In Search of My Idaho Sky

I woke up this morning to a gray sky, a red sun, and wondering if my neighborhood had been picked up by aliens, as I could see nothing beyond my own home. I stepped outside to retrieve the newspaper and the stench and heaviness of the air stunned me, like I was downwind from a huge campfire. I craned my neck in every direction but found no weiner roast, no hot dogs, no beer, and no marshmallows, so I lamented that the west coast was still aflame. (Of course, even if there had been a campfire, it was so smoky that I might not have been able to see it anyway.)

The air quality reading today is unhealthyfor people with underlying conditions, one of which includes being “elderly.” Don’t you hate that term? (But I guess “geezer” isn’t any better.) Apparently, the definition of elderly is somewhat nebulous, and depends entirely on the age of the definer. Either way, I think calling out “elderly” is entirely wrong because the current air quality is unhealthy for ALL people and pets (unless the pet is a fish in a tank or a pet rock). My children who are approaching AARP status are considered elderly in some circles, but other definitions insist that age is just a number and who cares what that number is? I don’t…I just don’t like to be called elderly.

The smoke and poor air quality are wearing on me and probably on you and I’ll be glad for them to go away. But since I’m in Idaho, it’s not as bad as in California, Oregon, and Washington, where flames are destroying forests and houses and people. I have been blessed and spoiled by mostly beautiful, smog and haze-free Idaho days nearly all of the time. But at the moment, I am longing for bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, and a dazzling yellow sun. Don’t get me wrong, the orange glow on the sun is spectacular, until I remember how it got that way.

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