Since we all write our columns about a month before the paper comes out, it’s a fair question isn’t it? Today, my answer would be “not yet!” My friends are all walking around with what Norteños call ‘winter coats’ on, saying things like “mucho frio hoy, no?”

With the cold front running through Peñasco this first week of February, the playas are devoid of the throngs that we usually see when we have our wonderful, warm weather. To be sure, there are the vacationers and home and condo owners who are here enjoying our town but, by and large, the town folks and full-time residents are out enjoying the calm before the storm (read SPRING BREAK!!!).

Perhaps, by the time you are reading this, spring will have truly ‘sprung’ but today, the only folks I see are bundled up walking their dogs down by the surf line, with their heads tilted down, bucking the on shore breeze as their canine companions sniff and trot along, seemingly oblivious to the chill.

Days like this are a good time to relax and enjoy one more cup of coffee, watch the sea birds sitting quietly, all fluffed up, on the shoreline. Apparently, they seem to be thinking it’s a better idea than to battle the breeze. In fact, I imagine them saying, “wish we had some coffee!”

This is a transitional time of year for us. It’s after the gaiety, hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but before the crush and craziness of spring break. It is a time to stop and take stock, to prepare and to reflect on what it is that makes Peñasco so special. Some say it’s the beauty of the eternal sea, the sand and the sun. Others, the quaint sections of town, shopping, seafood and the Mexican culture. Still others enjoy being catered to by the amenities provided at the many condo/hotel towers along Sandy Beach.

Also, there is Peñasco’s proximity to the U.S. where an easy four or five hour drive will take you from the cold of Flagstaff, Payson and Show Low, or the bustle of Phoenix, Tucson or even San Diego, to the town that some of us call home. It’s a different place, with a different vibe. These days it is not, truly, “old Mexico” but not “stateside” either, Peñasco presents a blend of the two cultures where you can get a meal at Burger King or at Pollo Lucas. You can have a cocktail at La Casa Del Capitan and watch the sunset, or you can sit in a movie theater watching the latest product that Hollywood has to offer. It has a little for everyone, and no one can tell you which is better. It’s all subjective.

Today, though, it’s hot soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, and keeping out of the wind. The “honey-do” list is calling but I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to break out the tools and start something…especially if it is something that can’t be done quickly.

Taking time to check out the things that one might normally gloss right over can be a fun exercise. Out here at Miramar, it seems like something is going to happen out by the Mayan Palace. Surveyors have been putting in stakes along the access road. This could mean that they are going to pave the road (not likely) or they are going to start another satellite development on the mainland side of the estuary (more likely). On the other hand, it might not be anything more than establishing property lines for some future project (most likely). Anything that the Palace does is always of paramount interest out here, whether or not it impacts the homeowners. It’s fun to speculate though.

Anyway, tomorrow the cold front will probably have passed through and the warming trend will continue, unabated, through the coming months. By the time you read this, we will all be back into our groove’s and about what we were doing before it got chilly. But today is a ‘take a deep breath’ day and sweep out the mental attic. In fact, it could be getting close to ‘nap thirty’…which we call siesta!

As you read this, in March, spring break is either here or right around the corner, so I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Robin Williams, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s PARTY!!!’”. Carry on! That is all.