Come on baby, put out my fire

Because Southern California hasn’t had rain in something like six months, the areas around Los Angeles are burning.  People are being evacuated, and those who refuse to leave then find themselves in need of rescue (assholes).   12,000 homes are threatened, and two firefighters have died trying to stop the blaze.

Armageddon seems to have hit.

We’re fine where we are, thanks for asking.  But the air quality is crappy.  So crappy, in fact, that I have conceded to closing the windows and using the air conditioner, a state of affairs that would please my husband if I were just willing to set it lower than 77.  You can see smoke in the distance, but you can’t see much of anything else.  Getting out of the car on Sunday, Zachary whined, “I can’t breathe.”

Given that my mother died of non-smoker’s lung cancer in her thirties, you can imagine how such a statement resonated with me.  So, the kids are staying indoors, which is going about as well as you think it is.  Every three-year-old likes to be kept inside all day.  And the baby is ever so pleased, as well.

I just don’t get why L.A. is considered some sort of paradise.  Every summer, the hills are alive with the sound of helicopters spraying flame retardant chemicals.  In the winter, the rains bring down the mountainside.  Periodically, the entire earth shakes and people start talking about “the big one.”

Not to mention the public schools with twenty-five kids to a kindergarten and many more in the older grades, fire departments in a state of “brown out,” and domestic violence shelters closing because there is no money.  For the privilege of all of this, we have an exorbitant cost of living and obscenely high taxes.

Makes a girl homesick for Philly.

16 responses to “Come on baby, put out my fire

  1. I’m so sorry! But am glad to have gotten out when I did. Hoping things clear soon and you get outdoors.

    I know what you mean about the “paradise” perception. I just never got it. Whenever we drove across the 10, I just didn’t see how it was so “beautiful.”

  2. That is rough and scary. The big cities in California and Arizona have been artificially maintained by diverting water. But climate change is putting extra pressure on those cities now. It’s been a strange summer. BC has had the same issues with fire and drought in areas that are normally overly wet. Knowing that doesn’t make the day to day any easier. I wish you could live somewhere else.

  3. I know it seems crazy to live here, especially this time of year. And I don’t want to spend too much time defending it, but January and February are glorious and I’d take them (and most other months) hands-down over the northeasters in the other parts of the country. Or the hurricanes and sickening humidity in the other. And as for taxes, some are high (sales) and some are too low (property). The fires always seem to symbolize the collective madness of this city. Hang in there and maybe go surfing when it’s all over.

  4. well, the rarely above 80 and rarely below 60 is what i miss. the fires weren’t as bad when I lived there, either.

    glad you are safe.

    and hey… maybe your neighbors like the kids inside. Then they aren’t making noise while they are trying to sleep. Of course, there are those pesky helicopters. Maybe she’ll start yelling at them.

  5. We’ll be in fire season for the next couple of months, at least, depending on when (if) it cools off and moisture comes in. It’s ALWAYS earthquake season. It’s always traffic season, too.

    My husband keeps saying that if the kids weren’t in school, we could pack up and move – and unlike me, he’s a native who’s never lived anywhere else. But our parents are out here too, so I really don’t see it happening.

    I tend to think every place has its problems and its positives, but lately the problems seem to be getting ahead around here.

  6. She Started It

    Oh, I’m sorry. That is a bummer. I lived in Philly for ten years and loved it, too.

  7. Ack. I have so much family in the L.A. area and love being just a visitor and never a resident. Hopefully you’ll be able to go outdoors soon! Those kids need to run around so you can get some rest too!

  8. Be well!

    (And I often think the same thing about SoCal. Northern Cali makes up for it, though, I think. Well, except for the earthquakes …..)

  9. I like the midwest v v much and this post makes me appreciate the incredible summer we’ve had in central IL

  10. Hmmm… I must admit we haven’t seen any of those low property taxes. Ours are much, much higher here than they would be elsewhere, in large part because they are based on purchase price, not current value of home.

  11. You know I was just telling the hubs that I don’t know how people can stand living in SoCal. We had some nasty wildfires here last year & the air quality was so bad it really affected our quality of life. For the entire Summer and Fall. But those fires happen in Cal. every year. I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

  12. I heard the weather was a big help to the fire fighters today. I am hoping this is the case. Thinking of you guys

  13. I think there ONCE were good old days out here, but, sad to say, I think we’ve missed them.

  14. You will always be welcome back in Philly of course. LA never suited me but it must be right for many people. Hope you keep safe until the fires are extinguished.

  15. No kidding. Stay safe.

  16. Yep. The only time I miss it is when I want to be in the mountains or in March, when it is still snowing here. My parents are just south of the big fire, luckily it would have to burn the whole city down to get to them, but still yucky.