The husband has flown to California for five days to meet with some distant cousins who share his interest in family history, old photographs and genealogy. We have never met some of these ‘cousins’ before, which is why I put a tracker on his phone in case they turn out to be part of some sinister genealogy ring.

I’ve never read about a sinister genealogy ring, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out there. Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m not being followed.

It turns out that not one of these distant cousins is the least bit sinister. Every one of them is an upstanding citizen, warm and welcoming, shares an interest in documenting family history and happens to live in lovely homes with spectacular views of beautiful canyons, lush nature preserves and the gorgeous Pacific coast.

I’m not that interested in family history, but I suddenly have an urge to locate distant cousins.

I am apprehensive that the husband may be hard to live with when he returns as he has been enjoying an abundance of something on the West Coast that we do not have here, and I don’t mean more boxes of photographs of deceased relatives.

Sunshine.

Instead of blue skies, we have depressing grey skies, ice and snow. Some people find the cold and snow exhilarating. Though they are in the minority, they are marvellous people other than sometimes putting trackers on the husband’s phone. Albeit with his knowledge.

For those who do not like cold and snow, a mild gloom descends shortly after the holidays and does not lift until the first blooms of spring.

Each dreary day of winter, the husband gets up, pads to the window, looks outside and announces there is no sunshine.

To redirect, I offer to make breakfast. ‘How about some eggs?’ I ask.

‘Wonderful,’ he says.

‘How would you like them? Sunny-side up?’

He grimaces. I say, ‘Sorry. I’m trying.’

He says I’m very trying.

Naturally, the orange juice we buy is a brand called Sunny Delight. I often turn the label away from him but am usually too late.

The worst is when we watch a movie. He asks if we have any snacks and all we have is... sunflower seeds.

We have had a long stretch of gloomy weather of late. It has been so dismal that we were driving home a few nights ago and a four-year-old granddaughter shouted, ‘Look at all the suns that are out!’ Poor kid was looking at the street lights we were passing.

The husband will have a new branch on the family tree to work on when he returns home. Unfortunately, it is a branch of mine from Sweden, in which sons were named after fathers named John, which made them ‘sons’ of John, or Johnson. So many sons, so little sun.

Meanwhile, if you are a distant cousin of mine, even if it is 100 million times removed, and you own a villa with an ocean view and a guest room, please contact me.

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