I am sitting in Redding, CA. While I was stocking groceries in Cypress Square on Saturday, I was amazed at the weather. Here I am, from San Jose, California, and this surprise rain showers with an astounding (maybe not astounding. I have no idea what is normal) 5, 000 lightning strikes, creating around 700 fires, giving firefighters enormous amounts of overtime hours .
While I am aware of the damage, and potential damage to peoples' homes, and the fear people face living in their homes in the more forested areas here in the north state, I am thinking about me, and the air quality of the valley I live in. It is strange how when I left my apartment yesterday, I was struck with that humid, warm air. I was feeling the exhaust of all those fires on my skin.
Here, in Redding, the exhaust hung in the air for days, blowing out, and filling back in. The advisories to stay in are falling back as the air starts to improve, but it is amazing what this little day of storming did to our valley in one, short day. Still, many people, even if their homes are fine, have been forced to find alternative lodging while the billows of smoke filter through the mountains.
At Cypress Square, we had a parking lot celebration where the many store owners stood under tarpaulins and were providing free samples to the many visitors that showed up in spite of the sporadic rain. It was wild to hear of one band whose operations were shut down when lightning struck their sound equipment. I only can say I am shocked at their lack of dedication. I toiled over bags of bulk foods, and listened to the thunderclaps overhead, and never once did I think that such an active storm could cause any problems.
The festivities included watching much of the management staff from our own grocery perched on a platform, above cool water, as determined nearby residents bought tickets to show their gifted pitching skills. I was pleased to hear all my bosses got soaked at least once.
Well, we have had problems. Governor Arnold has brought in fire crews from several neighboring states, and the burning is still going strong. The attendant firefighting efforts still can only address a portion of the fires burning at any one time. I must enjoy the fresh air coming in today, because we may have more smoky haze blowing in soon.
I sit in this coffee shop, and enjoy the fine air conditioning. I know I will have to enter into the fray soon. I am feeling too leisurely for my own good.
I have more business to address to.
My roommate started a dialogue with me, using the question, “Keith, remember when you moved in almost a year ago, we agreed your stay is to be temporary? Well...”
I have to visit my neurosurgeon's office to deliver papers to get my records released from past medical in San Jose.
I have my financial aid papers all rteady to go, but still do not have transcripts in Shasta College to get the ball rolling.... Today is not about leisure. I will post more later.
Thank you for reading.