Anytime I mention my neighborhood I’m always gushing about how wonderful it is. You may have noticed this in previous entries. None come to my mind right now, but I know I’ve done it because it is absolutely wonderful here. However, with all things like this, there seems to be a caveat. Living in California alone puts one at high risk of experiencing an earthquake – hopefully not a big one. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience only the hiccups. If you’re near the ocean, there is always the chance of being washed away in a tsunami. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are also common in the sizzling hot California valley summers when the temperatures can hit the hundred teens mark. I remember driving around in my sister’s little Datsun in July of 1978. There was no air conditioning, so the windows were down. It smelled like baking bread outside and air did feel like it could have been coming from a heated oven. We drove by a bank that had a temperature marquis and I looked up to see the numbers 117. Yeah. Life is fraught with dangers of all kind, natural or manmade.
If you didn’t know, I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains, surrounded by trees. Trees that have endured four years of serious drought and are now drier than ever. In other words, tinder for a fire. Right now there is a huge fire blazing that started about 5 miles from where I live, but because of the prevailing winds, won’t be coming our way today. Sigh. So, it’s this time of year that I happen to get a little edgy, watching the horizon for smoke, checking the CalFire website, or even taking deep whiffs of air to catch a hint of smoke in it. All of us who live up in the forested mountains really look forward to the rainy season and are hoping that the meteorologists predictions of an el nino winter will actually happen because this really sucks!