Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Salt air is a cure for smoke and haze

We escaped to the ocean over a long weekend -- escaped smoke and fire news and heat, and just soaked up the moist, cool salt air in Bandon, Oregon.

We'd planned to go to the Lost Coast some time ago and had made reservations, but the fires in Tehama and Shasta counties closed both main roads to the coast, and the alternate way, far south of us, led to more fire issues with some of those roads. So rather than cancel altogether, we remembered Bandon, a spot we visited more than eight years ago when we were on our honeymoon.

It was some miles and hours longer to get there, but probably not by a whole lot, since Bandon is accessible from here mostly via I-5, and then cutting over to the coast on reasonably good road.

We drove through smoke and haze until we got well north of Redding, where the smoke from the Shasta Dam fire billowed over the roadway and we could see smoke plumes much more closely than we really wanted to see them. By the time we came back yesterday, the air had cleared a lot. The fires are more under control, although by no means out. And the air quality is better, but far from good.

It was a lovely getaway. I read a whole book -- okay, an appropriate beach read -- the second in Nora Roberts' Blood Brothers trilogy and hardly requiring much brain, but perfect for the weekend. We ate fish, we watched a lovely sunset, we walked miles on the beach, we slept and watched some mindless television. Mostly we watched and listened to waves and sea birds. The constancy of the waves is reassuring, endless in its repetition. I love it. Tony said I was like a puppy sniffing the air. I took great gulps of the air, even filling my lungs full several times just before we left to come home in hopes that it would sustain me until I get back. When I close my eyes I see the waves, hear the waves. It is a good place.

The kitties missed us. McMurphy was all over us last night, wanting to be petted, and Ches just watched nearby, although he let me pet him and love on him later in the evening, but didn't climb into Tony's lap until just a few minutes ago. As long as the outside kitties are fed, watered, and petted daily, they're fine. And they were.

The garden is bountiful with squash -- zucchini and yellow. Tomatoes are ripening slowly, green peppers are appearing, and there are a couple of Japanese eggplant. No green beans. Lots of foliage, but no fruit. I've gotten some cucumbers and there are more out there. I still would like to plant more chard. I have a little plant -- the seeds didn't all come up -- and need to just plunk more into the ground. It's good -- all is tasty and fresh. Herbs are good too -- basil, chives, oregano, thyme, mint. Cilantro never does well, though -- I don't know why.

Time to fold clothes and try to relax a bit. It's been one of those days where I tied up loose ends and putzed, but didn't do some of the things I now HAVE to get done. Ah well. Such is the nature of a deadline-driven writer, I guess.

No comments: