Sunday, February 08, 2004


I did spend my first hours in California marveling at their timid, 65 degree winter day. I wore a cotton sweater and jeans to the playground and realized suddenly that I had lost track of my sunglasses more than a month ago. I teased Zachary by telling him in a mock authoritative voice to put on his mittens.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mike and Julianna, moved out here in June from a place on Burling near North Avenue. If you've ever taken the brown line as it snakes north from Sedgewick to Armitage, you've probably peered into their former yard beneath the el tracks. Maybe you've seen their dog, Zoe, running around with a toy hedgehog in her mouth.

Mike and Jules balk at their new friends in Los Gatos who moan about the sometimes rainy winter days, and they spend a lot of time appreciating the weather's near perfection. Mike said, "I used to think about how much easier it would be for homeless people if they could live here rather than Chicago, but now I can't figure out why all the people with money don't come."

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