run for your lives–June is here!

James and I celebrated our 11th anniversary last week by going to a fancy (for us) restaurant. You know the place–the tiny meal comes stacked on top of itself so the flavors can all meld together and shit. The service is attentive without being overbearing. Subdued yet tasteful decor. Expensive bill.

We typically like more down and dirty digs when we go out–not just because of our budget, but also because we ain’t fancy. But once or twice a year we wash our faces and put on nice pants and go have ourselves a time.

The waitress chatted us up. Asked if we’d been there before. No, this is our first time. She said the place was kind of off the beaten path. Actually, we live right around the corner. She said she used to live in Pacific Grove, too, but couldn’t deal with the fog, so she moved to Monterey. Then she said the two words that we’ve heard over and over since we got here: JUNE GLOOM.

“The weather’s been really nice lately, but June Gloom is on the way.”

“PG is a great place to live. Except, of course, for June Gloom.”

“Welcome to Pacific Grave, home of monarch butterflies and June Gloom.”

“June Gloom.”

What the actual fuck is June Gloom? Do sea monsters crawl out of the nighttime ocean and go around nabbing all the old people? Is everyone in PG on the same cycle, suffering from group depression during the sixth month of the year? Does June Gloom have anything to do with why we suddenly have an infestation of crows (or maybe ravens?) in our yard? Not counting the one that mysteriously died Saturday, the last day of May? Was it a sacrifice to the coming darkness that is June on the central coast?

When we got up on June 1 and looked toward the bay, the ocean and sky were an indistinguishable shade of light gray. Like we live up the street from where the sidewalk ends. The air was moist, and it looked like a delicate rain was falling. A rain that evaporated right before reaching your upturned face. The temperature was around 50 degrees. And it stayed gray for most of the day, though the sky did clear for a couple of hours in the afternoon to reveal a clear blue ceiling above us. I guess this is June Gloom?

Lookie here. I grew up in a swamp full of bloodsucking mosquitos, biting fire ants and flying cockroaches, none of which were impacted by weeks worth of 100 degree afternoons that cooled to a moist 85 degrees overnight. I come from a place where even the air sweats. Where it’s not unusual to get so much rain in a random summer afternoon that you have to park your car on higher ground and just walk the rest of the way home. I’m not worried about a month or two of gloomy days that barely reach 60 degrees.

see the buildings with the red roofs?

the line

Just on the other side of that point in the photo above, around the red-roofed buildings, is Monterey. It doesn’t suffer from June Gloom the way Pacific Grove does. And, granted, you can actually see the change in the clouds. If you dropped a plumb bob from the sky, that line between gray and light blue would mark the division between PG and Monterey. Interesting, but hardly worth getting that worked up about.

My plan for getting through the horror of June Gloom? Walking five blocks to reach the sunshine when I’m feeling emotionally peckish. And resisting the urge to laugh in the face of the next local who bitches about our summer weather. (Plan subject to change if the infestation of crows is a mere prelude to something much more sinister and deserving of the title “gloom.”) (Which might be kind of exciting, actually.) (This is Amity Island after all.)

9 thoughts on “run for your lives–June is here!

  1. Having lived in san diego for 7 years, I look forward to june gloom every year. Beautiful weather can get tiring! It is nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be and you still get a few lovely hours in the afternoon then it cools off. Much better than houston!!

    • All I can figure is this comes from people who only know nice weather and are spoiled by it. Or maybe weather-related PTSD eventually disappears, and people forget how hot/cold/humid/arid/rainy/tornado-y/hurricane-y/tsunami-y it was back home. I hope I never take this beautiful-except-June weather for granted.

  2. You should tell people to go stand in their closet for a while with a space heater and a humidifier. Tell em that’s ALMOST what it feels like where you come from. At night. Every night for five months out of the year.

  3. Mmm…queso…dammit I’m hungry now.

    Your June Gloom looks lovely – as compared to the ramping temps in the South San Joaquin Valley. “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat!” :P

  4. The first time I lived in California, I was in a place called Lompoc. It was in a valley that was surrounded by little mountains and open to the sea. The fog there was a living thing that crept in every evening and we could drive up to the radio station on top of one of the little mountains and watch this giant cloud-worm creep into our town and we would watch as everything disappeared and then we would drive down into the mist and begin our usual evening wackiness, which we called fog-fever but actually had more to do with cheap air force supplied liquor and various illegal substances that may have also been supplied by the air force, for all we knew.

    It was good for the grapes and not all that bad for us and me, I’ll take the fog anytime. You ain’t the only one that knows a thing or two about the heat and the humidity. I don’t have an air-conditioner, yet, going on two years now….

    one of these days…..have you had the moment yet when you open the front door and the fog is THERE, right there at the door and you can’t see beyond the stoop? Do you have a stoop?
    Not in your posture, I mean, uh, a kind of concrete pad that you stand on when you stomp out that burning sack only to find out that…man, I;m losing it, here. Crazy from the heat. Did I ever tell you about that time I got bit by a chipmonk?

    • I have a stoop, both in my back and outside my front door. The fog hasn’t made it up our hill yet (beyond that misty stuff that isn’t really rain or fog), but I hope it does soon. It’s kind of creepy but in a good way.

      On our walk through San Francisco yesterday, we passed a place called Comstock Saloon. Your people?

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