Poor Air Quality. Eek.

Last night I was supposed to meet a neighbor so I could dig up some of her flowers, but the meet didn’t surprise me that it didn’t happen — that’s simply how the entire day had gone.

I’d waited all morning for my mechanic to call to let me know he was on the way to pick up my car to fix the brakes. (Neither of us want me to be driving without brakes.) He finally called in the afternoon to tell me he had an emergency and would have to reschedule.

I’d waited for the appliance repair people to call me back about fixing my refrigerator, and they still haven’t. I talked to a woman who has been waiting for weeks for those same people to fix her stove, so I don’t expect my refrigerator to be fixed any time soon. I do have a couple of other numbers to call, but they are from way out of the area, so a service call would be prohibitively expensive, assuming they’d come at all. Since it looks as if this will be a long term wait, as is anything that needs to be done in this area, I’m working on clearing out my refrigerator. Even though most of the food left should be okay in 50 degrees (such as salad ingredients and duck eggs), I’d still like to make it as easy as possible if a repair person ever shows up. And to make it easy for me this summer if no one shows up. (The refrigerator works fine in the winter for some reason.)

And now I’m waiting for my gazebo to be finished, though who knows on that one. As I said, it’s very difficult getting anything done around here.

So, that’s why I wasn’t surprised my date with the neighbor’s plants didn’t materialize. It was just one of those days. To be honest, I’m okay with that. Yesterday was a terrible day to be outside with three different weather advisories going at the same time. Two were for wind and fire danger. One was for poor air quality. And yikes, was the air bad!

The accompanying photo was taken on what was actually a cloudless afternoon. Those muddy-looking clouds are smoke from the New Mexico fire being driven through here by the wind. Luckily, the air quality today isn’t nearly as bad, it so I was able to spend some time outside. And to give my lungs a rest.

The wind, unfortunately, was still terrible.

Tomorrow should be an even better day for air quality, so I’m planning on planting seeds. I’d already planted some, but with the wind and the low humidity (single digits) we’ve been having lately, it’s been almost impossible to keep the ground moist enough for seeds to sprout. Still, I figure if I do a small enough area, I should be able to keep it watered until the seedlings come up. Assuming, of course, the air remains clear enough for me to be outside, and the winds don’t blow away the seeds and their soil covering.

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Pat Bertram is the author of intriguing fiction and insightful works of grief.