About a year ago we were in Minneapolis. Some of you were keeping up with us then and you might remember the beautiful pictures we sent out of the view from our "office" window. Remember how those beautifully adorned trees reflected off the crystal clear water of the Mississippi River? Fall at its best! That place captured our hearts.
Well, this year here we are in San Jacinto, California, and if there were an award for the most ugly town, this place might just be on the list of candidates. Now before I get any comments, let me qualify my unflattering remark. This area missed the fires but was hit with some bad wind. Bad wind can always mess a place up, but I don't really think this place was any more appealing before the wind storm.
San Jacinto is located on the opposite side of the mountains from Palm Springs. My first impression is dry, brown, and dirty. Sand, sand, and more sand. The average annual rainfall is about 13 inches. When we arrived, the smoke from all the fires was so thick that you could see very little. The sky was a grayish brown, the ground is brown, and the majority of the houses are brown stucco. The most color I saw as we drove through town was the black and white dairy cows. Yep, hundreds of them. And the town is built and growing around the cow lots. Newer looking homes are directly across the street from a dairy. I don't know how many cow lots are in town, but we saw a bunch and we didn't drive all over the whole town! As we drove around discussing our "first impressions" of our current home-away-from-home, Rick suggested that maybe things will look better after all the smoke blows away and the sun can shine on the town again. At least we can hope.
The campground where we are staying has a couple of little lakes. It's not Mobile Bay, but at least it's not a sand pit. We are camped on dirt though, so for the next month or so I'll be fighting sand and dirt in the camper. The nice concrete patio I had in Mobile spoiled me! Drab and discouraging our surrounding seem to be right now, but we found a gift from God that give us something to anticipate with smiles. Just a few feet from our camper are two "sitting geese." One has her downy nest inside a hollowed stump and the other has her nest in the center of a tight cluster of trees. We are enjoying watching them turn and tend the eggs. I hope I'm around to see them hatch.
I know first impressions can be misleading. I'm sure that as the fires are contained, the smoke clears, and the dust and dirt settles, things will look a little better around here. And I am holding my breath... as much as I can... Combine the smell of smoke, dust, and cow piles and you'll know my life is no bed of roses!