Random Thoughts

Sun Guilt

Rare rainy day

We’ve had torrential rain for the last four days. It was utterly awesome. And not just because the rain was desperately needed in our drought, but because it gave me an excuse to make a fire every day and drink hot cider, the kind of wintery things I adore but don’t get to do that often (especially this year, with our bizarre 75°F winter).

Living in a place with year-round balmy weather sometimes gives me sun guilt. It might sound like an oh, boo-hoo type of thing to say, but it’s a real thing… like a reverse cabin fever. It happens when the days are so calm and clear, you’re guilted into spending all of your time outside instead of inside, vegging on the couch, when that’s all you actually feel like doing.

Do you ever have those days? You know, the days when you’re feeling lazy, the emails can wait, the DVR is bursting with shows you need to catch up on, and Chinese food (delivered, of course) is sounding really good. Instead, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, and you feel the need to make use of such a beautiful day… even though nearly every day is beautiful here.

So when the first day of our first storm arrived, I was giddy with excitement. I slept in (waaaay in), left the bed unmade, stayed in my pajamas, and ignored all my texts. Even though I didn’t do nothing, the something I did do was mindless and trivial… stuff that usually gets moved down my to-do list week after week.

I set up my new phone and spent a good hour deciding which picture to use for the home screen wallpaper. I went through long-forgotten DVDs that were gathering dust in our media console and set them all aside in the donation pile. (But not before watching them all back-to-back.) I finally got around to shelling the seeds from a bag full of Blue Lake beans my mother-in-law had given us.

Shelling seeds out of beans

I managed to pick up a book and read actual, tangible pages, something I wish I did more often. I sat in the sunroom (which was not so sunny) and idly watched the raindrops on the windows. I browser-shopped on Amazon and spent hours reading reviews (hours… damn, those reviews are addictive). All wonderfully guilt-free for the entire four days it was rainy, blustery, and blowing sideways outside.





But I have to admit I cheated a little. We had a window of calm before the second storm passed through and I felt the itch to go outside after hunkering down for two days. I donned my rain boots (which get worn exactly once a year), walked down to the beach, and watched the waves in the twilight. It was the perfect interlude for the perfect week/end.

A window of calm in the storm

Watching the waves

Storm clouds

Palm trees

Coastal twilight

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »