Friday, December 8, 2017

Devil Winds

It has been a strange time.  The Santa Ana winds started early in the week.  There's reason they're called the devil winds.  They stir up the wrong kind of ions and lead to all kinds of trouble.  Even though they come from the desert, at this time of year they can be cold.  They make the air paper dry and suck the moisture out of everything they come in contact with like your skin, plants, and on a positive note laundry hanging outside.

That's what I thought when I hung out a bunch of laundry. 

The winds also bring serious fire danger.  There was one fire, then another and the sky grew murky and the air recked of smoke, though the fires were quite a distance away.  The laundry I was so anxious to hang outside dried all right, but smelled as if it had been hung in front of a fireplace.

People were told to stay inside because the air was so toxic.  Then another fire erupted not that far from us and closed the 405 freeway.  We had to cancel meetings because we couldn't get there.  And the prediction was for more wind with hurricane force gusts. 

 I could only imagine how terrifying it was for people who had to evacuate often with no time to take anything but themselves.  I was glued to the news. I felt terrible for people who lost their homes.

I found it impossible to concentrate on  the book I'm working on. Looking out and seeing white ash swirling in our backyard flood light and then beginning to smell the smoke even inside made me feel anxious.  The wind grated on my nerves and I wondered how long would it winds keep up?  Would they get control of the fires that were already burning and what if  more erupted? I felt as if I couldn't take a deep breath.

And then on Thursday, the air wasn't murky and it didn't smell much of smoke and the wind didn't seem as bad.  The prediction of eighty mile an hour wind gusts never materialized and I could take a deep breath.  I could think about my manuscript again.  But it wasn't until about ten o'clock that it sunk it that it was time to write my blog.   

For now it is still outside, through the air is still dry as sand.  We could sure use a nice rain storm.


Linda Osborn said...

The winds have been horrific this week, and now several new fires in the greater San Diego area. It is so sad to hear about all the loss, including pictures and reports of animal deaths. On a lighter side, I do remember the fight with the big full skirts in high school. We were not allowed to wear pants, so it was a challenge to keep those skirts (with stacks of crinolines underneath) from winding up around our shoulders !

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, you painted quite a picture of fluttering skirts. Something I never thought about.

When I finished the blog last night, I spoke too soon about the winds seeming to have calmed. And the air smells of smoke again. It looks like there's going to be more laundry that smells like a campfire.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your experiences with the fires sound a lot worse than mine, Betty, but I've been finding them quite scary too. So glad things have improved for you. And yes, it would be wonderful if we finally got some rain.