It’s a funny thing when you think your preferences are so firmly rooted in one area and then, out of the blue, something the exact opposite pops into your head that inspires you to think, “Hm, yeah. That sounds fun.”

It happened to me the other day. Those who know me well know I’m a huge fan of gray, cloudy days. I love the rain, the fog, the cold. Bright, sunny days generally greet me with a massive headache, and I find that I long to be enveloped by a cloudy chill.

I was on my way to work and noticed how crystal clear the sky was. Not even a hint of haze could be seen, and the mountains in my rear-view mirror appeared close enough to touch. Although wishing we had rain, I was impressed by the vibrant blue color and had to hand it to Mother Nature — she certainly did know how to serve up the perfect Southern California day.

But as I turned a corner, a thought came to mind that was almost as clear as the spoken word: “I can’t wait for summer.”

Wait. What? Why would I ever think of such a thing? I almost scoffed.

That thought was immediately accompanied by a vision of me, plus maybe a friend or two, enjoying cocktails on a warm, summer evening under my strands of white patio lights. With nothing but the lights’ friendly glow and a deepening shade of blue on the horizon with each second the sun continued to set, the image was a calming, peaceful one.

As I drove, I remember being stunned for a few minutes. I’ve always been so solidly in winter’s corner that rooting for anything else seems blasphemous. Since when was it so easy for me to go from mourning the passing of the holidays to anticipating the coming of summer? This year, it happened in record time; I’m usually not in the mood for summer cocktails until Labor Day. Was it really as easy as entertaining a new thought that managed to stealthily enter through a door that was slightly ajar, and to allow myself to be so caught off guard by it that I didn’t have time to shut it down?

Seems that way.

Tonight I am thankful for the door that’s ajar which allows something unexpected to enter. It may throw you for a loop at first, but I found that mine reeled me back in just as quickly. And I’m liking it.

Who wants a tangerini?

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