Monday, September 17, 2007

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Despite Evanston's no-smoking ordinance having gone into effect on the 4th, there's still plenty of smoke to go around. I got a portable fire pit, which M and I enjoyed last night, toasting strawberry marshmallows (which are vile when charred, but otherwise quite nice) and visiting in the dark yard between the lilacs.

There have been fires, too, forest fires in Idaho and wildfires in Utah. The smoke blows over the Wasatch range and irritates our lungs and sinuses. Strange weather this fall, rain and electric storms that make the hair on your neck stand up. The plant was hit by lightning two weeks ago with a crackling snarl nothing I've ever heard compares to, and it's been touch-and-go ever since. It fried two ports for the phone lines and the SCADA modem. We're back on the river, though, and our flows have dropped to 3.6 MGD. We're on our way to the 1.6 MGD average we sit at during the winter.

I was aghast at the little silver tufts made by my own breath this morning, not smoke, but frosty clouds of condensation. I'm leaving for Kansas City to meet Brent's family and friends in the morning, and the forecast is in the 90s there. I had a hard time packing. It's going to be strange to leave Evanston in the morning, where it might be 40 degrees, get on the plane in Salt Lake, stop over at the air-conditioned terminal in Denver, and step out into the humid heat of K.C. Still, looking forward to these five days has gotten me through the last month and a half of toil at the plant and at home.

No more smoke at home. Dean's gone. I don't know where he went, but he took his cheap cigarettes and the scary van and the crumbling Monarch with him. I'm all moved in, and it's heaven. It's so high. I had edited the way my body moved through the space around me to fit my life into the apartment downstairs. Now I can jump rope in my kitchen. It's really something. Fresh air, sunshine. The cats roll around in the sunbeams on the floor.

I won't be around for a few days, so e-mails will go unanswered and favorite blogs will not be commented on, but I'll have some photos and stories when I get home. And a big purchase to make. And fall foliage to try to enjoy, since I know what comes next. And it always seems like it gets here before it reaches anywhere else. It can't wait to get to me. Like smoke.


Blogger mister anchovy said...

I was once caught in a lightning storm at the Silver Creek Preserve in Idaho. It had been hot, I was chasing trout and there was nothing doing. When the thundercloud came over the range, bugs started emerging and the big trout began to rise. So I kept fishing. By the time I waded out of the stream, the storm was almost over me, and lightning was starting to strike all over the place. It was a 15 minute walk to my car, during which I would be the highest feature around, so I tossed my fly rod away from me, hunkered down, and took the storm. It only lasted half an hour, but it was fierce and it seemed that there was lightning all around me. My buddy had driven down from Ketchum to meet up with me, and he was at the preserve office, out of the rain, laughing in the knowledge that I was out there getting drenched.

September 18, 2007 at 5:47 AM  

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