Sun, Sand, Surf, and SnowMarch 11th will be one for the history books in San Diego County. At 11:30 a.m. it hailed and hailed and hailed. This might not sound like an event to those of you who live in the Midwest or the East, but this is only the second time in 50 years that this has happened in sunny San Diego. I live on a hill two miles from the sandy beaches of Carlsbad, California, where the average temperature rarely dips below 60 degrees. A normal day, even in winter, averages between 70 to 80 degrees. Shorts and sandals are pretty much worn all year long. Our only concession to winter on an average day is a sweatshirt.
When Mother Nature got through with us, however, our neighborhood looked like a winter wonderland. Roof tops were covered with enough white stuff to make a convincing Christmas postcard. As I prepared to head off to the airport to pick up my college student, who was coming home for a dose of sunshine, I drove past streets lined with children holding dusty sleds hastily pulled from garages and posing for parents armed with video cameras. Neighbors stood on their front porches with cameras and shouted back at each other over the din of pelting ice.
It was a miraculous experience. For a brief moment in time, people paused to wonder at Mother Nature's gift and laugh with strangers. Girls in the gas station where I stopped for gas had a snowball fight. Everywhere, people scraped up precious handfuls of ice to save. Twenty-four hours later, there was still a patch of frozen hail in my yard to remind me it wasn't just a dream.