Day 5 I bring the girls back to the desert, the air temporarily less toxic, and hoping for the best I release them all back into their lives with their families. I drive back up the highway and start to clean the house, which smells like wet firewood, to wash all the travel laundry, then to detail all the dead bugs off my car…when I realize I’m pissed. Why did I do this mostly alone? Why did so many stay in the smokey hazardous air? I clean and clean and let myself feel, trying to not make anything up. Like reasons why. Things don’t always mean what we think they mean. Just sit with it girl. Let all the anger and exhaustion wash over you like a clean ocean waves. You did good. No you don’t need to make cookies.
Day 6 We’re evacuating again, this time somehow through a forest that’s still burning. And by the time we’ve dropped off my daughter with her daddy on the coast and we’ve made it to the only hotel room we could find–it stinks like cigarettes. “The AQI (air quality index) is better in Bend now,” he says. “What do you think it is in this room?” I ask.
Day 7 Somehow we end up in a bed and breakfast in Oregon’s wine country. One of our girls is on the coast with her daddy. Another girl is crabbing with her friend’s family, also on the coast. Yet another is in Disneyland. All, including us are in good air. We eat the best food ever at a pub downtown.
Labor Day Our hosts Mike and Penny, at Hopewell B and B serve us Eggs Benedict with asparagus, fresh fruit and orange juice. For lunch we eat blackened catfish and a meat laden jambalaya. Like a lot. Of all that. And I am fascinated. Why am I doing this? I haven’t eaten like this in two years. The family next to us is eating enough food to feed half of the city. They are extremely large people. Their daughter, a tween, chews with greasy lips and bloated cheeks. Will I end up like them? The dirty rice IS delicious. Then suddenly I’ve eaten enough to where the dish seems more greasy than delicious. Why did I do this? “You’re not bad or anything,” he says, chiding me. “You normally eat vegetables. Today you ate meat.”
Maybe. But I’m afraid.
Cheers Lovelies, to falling down, to asking why, to admitting what we feel, to being on vacation.
Love and lettuce,