God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

San Diego

San Diego calls itself "America's Finest City" which seems similar to a self-promoting social climber. If you say something enough times you will believe that it is believed. I have wondered if other cities snicker when they hear this and find a quality of hubris in the self-inflicted title.

But........if you were here today, you would find the moniker absolutely on-target. Other places called home pale in comparison. Today was incredibly beautiful--the reason a rather incompetent past mayor promoted the "finest city" concept. She is gone but we remain "fine."

For three days we have awaken with sun streaming through the windows, heat shimmers on the leaves and wisps of clouds threading the blue skies. It is days such as these that bring "paradise" to mind. Casey's first order of business after school has been jumping into the pool, enjoying the first dip of the year. Solar heat panels have created warm water--at least for a 10 year old.

But, San Diego is rather schizophrenic and manic. A week ago we were freezing. It was bitter cold--well, by Southern California standards. I had to wear two sweatshirts--one a hoodie--and cozy gloves at the Little League game. Today it was shorts, a thin cotton T-shirt and sandals.

Yesterday we bordered on 100º. And true to the city's illness, tomorrow is to be fog, low clouds and a significant drop in temperature--down to 72º.

These are the reasons people flock to us in the winter--snow birds they are called. Sunshine has an allure that is irresistible to frosted noses and red hands. Although our beaches aren't so usable in winter, they are beautiful and the sunsets awe us all. God's handiwork is displayed in its glory.

Such days as these lend credence to San Diego's claim to be "America's Finest City." But, there are measurements other than weather and, perhaps, competition is greater in areas of substance.

It is in the areas of intelligent planning, honest government and human institutions, impact and interactions that we may find ourselves less than the "finest."

Self analysis, which is hard for you and me, is even more difficult for San Diego as long as we hide behind the beauty which God has gifted this corner of the world.

At the risk of sounding disloyal to this town I've called home for 32 years, we still have some work to do in order to be "the very finest." But--we'll get there--I'm sure. Just, please, don't ask me to compare it with my second home--Greve in Chianti.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
I've only been to San Diego once and enjoyed myself.
I loved La Jolla area beaches.
Went over to Tijuana with family for the day.
I do think it is a lovely area of the U.S. to live.
We don't open our pool here for about another month. Little grandbaby is hoping grandpa springs for a new heater, as the water won't be warm enough for her otherwise.
Tell Casey to enjoy his pool.

nancyhol said...


Are you saying that Greve would win the contest against San Diego???

I can honestly understand how you would love an Italian town better than life in SoCal.

Jane said...

Nancy, Greve--hands down. We all prefer the pace and the environment--no neon, no noise, no pollution. It's very beautiful. San Diego's beauty is marred by the malls, building, freeways, pollution and NEON. It's really too bad.

girasoli said...

We've had crazy weather here also. Wore my fleece yesterday - in April! I visited San Diego once about 25 years ago. I am hoping to be there for the GTG next year.

Jane said...

Oh Girasoli, I do hope you come!

María I. said...

I love San Diego! If we could afford it, we would have moved there instead of Arizona. My daughter lived for three years on our sailboat on Shelter Island and we visited often. I can't stand being landlocked!

I hope to be there for the GTG.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to visit San Diego. The Get Together is really tempting. I would love to live somewhere without harsh winters!


Trekcapri said...

Hi Jane, this is a wonderful post. Last time I was there was several years ago to see a Prince Concert and my friend and I just drove down and back up to LA in one day.

So far, I think I may be able to attend the big GTG. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun and it would be so great to meet everyone.

Jane said...

Kathy, I sure hope you make it!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post - I can't wait to return to San Diego. From my perspective - as long as it is above freezing it will be great! LOL

Brad'll Do It said...

We were in San Diego last weekend, and Palma's there again this weekend for a conference! What struck me is how San Diego still manages to have a small town feel to it. Then I figured out it is made up of neighborhoods, which facilitate the "small town" notion. We were in little Italy, Ocean Beach, and Hillcrest(?), and each was a distinct neighborhood. We like San Diego a lot. No town is perfect, especially the largest cities, but San Diego is very livable, and that's a great compliment.

Jane said...

Brad, you are spot on about the communities and diversity here in San Diego and we enjoy them all. However, it is a big city that has never grown into that mantle in terms of good government or wise decisions and planning. Sadly, what you enjoy and what makes us different may be destroyed by the lack of community planning and good infrastructure decisions. To tourists it seems idyllic but when living here the cracks are apparent.