So the adjustment period has set in and the honeymoon phase is quickly ending. In the month of November we have experienced 7 clear days and 11 smoky days with air quality ranking as the worst in the world. Each day is a test in visibility and lung strength. Breathing the air outside is the equivalent of a chain smoker on an all night bender. The smoke from the Camp Fire has infiltrated the Bay Area and is not expected to clear until Wednesday of this coming week. The devastation from this fire alone is recorded as the worst in US history with a list of over 1,000 people still missing. As of this morning containment is at 60%. Each day is a test of my will power over anxiety. The constant low-level threat of fire is extremely stressful. What do you do, where do you go, when everyone is telling you not to breath the AIR? Every trip out to do anything you encounter people wearing surgical or construction masks creating a perpetual Halloween like feel- only worse, because the threat is actually real. The threat to us is the AIR we breathe!
Above left is when the smoke first descended, above right is a clear day for comparison. I should have gotten more pictures of the smokey skies. I didn’t. I still could. Our cars have been covered in ash for almost two weeks now. We are forecast for rain the week of Thanksgiving. We desperately need the rain. The traffic this week has been abnormally light as a result of mulitple business and school closures due to the poor air quality. It feels wrong to complain about the air quality and my anxiety knowing that hunderds of people, pets, business’s are forever changed and altered by these devastating fires. The amount of families displaced by the fires in Paradise/Chico are heartbreaking. I can’t imagine the total devastation they are facing in those communities. Everyone is hoping and praying for rain and relief. This year since we aren’t going home we have made reservations for a fancy Thanksgiving dinner in the city. Hopefully, though forecast to rain we will still get to enjoy a nice night out for dinner on Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to “L” getting to fly in and enjoy us for our Turkey day this year and hope to still show her a fun time in the city even with the chance for rain. Today we awoke to a new fire near us and a thick layer of fog blanketing the skys. The fog cleared and this fire was thankfully small and quickly contained. We drove up today to Calistoga to pick up our wine shipment at a winery we joined last year on our anniversary trip. We were treated to really unexpected beautiful drive through the mountains ringing calistoga and the wine valley. Its moments like these today where I try to remember the good parts of being out here for this adventure. I know that the skys will clear and that this will pass. I know that God has everyday of my life decided. I know that fear and worry are essentially pointless. I can not control the weather no matter how much I wish it was different Its the period of adjusting to life out here. Give me a tornado or even Hurricane Harvey which was HORRIBLE, give me insane hot summers with 100% humidity where the air is so thick I can drink it, give me bizaare random cold snaps, but dont give me fire. The threat of fire fills me with unspeakable anxiety. Hopefully, at home you are breathing clean air and getting ready to spend the next week surrounded by family and friends who you love. Happy Thanksgiving to all my loved ones!