cold(Vsetín, Zlinsky Kraj, Česká republicka)– I miss the January warm weather in NorCal. After seeing the pictures this week from Half Moon Bay of the waves at Mavericks I just put my face to the computer screen to feel the warmth. Drought conditions not withstanding the state is beautiful this time of year. I do read from the weather channel’s website that the “mountain” in the atmosphere that is keeping moisture from Northern California is beginning to break down so maybe rain and snow is in the works for February. It must be nice to have a few weeks of summer in the winter. But no snow means less water so that’s not good. I think an old fashioned type rain-dance-festival-with-rides-and-deep-fried-twinkies is in order.

Did I mention that I like warm weather? Just in case you missed it, I like warm weather. ‘Nuf said. Speaking of warm, yesterday when my traveling companion Susan and I decided to trek to Velké Karlovice to see the 18th Century church “Our Lady of the Snows” it was cold, frigid, and walk-in freezer type cold. For months now, we had talked about going to see the church so yesterday was the day to visit it. After almost an hour’s ride on a diesel-powered tram we arrived. I immediately threw a scarf around my mouth to keep from freezing my mustache anymore than it was. I had also cleverly worn my long-johns (thermal underwear) but had neglected to wear heavy socks and my snow boots. So the mid-part of my body was toasty but my feet and fingers were frozen. The church was a half block or so from the train stop (it really wasn’t a station) so no problems hoofing it. The movement seemed to help with my extremities although I must admit, I thought they were getting colder. My son’s Christmas gift of a 49er (the NFL football team from San Francisco) hat kept my dome very warm and almost sweaty, if that is at all possible. (Speaking of the 49ers, I have finally finished the mourning and grief period following their tragic loss in Seattle. I did go through the 5 stages of mourning and grief, to wit, 1. Denial and Isolation (we were homered! Doesn’t anyone here in the Czech Republic feel my pain???) 2. Anger (damn, damn and double damn!) 3. Bargaining (if only we did this and that and shoulda and coulda…etc) 4. Depression (Where’s that bong I keep for such situations?) and 5. Acceptance (ok. The season is over. The next one will be better.)) Now I have slowly turned my sadness into anticipation, looking forward to the Giant’s Spring training schedule. (Don’t break my heart, Giants.)

The church in Velké Karlovice itself was pretty cool on the inside as well as being pretty cold on the inside. They were setting up for a wedding later in the day. We took pictures and then ambled (the road was icy so ambling was in order)the mile or so on up to the ski lodge for some lunch. I had garlic soup and Susan and I both had a spinachy cannelloni. It wasn’t too bad, I thought, although I probably could have eaten the cannelloni without my teeth it was so soft. To tell you the truth, I was just happy to be inside where I could use my fingers again and to have good hot soup. Everyone was dressed for the slopes with ski pants and plastic shoes. And they all looked warm. What am I doing wrong, besides wearing cheap gloves and not wearing my snow boots?

We arrived back at the church with some time to kill before the train took us back to Vsetín. The wedding had just concluded and the bride and groom were just leaving the church. This is the third wedding Susan and I have seen since we started our travels around the Česká republika. The bride was from South Africa and the groom was from the Rožnov area (not too far from Vsetín) and they live in Ireland. Probably makes sense to someone to travel to the CZ to “Our Lady of the Snows” in the winter…in the snow. I guess there weren’t any churches in Ireland. It was nice to hear Irish English for a change rather than England English. I’m such a snob! The wedding party looked great even with their snow boots under their gowns. Nice touch.

The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar, tomorrow…sing on Annie, hopefully it will happen.

So while waiting for the tram and afraid to move lest I shatter my frozen toes, I thought of droughts and sun and Mavericks all at the same time. And yes I would have liked a bit of  a short sleeved shirt type weather while waiting in the cold for the tram, but then I would be there and not here, and here is where I want to be.

and so it goes…