Smoke, Smoke, Everywhere, and Not Much Air To Breathe...
We have been slammed with fires around here lately; fortunately for us nothing has been remotely close to our house, but the skies have been dotted with smoke lines for days. Look in any given direction, and you might see a giant plume of white or hazy gray smoke curling up into the clouds.
Problem here is we haven't had any appreciable rain in so long that everything is dry, the hills are dead and brown, and there's an abundance of idiots tossing cigarette butts out their car windows, lighting strikes, sparks popping off cars.
My sister called yesterday to see if we were being evacuated; apparently a story ran on Fox News about a nearby fire resulting in thousands of people being evacuated. I hadn't heard anything about it, so I scanned the news and the Internet, and figured it must be the big fire in Santa Cruz county. Nowhere near here, but still...scary stuff. I felt bad for the people involved, but went back to watching several episodes of Battlestar Galactica.
But today...I needed to run errands today, so I hopped in the car--which we keep in the garage now because we're weenies and don't want the inside to be too hot for our delicate selves--and took off, wondering why it seemed so cloudy out. No rain in the forecast, I didn't remember cloud cover being mention as part of it.
Then I realized: it's smoke. Could be from anywhere in the 200 mile radius around here, blowing in on the wind.
I got to WalMart, got out of the car, and realized further: I have a reactive airway. I don't know if it's true asthma or not, because once I get away from whatever is offending my (smoke, perfume, artificial fragrances), I'm fine. Give me fresh air, and I can breathe again. I hurried across the parking lot, grateful I'd found a very close spot, but was already coughing by the time I got to the door. I sat in the McD's until I could suck in a deep breath without a phloem-y cough, then went to get the kitty litter I'd gone for, and got in line--surrounded by people who apparently bathe in Chanel No.5 and High Karate.
Cough cough cough.
Can't breath inside, can't breathe outside...I got out of line and headed to the pharmacy area, and bought a couple of Primatene misters, just in case.
[Did you know you can use one in lieu of an Epi-pen if you have an allergic reaction (mild allergies, I would guess.) 20 hits on one can help delay symptoms. I reasoned that even if it doesn't help breathing issues, I should carry one on me when we ride, in case of a bee sting (which happened to the Spouse Thingy a few weeks ago; his only exposed area of skin, a 1 inch line on his throat, and a bee nailed him. He was not thrilled.)]
I headed home, and heard on the radio that the smoke blanketing the area is coming from a fire about 15 miles from here, a killer place to ride; it's only 15% contained and has swallowed up several thousand acres. I may be stuck here until the smoke dies down, which could be Who Knows When.
Someone send rain.
I don't like being stuck at home. I don't have to go anywhere, but I hate the idea that I can't.