Wednesday, December 18, 2013

San Marcos, California

Nice warm December morning in San Diego County.

This is our new home. Marlene and I started a new job in December 2013--managing a mobile home park in San Marcos, California!

We had been managing an apartment in Oregon for two years. Actually, Marlene was the manager and I was her assistant, working only part time. But we had a job we could do anywhere.

Oregon is beautiful and green west of the Cascades, but it comes at a price. Portland receives about 35 inches of precipitation per year--mostly in the form of fog! OK, maybe not. But there are numerous gloomy, drizzly days, and not just in the winter.

Summer 2013 was the warmest and nicest I can remember in Oregon--ever. It reached a high of 80-85F nearly all of July and August, but cooled down nicely at night. Now, Portland averages 83F in August, but that's usually with several colder, cloudy days of 60F interspersed with a few terribly hot days of 100 degrees. Summer 2013 didn't have those extremes. It was great. We didn't want the nice weather to stop.

No one I talked to claims to remember, but the previous summer we only had two days over 80 degrees. We set a record of about 90 rainless days, but it was cloudy and 65 degrees all summer. Tomatoes and zucchinis rotted on the vine. So, a cold drizzly winter, no summer, and cold damp winter again. That was followed by the warm, sunny summer of 2013. We asked ourselves as we did at the end of every summer: "Do we really want to go through another Oregon winter?". After years of complaining about the weather, we finally did something about it.

I'm totally solar powered. When it's sunny I'm happy and full of energy; when it's cloudy I'm as gloomy as the skies. I was looking for a place where it was sunny and 78F every day of the year, and without too much day and night variation. San Diego County fit the bill--if we stayed inland 5-15 miles--away from the immediate coastline and cooler marine air and away from the desert summer heat and cold winter nights farther inland.

We took an apartment management job in La Mesa (a most beautiful town on a hill overlooking San Diego). It didn't work out. As a manager, our house goes with our job. Thus, all through November we had neither. So, at the last hour we found this great job in San Marcos. Marlene is the manager handling leasing and collections of space rentals. I am the maintenance manager, which consists of janitorial, landscaping, and utility repair duties. Yes, I'm the pool boy and I drive around in a little golf cart!

San Diego County is quite large. It has 70 miles of coastline and is almost square at 4525 square miles. It has forested mountains that reach 5500 feet and the eastern portion is the Anza-Borrego desert. The southern border of San Diego County is common with Mexico.

San Marcos is inland about 10 miles from the coastal town of Carlsbad. It is 30 miles north of downtown San Diego. However, Rancho Bernardo is only 10 miles to the south and is the northernmost town within San Diego city limits. So that creates the peculiar situation where there is a sign that says: "San Diego city limits, population 1.3 million" followed immediately by a big green freeway sign that says: "San Diego 20 miles"!

How has the weather been? Really nice. Yes, we had a couple of rainy days, but interspersed with sun. We had frost two nights last week, but reached 68-70F by noon. Today was 84F. Not bad for the middle of December, huh? Early October had a few hot days into the 90's. But it is usually warmest about 11:00 am. By noon most days a cool marine breeze comes up with a few fluffy clouds and drops the afternoon temperatures to a perfect 72-75 degrees. I wore sandals and short-sleeved "Hawaiian" shirt for most of October. If you knew me, you'd know how unusual that is for me--I frequently wear a sweater indoors in summer!