Sunday, June 29, 2008

Air Quality

The smoke from a large number of wildland fires is playing havoc with my ridiculously fragile lungs. Over 300 fires started a week ago when we had lightening storms all over northern California. Soon there was a cloud of ghastly yellow smoke hanging over the upper part of the state. One of the fires threatened the housing division where Cindy's sister Sandie lives. In fact, one week later that fire is only 35% contained, and any sudden wind change could put the homes in jeopardy. While Sandie attends meetings about the safety of her home and watches flames lick the sky at night, I must stay indoors if I want to breathe evenly.

The smoke settles across the valley meadow where we live and hovers over the nearby reservoir. Even a short stint outside to water potted plants and empty the compost leaves me wheezing. I can't leave the bedroom window open at night because there is no fresh air to blow in. These lungs that I stretched and exercised as a kid by swimming seem to have lost their elasticity with age. I've become a person who must pay head when newscasters warn those with respiratory ailments to stay indoors because of poor air quality, though I admit this is the first time that I recognized myself in those alerts.

The upside is that I'm getting a lot of writing done waiting for the air to clear and the baby to arrive. Maybe the child knows better than to show his or her head in the muck that currently floats around here. I certainly have discovered the ill effects of peeking my head out the door, and my forced incarceration has effectively thwarted the procrastinator who always finds tasks to do in the yard when a writing deadline looms.

So by Saturday afternoon, I had finished the play review of South Pacific that is due Monday morning. Then I finished the novel I was reading (The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult which was OK but not something I'd recommend. If you want to read her stuff, read My Sister's Keeper). And we watched a sweet movie last night, one that Netflix recommended on the page that says "Since you liked [this movie] you might like [this movie.]" The title grabbed me: Evelyn. That's my mother's name. The blurb sounded good too: based on a true story, Evelyn follows a father's fight with the Irish Supreme Court to regain custody of his kids after his wife has left the family. The movie (along with pizza) was just the right reward for getting the review done early and staying inside all day. It was funny, well acted, and a happy commentary on beating the system and getting to right action.

There are sun beams on my desk this morning and the sky is pale white if not blue. I think I'll go take a sip of air and see how it feels.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Patricia, I hope that sip of air was worth taking! Things do look a bit better this morning. I see blue sky!