A Warm San Francisco Night


Our Northern California climate is devoid of extremes.  We live in a bandwidth of temperatures, in the winter, typically the 40’s to high 50’s.  In the summer, from the 50’s to the mid 70’s, this is the pattern for the coastal areas.  From time to time, we do get an extreme.  If it’s cold, we somehow manage, but heat seems to disorient us.  It makes us panic.

When we do have  heat it is a dry heat, none of that humidity that follows you under the trees, into your bed and under your clothes.  If you get hot, sit still and find a shady spot, you will not suffer.  Unlike the other parts of America, where the air seems to have a form, an oppressive form.   Just sit for a few days, settle in.  Turn on a fan, cause you probably don’t have air conditioning, and don’t think too much.

We imagine warm nights of sitting outside in our gardens.  Such nights can be counted on one hand, maybe about fifteen a night.  But when they happen, we are ecstatic.  Tiresome, but ecstatic.  We always apologize to our guests about the cold summers.  We apologize about the fog and the wind.

Yesterday we tied the record, here in Santa Rosa it was 106.  People think that we escape the fog, but we don’t, we are in the swath of the cool fog belt from the Pacific.  We do get warmer days, but our nights are cool.   I admire my friends who live in extreme climates.  How they manage to go on, how they manage to be productive.  We are just not equipped.

But, I still want to know why the Animals wrote this song: “On A Warm San Francisco Night”, did they actually experience more than one?  Did they experience that one and felt compelled to write about it?

I complained this whole summer because we had no heat.  My husband, a German, keeps reminding me, we live in climate with no rain from early June till late September.  You can plan outings– sure you have to take layers– but you know it will not rain.

After four decades in this climate, one day I will learn to truly love it for what it is, like my newly transplanted husband.  Remember, one set of clothes, year round.  What do we complain about.

Old joke, why is San Francisco cool, cause San José sucks.  ( Ok, it’s the valleys that suck the hot air and they pull the cool Pacific air into the coastal areas).  So bring your layers and come to visit.  I assure you, we will be apologizing cause you were promised California.

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