It is Christmas on Califonia Terrace today in Pasadena near the Arroyo Seco.
On a slope, under the very large homes along Grand Avenue, the smaller, intimate, picturesque and cosseted grounds of California Terrace contain a collection of domestic dreaminess.
There are picket fence colonials, like the ones on Martha’s Vineyard, but bathed in warm December sunshine.
A ranch house, borrows from Norman France, with a tapered roof of wooden shingles, copper gutters, casement windows and rows of shutters.
In front of a one house are mission lights with hand-painted glass, gnarled oak trees, golden sycamore leaves, landscaped beds of succulents; herbs, lime, lemon, tangerine and orange trees.
A happy, clean-cut gang of young athletes, dressed in soccer uniforms, pours out of a house. They are laughing and pushing, jumping and running and piling into waiting cars.
This is winter in Pasadena because it is Christmas.
This is spring in Pasadena because there is rain in the air and there are green buds on the bushes, daisies, roses, lavender and rosemary.
This is summer– the brilliant blue sky and warm light tell me so.
This is fall because the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves on the ground and the there is much to rake up.
I must be in California because it is all happening at once and none of it is real. Yet I stand here in reality; alive and merry on Christmas Day.