I just got in from a walk outside and my cheeks are all flushed and rosy. (My nose is all runny as well, but let's ignore that.) I feel like a cliche, or, if not a cliche, at least slightly unreal. Which I also felt, when, earlier on this East Coast adventure, I helped build a snowman.
I think the thing is, these are all things that arose in the various children's books that I consumed as a child. People played in the snow; people went for walks in the cold; whatever. But they were never a part of my day to day reality.
So when I was at my mother's a few summers ago and I realized that little frogs were really just hopping around her yard and that if I were a kid I could have tried to catch them, or when I learned that lightning bugs were a real-life phenomenon, all of that was a little unsettling. It might have left me a little awe-struck in a meeting-a-celebrity kind of way.
It's not as if children's books haven't been written about California. Sweet Valley High, for example, was all California all the time. But when you grow up in a place, it feels normal.
Normal is actually totally the wrong word, because one of the things I love about Los Angeles, actually, is that it always feels exotic and mysterious, the opposite of normal. But it doesn't feel surprising that the various elements are there; it's just that you never know what's behind door number three.
Snow, on the other hand, always kind of surprises me.