08.16.15 Shortly after I got out of bed this morning, Don said, “Let me give you a hug and squeeze all that bad air out of you.”
Boy, I needed it! We are surrounded by forest fires and our air has been filled with pungent eye-burning smoke. I’ve needed my asthma inhaler, box of Kleenex at my side, and the nasal wash we save for the winter time viruses. On our drive to Missoula yesterday afternoon, we saw plumes over the mountains, both to the west and the east. In talking story at Draughtworks Pub down there, our friends told of the horrors of driving home to Montana from Seattle, re-routed off the bridge over the Columbia River because of blinding dust storms and the fear of blowing tumbleweed getting lodged under their car, bursting into flame and starting another prairie fire. One guy said he was camping along a creek and woke up to embers next to his tent. It’s easy to lose perspective. On this morning’s run, we said the Canada geese were getting agitated, feasting on the corn stubble and fattening up for their long trek. A pair of spotted fawns peered at us from behind some bushes, and when we saw no sign of their mother, we felt sorrow for what lies ahead in their near future. Dim views, indeed on this mid-August morning!
It could be until the snow flies before this all subsides, so best to squeeze out the bad air and appreciate the stunning sunsets with all that smoke in the sky. It’s cooler with the smoke-cloud cover. And, there will be moments when the wind patterns shift in such a way that blue sky will peak through now and then. The grandkids will be here in a week, before returning to school, and they will continually remind us of what’s important and what’s not. Sarah and Nick have started their long cross-country trek from the east coast to the west coast, staying with us along the way. How exciting to be young and starting out on this new adventure! At the brewery last night, sitting with the twenty-somethings who’ve started their first real jobs, play in a band at night, go camping and fishing together on week-ends, I thought they all looked beautiful with their soft, unlined skin, sparkling eyes, and long futures ahead with great promise. It felt good to be in such company. Gary has returned, my brother is out of the hospital, having good days. I just need to wash the smoke out of my eyes, now and then, in these waning weeks of summer!