Mild temps, getting to know neighbors, and updates at CN&R

Through the winter and into this spring, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about the rain. Call me an outlier, but I could have lived with a few more months of gray skies. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunshine. I’m a native Californian, after all. But I dread the heat—in my nearly 20 years living in this area, I’ve never gotten used to it. Doubt I ever will.

We seem to be heading back into a sweet spot: mostly in the 70- to 80-degree range. I’m going to soak it up so that I don’t complain too much when those triple digits arrive. With this mild weather and ample rain, my yard is the greenest it’s been since I bought my house six years ago. I’m ready for barbecues and digging in the dirt.

Speaking of get-togethers, last Friday I got to meet several of my neighbors at a potluck-style gathering in a frontyard down the street.

My husband, 5-year-old son and I are already friendly with the people who live on either side of us. In fact, one of the households is like family. Over the years, we’ve met a few other nearby residents during walks around the neighborhood. We wave and say hello to them when we cross paths, sometimes chitchatting for a few minutes, but we don’t know them per se. I wouldn’t ask to borrow a cup of sugar or anything.

A couple with four young children several houses down on the opposite side of our long street hosted the recent meet-and-greet. As far as I can tell, they’d invited everyone on that part of the block. The turnout seemed high, especially considering we don’t live in a court and our somewhat busy street wasn’t cordoned off.

We were happy to get the invitation, but the cynic in me (can’t help it, I’m a journalist) wondered if we were going to get a sales pitch. That didn’t happen. I had a previous engagement later in the evening, so my time mingling was limited, but it was a lot of fun getting to know my little part of Chico better. I was reminded that I live not only in a city but also in a community.

My husband and I had talked about hosting something similar over the years, but we never got around to it. I’m glad someone else took that step. Kudos to the folks down the street.

CN&R updates: First, I’ve been meaning to mention our building’s makeover. If you haven’t rolled by Second and Flume streets in a while, check it out. The faded blueish-gray exterior is gone, replaced a few months ago by an earthy tan with maroon and green trim. I was skeptical of the new color palette when the painters began the job, but it ended up looking great. Tina Flynn, CN&R’s art director, has an eye for these things. She picked the colors. I shouldn’t have doubted her.

In other news, you’ll notice some rearrangement in editorial staffing on the contents page. For starters, Howard Hardee has returned to his old part-time job editing CN&R’s calendar so that he can work on other projects.

And late last week, Evan Tuchinsky, a former CN&R editor and longtime contributor, came back aboard as contributing editor to help us get through a period when we’re short-handed. You can welcome him back officially at