As you'll recall, after the World Fantasy Convention Marianne poured me into a candy-apple-red Jeep convertible (as required by state law) and drove me off into the wilds of California.
I, of course, have an East Coaster's natural suspicion of a place where total strangers smile at you and, worse, may not even have an ulterior motive for doing so. But after a while, you begin to think how pleasant it is to be in a place where November weather is like early September back home and frog-strangler rains are unheard-of.
Yesterday, we were driving about Marin County, looking at ravens and red-shouldered hawks and Western meadowlarks and the like. From high atop the cliffs of Point Reyes, we saw not only sea lions but harbor seals as well -- a lifetime first for me. Then, inland, we'd stopped in the middle of nowhere so Marianne could identify a bird she'd spotted, and we saw otters frolicking (there's no other word for it) in Walker Creek.
And I thought . . . I thought . . . . Well, I thought that it might be nice to live someplace as nice as this.
But then I was saved. By a sign. It read:
First of all, I thought, there's a name for "baby deer" -- fawns. Secondly, fawns do not form communal age-based crossing groups. They stick with their mothers. So, really, what we have here is a deer crossing. And, finally, deer are not a fragile and endangered species to be cherished and preserved. They're an environmental blight. Rats with antlers. The Devil's Own Smurfs!
So the soft and lovely fogs of California have not rotted my character to the point where I can't return home. Thank God.
Well, and hoping you are the same,