Today is the "official" first day of winter, but also the first that will be longer than the one before. By a matter of minutes, but every little helps. I never understood that "official first day of winter thing" since everywhere I've ever lived was always at least four weeks into solid winter by the middle of December, this place no less than any other.
Everyplace except one: I spend a year in coast-side northern California, Half Moon Bay area, where this was the sunny season and very pleasant.
Where else have I lived? One of those in-your-head tottings-up:
South Yorkshire: Growing up. The hills above the west part of Sheffield.
Buckinghamshire, in the RAF at RAF College Halton. Studying to be an airplane engineer, marching to school in formation every day. Motorcycling on weekends.
North Yorkshire: Leeming, Leeming Bar, Bedale, Linton-on-Ouse, Skelton, York. Training Bases, rescue bases.
Fife: Darsie, by Cupar. Fixing Phantoms, "Spam Cans," climbing Highland mountains, flying in Sea Kings.
Morayshire: Findhorn village. With the New Agers. Nuts.
Half Moon Bay, as above. Emigrating, being a mechanic. Commuting to the big city to work in the Mission district and eat burritos everyday for lunch.
Trout "Crick" Montana, also Thompson Falls. Living in the woods, being a wilderness ranger and guide and trouble youth counselor.
Missoula. Biology student. "Gradual student" in the Forestry School.
Sandy Spring, Maryland. Going to UMD College Park's Policy School. Being a social scientist.
Garrett County, Maryland, where I began to get to know the Amish.
Tilghman Island: Studying Maryland fisher communities.
Royston, Georgia, and Athens, at the Institute for Ecology.
Unity. Maine, learning to teach.
Belfast, Monroe, and finally Jackson, Maine, living on the land. And building. And teaching.
I don't know what the point of this was. Sometimes I make other lists in my head too. Obsessive, I guess.
I notice, though, that of all these places, the only ones below 40 degrees latitude are very short term, and of those only one winter was spent not in a wintry place, the one in California.