|Mike walks the field behind the house (8/3/17)|
Edith complained that we are so “shut in here,” but C.R.W. said, “Why, Edith, you can see for 150 miles from June’s dooryard.”
Bertha Dickson Dobson, 1935
|Elderberries -- the promise of a luscious crop|
Well, I suppose we can see 150 miles from the top of the hill, but I suspect that my grandfather’s sister Edith, a city dweller, felt confined in this rural community. After all, we have no shopping, no theater, no restaurant, and not many people. And in those days, news came by word of mouth, old newspapers, and perhaps radio, if they could tune in a station. I don’t think Aunt Bertha minded, but I suspect Grandma Ina dreamed of a different life, at least now and then.
But today – and for nearly a week – it’s been so smoky that we haven’t even been able to see those 150 miles. To the north, I can barely see the outline of Teakean Butte, and to the south, I can’t see much beyond Little Canyon, which is filled with smoke. Of course, it changes with the breeze, but it doesn’t clear out, and apparently they don’t expect it to anytime soon. The smoke affecting us is mostly from Canada. Smoke can travel miles, they say, filling in canyons and valleys as it goes. And it IS worse in the Valley than it is here “on the hill.”
|Smoke in town|
I know because we have just returned from two days in the Valley. On Friday (Aug. 4), Mike and I rattled back to town with a small load of wood on the old Silverado. It’s pine – and blued a bit – but Mike thinks we can make it work in the little house with the little wood stove.
|The sky should be blue|
As we pack up to travel between our places, the dogs know the drill. They know what’s happening. Bess will climb into the pick-up to wait, but Nellie meets the prospect with teeth-chattering nervousness. In fact, when it was time to load her on Friday, Mike had to chase her down. Even at her age – even at his -- she can still outrun him. The old Silverado is an expanded cab, so Nellie rides on the floor behind the seat, and you’d think she’d like that, but she doesn’t. And as I went to take my place in the passenger seat, I found it usurped by Bess, who looked me in the eye and said, “Where are you going to sit, Kathy?” Mike pulled and I pushed and we eventually got her into the middle, with no help from her. She IS pretty cute as she rides along looking out the window. When we went through construction, the flagger waved to her. KW