Where There’s Smoke There’s… Yawn

Is there any irony in throwing your tri-tip steak into the smoker for dinner while the haze from a SERIOUSLY lingering mountain fire lounges in your backyard? I think it shows a distinct lack of social and environmental gravity on my part. I probably should have served spaghetti or cold cereal in honor of all the rocks and trees getting singed up there, and had a moment of silence for the frightened little woodland creatures.

The thing is, though, I don't think anything has actually gotten hurt in this blaze–I mean beyond flora and fauna, which will rejuvenate. It's too snail-slow. The flames have been lazing around the canyon for over a week now. Smoke has floated up, it has floated down, it has coated everything, and then retreated to dance like a lovely little reverse waterfall up to the heavens. It's watered our eyes, itched our noses, and clogged our lungs. It has spent a stinkin' lot of energy being self-important and drama-queen-y. Yet for all that brouhah, this conflagration has only burned, like, twenty-five acres.  

Twenty-five acres? Psh. That ain't no real fire. We've had real fires. This pitiful burn should leave now. It just looks silly. 

Which brings up a thought. (Just one. I'm tired.) I don't remember having all this weather/environment-drama when I was a kid. I mean, there was Hurricane Agnes. But our state has been on fire since June. Wickedly on fire. Evacuations, smoke damage, lost structures, apocalyptic sunsets. And throughout the rest of the country there've been floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and yeah, fires.

It's crazypants. And shocking. And horrifying. And then we turn the page and look for the comics section.

I find it disturbing that we can get so used to disasters and wars and attacks and whathaveyou, that we barely lift an eyebrow when it happens again. It's not that we don't care. It's not that we aren't bothered. It's that all this whackadoo-ness is now just part of life. 

I suppose we're not that unique. Other societies and times have had infringing dangers they had to live with: forests overflowing with thieves. Threats of invading hordes. Illness, disease, not having Facebook or chocolate. Life has been peaceful for quite a long time now. Maybe the Earth has gotten bored and we're just heading into a new era of excitement and discovery.

Well, if that's the case it's survivable. It's been done. All we have to do is keep our eyes open, learn from everything that happens, and be willing to be flexible.

I think I'm going to keep a year's supply of duct tape, toilet paper, and dark chocolate covered acai berries on hand, though. Just in case. As for the smoke? Eh. It could be worse. Smoke follows beauty, right? 

Hello gorgeous.

About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. You are not the only one who noticed weather weirdness and other disasters. I notice. The sun is hotter, the shade is cooler. It just is. I try to maybe ‘explain’ that it’s really not that much different but saying, well, we live in a global, constantly-in-touch world now, and if the wind blows in Wyoming, we know about it (even if we’re not from there). So…possibly it seems more crazypants? But no. It IS. And the sun feeling hotter? I know it is…I know those rays are no longer warming and gentle like when I sunbathed in my misguided youth. Now, I feel like bacon in 5 minutes (not that I would sunbathe now). I agree with you.

  2. 25 acres? Really? How come they can’t manage to put the thing out, then?

    You’re right about the ‘other times have had other crises’ thing. I just remind myself that 100 years ago, moms were losing a lot of kids to the flu. The. Flu. Now if a kid gets the flu we hunker down with a dvd in the warm house and rest. And if there is a disaster, usually we have enough warning to get out of the way. It’s a wild and crazy life.

    • Yeah, things are better now in that respect. I love hunkering down with dvd’s. Tonight I might hunker down with “Educating Rita.” Two of my most fave actors occupy that flick. Ahhh Michael Caine and Julie Walters.

      As for the 25 acres–it’s up in the steep rocks and hard to get fire fighters to, so they’re just letting it burn. Occasionally they dump some water on it via chopper. Hopefully the fire will get tired of itself by the weekend.

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