround us look just like ones I've seen,
Where Juan Valdez carted Folgers beans in sacks on his burro,
Yet these are quite beautifully real,
A far cry from the flat prairies of Illinois eaten by corn and soy.
It's January and February that tie me here,
Rainy forties and the tangerines are ripe,
Tomatoes survived the Winter,
Lemons were for Thanksgiving and Christmas,
Oranges and grapefruits wait for June and July,
As the strawberry carts do for April.
How could one lose,
Here at our little green house,
On a street named for my grandparents,
Here in Summer's Winter home?
By: Daniel A. Stafford