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  • Mike Melbourne

My First Winter in The Mountains

Wow! I enjoyed an authentic white Christmas up here in my California mountain aerie where I live 6 months a year. I woke up during the night to the sound of rain, and by daylight it was snowing! Absolutely stunning! (I used to be a city boy so this is a fun novelty.)

The blue jays have gotten used to me feeding ‘em peanuts (still in the shell) each morning, and, even with a snowstorm, it didn’t make any difference. They couldn’t even wait until I was fully dressed before screeching out for their breakfast. And they are demanding little suckers! Yes, I’m an obedient slave, so I stepped into the snow in bare feet and without a shirt. (Gotta say, it felt great against my skin! Who knew that cold snow against a warm bod could be so refreshing.) Of course, the little beggars pounced on the food. One them is such a glutton. He/it halfway swallows one huge shell and grabs another. Expecting warmer temps tomorrow, so this beautiful snowscape will be merely a memory. Good, I won’t have to shovel too much of the driveway!


I still only know a few people up here in this mountain village. However, one very special person dropped by with his two kids the other day to bring me a plate of Christmas cookies. Wow! I was completely overwhelmed! The kids are every parent’s dream: bright, polite, inquisitive, etc. I love seeing the interaction between them and their amazing dad. Reminded me of an experience I had in Los Angeles a few years ago while at a gas station. An adorable little boy of maybe 5-years-old and his dad were filling their tank while I pumped mine. This exuberant little kid kept begging, “Fill it up, daddy! Fill it up.” The dad was the kindest soul. He obviously loved being with his son. I had to say something to the man. “He’s really lucky to have you as a dad,” I said. “I’m lucky to have him for a son,” the man replied. I burst into tears. So darn sweet. Anyway, the Christmas cookies were fantastic! They’re almost all gone. And one of my New Year’s resolutions is to become friendly with more people in this community. Although, there’s a guy at the local market who I don’t think will be worth the trouble. He works in the Deli department. An older guy, probably 60+. Tall. Thin. Glasses.

You just know when someone isn’t wild about you. Every week I order the same thing: half a pound of sliced chicken and a half-pound of Swiss cheese for sandwiches. The guy’s never unkind, but he’s far from warm, either. One can tell he hates being there, and his customers are basically an inconvenience. Perhaps he’s a failed actor. Or, maybe a frustrated poet. Hmm. I smile my charming and seductive smile and effusively say, "thank you." But what I get in return is a negative vibration. Maybe he really likes me and is afraid to show it. Ha! Oh, I now, word has gotten around that Mike Melbourne is living in the village and he’s intimidated. Yeah, that’s it. Sure. Tee-hee!