Last night, I had a MUCH overdue visit with My Girl, my adopted daughter. We hadn't seen each other in at least 3 weeks, I think (due to busy schedules), so there was MUCH to catch up on. She's such a lovely, beautiful, wonderful person, and being with her always makes me happy. On occasion, though, hearing of her life and current experiences DOES make me feel o-l-d! Last night was one of those times, but, fortunately, it was just a passing reality. And, really, what IS so wrong with that (feeling old)? After all, I *am* 21 years older than she, old enough to be her (albeit very young) mother.
Ironically enough, the forest fire that was causing so much smoke during Uncle M and Aunt D's visit is a problem for us no longer. At least, not in these past fews days. It's leveled out at just under 94,000 acres burned, and they're beginning to be able to get a handle on it. As of last night, it was 19% contained, and there were 598 personnel (on the ground firefighters and in-air pilots) fighting it. Fire crews and wildland fire trucks are a common sight around here these days. And, we got our first rain in an AGE yesterday, and it was a fantastic one: steady downfall all day long. INVALUABLE to forest fire prevention and treatment!
Aunt D suffers from asthma and, Murphy's Law, the smoke was TERRIBLE almost the entire 10 days they were here . . . causing her to feel sick for the majority of their vacation. :( One morning, it was so thick here at home that the sun coming up shone thick shafts of light through the thick blue pall covering everything.
|Arrival of the smoke cloud to envelope town.|
|Above and below: general appearance of town during family visit.|
Last Monday, we had a SEVERE storm blow through that was, interestingly enough, caused BY the fire! As I was getting ready to leave home, it got so dark that I had to turn lights on in the house just to see. Then, this hit:
|I stopped when I was almost down to the highway and in the full sun. The contrast of the black sky against the green trees was startling . . . but, of course, didn't show in a photograph nearly as much as I would have liked.|
|Earlier in the week, the family stopped by my gallery in town to "shop" (family shops for free, natch!). A good picture of them all, I think, although Uncle M accused me of Super Sizing him via Photoshop. ;) L-R: Aunt D, Uncle M, Papa & Mama Pea.|