Tuesday, December 19, 2017

"Wonder if they're still standing?", and "Answering the door..."

When I made my California sojourn in April of 2017, I came across many areas with pretty and green foothills, such as shown below.    While I can't say precisely where along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) these pictures were taken, I can say that I wondered if the plentiful growth in the area might have a downside at some point.   And the fire events in CA over the last few weeks/months have proved to be that downside, providing plenty of dried out vegetation as fuel for the conflagration.

Do these beautiful homes still exist?  Since I can't say precisely where these are (other than along the PCH, south of Point Mugu),  I don't know.  But what I do know is that my thoughts and prayers go out to the many CA folks who have been affected in the California fires.   It is a very sobering situation...and may those affected receive all the help they need.

On a more pleasant note:   While my wife was chatting with her sister on the phone just before dinnertime the other afternoon, our doorbell rang.   She wasn't going to be able to get it.  So she motioned to me to answer...we've been getting packages delivered, and for some reason, the delivery drivers do not knock or ring the doorbell.   With all the talk about porch pirates...it seems to me that if the delivery companies can't take the few seconds to knock or ring the doorbell, they should have to pay for any stolen packages.  But that will likely never happen.

Before you ask:  Here is the outfit I was wearing at the time - not at all masculine.  Quite feminine, in fact. But I was wearing no jewelry or makeup.

I opened the door, fully expecting to find a delivery driver.

Was I ever surprised (actually, shocked) to find our next-door-neighbor's wife.   I invited her in where it's warm, and she entered.  I told her that my wife was on the phone with her sister (and she could see that was true, from the foyer.)  We had been watching their house while they were gone, but they got home a day early cause her hubby had gotten sick (whatever it is, it's still going around.)   I gave her their packages, and she headed home.  But it was an amazing outing - without even trying.  And I didn't notice any strange looks or double-takes.  YAY!

This is the same neighbors who said hi to me (as Mandy) in a restaurant on the other side of the bay a couple years ago.  So, now it's even more certain to them that I wear dresses...for whatever that's worth!  And my wife didn't seem concerned about it....I'll take that as a good sign.



  1. You have seen enough of California to know that it is a beautiful place with wonderful weather and a very hospitable climate but there is a lot of truth in the old quip about the four seasons experienced in California as being "Fire, Flood, Drought and Earthquake".
    While there have always been wildfires out west (back in September I was out by the border of Idaho and Washington and it was very smoky) I think that the tree huggers that ruled during the Obama years did more damage than good by opposing controlled burns. for years the forest service would look at areas with high brush content and would do controlled burns to clear out the undergrowth. this served to limit the fires and make the easier to manage. The folks out west are paying a steep price for the vanity of the tree-huggers.

    I have to think that your neighbor is not at all concerned that you wear dresses. The fact that your wife was nonchalant about that as well is a good sign. While I am frequently dressed while at home my wife would be ever vigilant about me going to the door while so attired. BTW I could not tell from the photo if you were wearing pantyhose. In any event I agree that the episode was a good sign from both your wife and the neighbors.

    1. No, I had not heard the 4-seasons comment about California, even though I lived there for a couple of years. But it is certainly spot-on!

      I tend to think that you're right about the neighbor being indifferent about my sartorial style...nothing was said last time, and so far, so good this time.

      Yes, I can imagine your wife being careful that your attire not be exposed to the neighbors. Hopefully one day she will be comfortable enough with it that when you are traveling by train, she lets you be dressed in public for dinner.


  2. Mandy -

    I won't get into a philosophical argument with Pat here. We have our differences, and California would be one of them. Controlled burns are easy to start and hard to control. California's weather has been abnormal as of the past few years, as we've started to see the early effects of climate change. So we are likely to see more, not less, fires in the future - even with controlled burns.

    Regarding your neighbor and your wife. First, your neighbor probably doesn't give a hoot what you wear, as long as you treat her with respect. Second, your wife being nonchalant about it means she has accepted (begrudgingly) the fact that neighbors will see you in dresses and that the two of you will be treated with respect.

    Good luck....


    1. Marian,

      It's rare that I'm not in a similar outfit around the house. So it's nothing special there - as you say, begrudgingly accepted. I'm pleasantly surprised at being given the chance to answer a knock at the door - in a dress. And hopefully the result from the neighbors will be the same as last time...none at all!

      We'll see if getting a chance to answer the door in a dress happens again! Maybe it will be a case of the "new normal," instead of "luck?"