Sophie Says: Smoke gets in your eyes

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Gramps Says
A few weeks ago, unless you needed to sign some papers in Redding to receive a million dollar inheritance l would have offered one piece of advice, don’t drive north on Interstate 5. But if it’s a life or death situation and you must go, make sure the AC filter in your car is in good condition. 

After checking the daily air quality level for Chester, we decided to drive up to the family cabin near Lassen National Park to breathe some fresh air. While driving up we experienced an oppressive pall settled over the Sacramento Valley that reminded me of the movie ‘The Road,’ which was adapted for the screen from a book of the same title and written by Cormac McCarthy. For those who have not seen the film, the story follows the travails of a father and son who attempt to find refuge in conditions where there is little sunlight filtering through the gray and oppressive haze of what looks like the last days.

If you access National Fire Situation Awareness on the internet you will see satellite imaging of the fires throughout the state and the reason for the smoke is very apparent. Although you can’t see it from the freeway, a huge fire runs parallel to Interstate 5. You can drive for more than an hour and you are still bordering the fire. 

When we arrived at our destination we found the air quality to be worse than what we left behind in Winters. We anticipated that the smoke, like COVID-19, is not going away anytime soon so we winterized the cabin and headed home. 

This brings to mind the old song ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’ which was originally composed in 1933 for a stage play. It became well known to me when The Platters sang their rendition in 1959 or 1960. The lyrics are metaphors and are as follows: ”All who love are blind; when your heart’s on fire, you must realize; smoke gets in your eyes.” And the final lyrics, “I am without my love, now laughing friends deride; tears I cannot hide; smoke gets in your eyes.”

 Well, we can do away with the metaphors; our tears are from just plain old smoke.

Sophie Says
I don’t pay any attention to composition or punctuation of the English language. I recognize my name, and the words “come,” “want a treat,” “go potty.” and “sit” (but I don’t do it). I am sensitive to changes of mood and suspicious preparations. For instance I see bags being packed and things being loaded into the car. This raises and alert because I don’t like to be left alone. 

Not to worry, my toys and blankets are packed and we are spending a few days with Amy and family who report that the air quality in Bonny Doone is clear. After all, there is nothing left to burn around their little island of green which was spared from the devastation of the CZU fire.

Ah, I can almost smell the fresh ocean breeze and sandy beach.

No tears from me, metaphorically or otherwise.

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