I knew the move had to come. California had gotten to be too much, with it's never-ending taxes and super liberal/anti Christian mind set. And the areas within which we lived had become less and less safe over time, as we became older and more like targets than people.
At first, of course, the heat destroyed me. 110 degrees by 10 am and the "cool" night time temps of 100 degrees.
And then there were the winds. I remember asking a gent at the bank, where we were transferring our bank accounts. 'Oh ...the wind...welll mmmm yeah, It gets a little blowy," a LITTLE blowy? We went out for dinner that night and the "blowy little wind" blew down 5 trees in the parking lot, one of which landed on a car that was owned by a customer eating inside. He came out with his elderly silver haired relative to find it completely crushed, almost all the way flat.
But I have found after 10 years, the only thing I really miss about CA is the world renowned San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park and the ocean. OH! And the Fair, with its gauntlet of games to "try your luck" at and rickety roller coasters and Barkers (World's best vacuum cleaner right here folks, at a special SD fair price and available now! Come one come all!" Kids screaming at the height of the Ferris Wheel, timid youngsters reaching out a tentative finger to touch the fur of a baby llama/goat/pig/calf/foal/baby chicks or rabbits - whatever babies had been rounded up for the adventure. And all of this carnival delight played out with a backdrop of rolling surf, gentle breezes washing over you with the aroma of salt air in its back pockets (and fried chicken, whatever you can cram on a stick and deep fry, sloppy burgers and corn coated hot dogs. Ahhhhhh. memory.
Here, we live pretty much from A/C house to A/C car to A/C restaurant or store. For a short time in the spring and early fall we can open the windows and let the air flow thru, smelling of Texas sage in full bloom, redolent of oleander and rosemary, so delightful.
And of course, there's the fact that we actually do have seasons. Four of them. Not hot/cool like CA, these are actual seasons, with the normal harbingers of flowers starting to bloom, trees leafing out, 6 months of fry an egg on the pavement and then a cool nip to the air, a drawing in of the soul, the changing colors of the leaves - with it's annual reveal of exactly where those birds nests were, now that the leaves have fallen.
But one of my very most favorite things are not the aforementioned.
We have clouds,
Now, in SD we had clouds. They were 1)grey or 2) absent. It was very very rare to get pufferbellies growing with the day's heat into magnificent towering columns with dirty feet that would rain their way across the valley, making the arroyos look like white water rafting on the Colorado River - and which, unfortunately, claims teen aged lives every year as they try to waterboard or surfboard thru the waters. The problem is, these flash floods tumble2 and 3 ton boulders down the arroyo as if they were tiny marbles - terrifying to watch. One day we left the house with the sun shining and 'a cloud the size of a man's hand' in the sky. 15 minutes later we were awash in a flash flood up to the top of the wheel well, seeing accidents everywhere - and within a half hour the streets are not even damp!
But I digress.
The clouds here sometimes make me stop stock still with wonder. The light plays and colors and shapes them into a vision of creation morning - I can almost hear the hallelujah chorus from the Messiah ringing in my ears. Here is a poor attempt at capturing it:
We had a wonderful tropical storm come thru today - looking across the valley, I could see the billowing skyscraping clouds pouring water as if out of a bucket, punctuated by the most amazing ginormously elegant strikes of lightning I have ever seen! They took my breath away, and with each one I would take a startled inward whoosh! of air into my lungs and just let it out praising Him for His power and beauty and absolutely amazing power. My car was being blown back and forth on the road from the wind, lashing all around the car, with boom crash accompanying the lightning and periodic pending flash floods all swirling around me. It literally took my breath away!!
We serve such a powerful God and King and Lord. We have absolutely no idea Whom we are dealing with. None whatsoever. I think we namby pamby God sometimes into a harmless picture to hang on our walls cuddling little lambs or toddlers. Now, don't get me wrong. He is all that.
But He is also the God of Elijah, the God of Moses, the One Who destroyed Egypt and its gods, the One Who flattened Jericho in nothing flat, the One Who showed His presence on top of MT. Sinai with flames and sparks and thunders so deep and rolling that the people were terrified to come near Him. His own people! They knew He was their God, but just the view - at a distance yet - of one puny iota of His power and presence and they were trembling in their sandals.
This is not a God to be messed with.
And I felt the tiniest fleck of that power driving home this evening. Lightning bolts so huge it seemed they stretched for earth to the heaven of heavens, unleashing a crackling of power in such heart stopping symmetry and gigantic size that my jaw literally dropped open,
If you know me, you know I say this all the time.
The difference today was, I said it face down before Him:
We serve an Awesome God.!
He reigns from heaven above in wisdom, power and love:
OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!