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Loving The Landscape
Mommy Musings
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Spring is in the air.

I’m doing my best not to get too excited, yet as I drive through much of the valley spying blue skies and beautiful blossoms, it’s just tough.

I know we need the rain, which I equally welcome. As an allergy sufferer the rain is more my friend than the blossoms. This is the time of year when I live through the internal struggle as I argue with myself.

Daytime temps are just high enough to warrant opening a back door to let ‘fresh air’ in. A practice our family doctor annually reminds me is not in my best interest. ‘Fresh’ (valley) air is not my friend. Yet here I sit. Laptop in my lap on a beautiful 64-degree day, pounding out my column with our back door wide open. The thought of Spring just makes me giddy.

The seasons of Northern California was one of the top reasons I returned from the San Diego area over 15 years ago. I missed the seasons.

I realize this is a laughable notion to the Midwestern reader as well as our east coast friends. Having spent the majority of my years in the Bay Area, relocating to the southern portion of the state seemed to be a dream come true. I’ve shared this story before, so for the new reader I’ll sum it up simply – 70 degree temps got the best of me and I missed transitioning my wardrobe.

Now as a valley resident this time of the year reminds me of our good fortune in the way of beauty. Sunsets are once again taking the shape of unimaginable paintings, varying shades of green are all around us and blossoms cover the ground of orchards as if it has snowed.

The way in which it happens (the blossoms) mesmerizes me each and every year. With all the rain we had early in the year, it seems to have snuck up on me. It’s as if one night we went to bed with gray sky and barren trees and woke to all this beauty.

While I am not a native to the area and have little if any in the way of agriculture knowledge, I still enjoy pointing out all the ag beauty to my children as we pass through. No different than a visit to San Francisco, I share with them how unique our environment is and how not everyone is privy to such beauty firsthand.

Recently as we passed by the acres and acres of blossoms which stretch between Oakdale and Manteca, we had this conversation. As if prompted by my words, we began to notice cars stopped along the sides of the road with people taking photos. Photos of the blossoms, the setting, as well as one another surrounded by the almond blossom snow. It’s all really quite breathtaking.

So what’s the point of all these observations? Truthfully there isn’t one. Just a simple piece reminding those who choose to read it, to look up and live in the beauty. The simplest of things, a nut tree planted by the farmer for the purpose of business, lending beauty to the passer by. Pretty awesome stuff.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.