Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The hills are on fire

If you watch tv or read the papers you know that natural disasters are abundant all across our vast country. Floods in the midwest, tornadoes in the south, and fires, fires, fires in the northwest.

California currently has 842 fires burning throughout the state. The skies are choking with smoke and the summer fire season is just starting. Very scary, knowing that our town could go up in smoke next. The hills are tinder dry and are prime for going up in flames from the slightest igniter, whether it's a carelessly discarded cigarette, hot exhaust pipes, or random strikes of lightning.

The sky is so dense with smoke the hills are completely obscured. Almost like LA. It's going to be a long, hot summer for our firefighters.

There are hills in the background of the picture. They have been replaced by smoke.


My first husband and I carried on a bi-coastal romance for about nine months. In the interim, I visited California twice, each time a little more wary of my actions, but seemingly unable to stop the progression of them, too.

My second visit was in February, 1981 - Valentine's Day. I was so caught up in going to California that I never sat with my feelings, evaluating them or wondering what the hell I was doing. I was 22 years old and not all that worldly in matters of long-term consequences. I had no prior experience in making life altering decisions. I never even went away to school. This was big stuff for me and I just plowed ahead.

When my plane landed in San Francisco, I had an uncontrollable urge to turn back around and get on the airplane back to NY, a place of all things safe and familiar. This was back when people were actually able to meet you at the gate (pre-terrorist attacks). I honestly think that if I knew that my bf wasn't going to be there, I might have turned tail and run. But, he was waiting for me with the largest smile I'd ever seen and once again, I swallowed my doubts and jumped him. Jumped into another major decision, too. It was during this trip that I decided to make the move to California. I can still get that creepy feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about having made that decision.....

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