#100WW — Wildfires

DBCA1D16-D8B0-4398-B592-C93F26D91E7EThe road is still closed. They said it would be under control by now, that we could all head back to our homes. But they were wrong. I can see by the yellow, orange, and gold glows of the night sky that the wildfires are still raging.

Many of the homes in my neighborhood — maybe even mine — have been lost to the flames. Personal possessions up in smoke. Precious memories destroyed.

They say it’s due to climate change. Higher temperatures and stronger winds create a landscape that allows fires to spread faster and farther.

This ain’t no hoax.

(100 words)

Written for this week’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl.

100WW — All Gone

4C48B98D-DC4E-4D86-ABD4-F47D5DF6B743Charles hung his head, trying to understand how this could have happened. Against all odds, he had escaped the stigma of being an inner-city ex-con, and had been warmly welcomed to the community, embraced and respected by his neighbors.

Now he looked down at the charred, barren ground where his home had stood before the out-of-control wildfires wiped out most of the structures in the once bucolic town. All that he possessed was in the backpack that he quickly packed up before abandoning his small, wooden home.

But now it was all gone, his home, his neighbors, and his faith.

(100 words)

Written for this week’s 100 Word Wednesday prompt from Bikurgurl. Photo credit: Andre Hunter.

Turning a Bad Day Into a Good Day

A7CFA8AE-FA07-4111-B498-62DA75B73D99The chant woke me up.

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”

Over and over again.

As I transitioned from a dream state to full consciousness, I could hear the heavy rain pummel against the windows and I had a feeling it was going to be a bad day.

“Kids!” I yelled. “Stop that chanting. You’re driving me nuts.”

“But Mom,” Brian said, “It’s Saturday and it’s pouring.”

“Yeah, Mom,” Briana said, “What are we going to do now?”

“We can have a very pleasant day of leisure at home,” I said. “We can play games and watch some movies on TV.”

“Boring!” the twins said in unison.

“Okay then,” I said, pouring myself a much needed cup of coffee. “How about this? Let’s have a celebratory ceremony in which we thank Mother Nature for sending us all of this rain so that the drought we’ve been having over the past several years is finally over and maybe the bad air from all of those wildfires up north will finally be washed away. I’ll even bake a cake for the occasion.”

“Yay!” both kids yelled, while jumping up and down and clapping their hands. “You’re the best Mom in the world.”

Hmm. Maybe the day won’t be so bad after all.

Written for these one-word prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (rain), Word of the Day Challenge (pummel), Scotts Daily Prompt (feeling), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (leisure), and Your Daily Word Prompt (ceremony). Photo credit: marcusspiske@com.



The Northern California “Camp Fire” has, so far, claimed the lives of at least nine people and devastated the Butte County town of Paradise. The fire has grown to 90,000 acres and destroyed 6,713 structures — nearly all homes in its path — making it the most destructive fire in California history.

The fire is about 140 miles northeast of San Francisco, but its effects are being felt all across the Bay Area, with smoky skies and an air quality index that is “unhealthy.” It’s so bad, in fact, that many flights were canceled at San Francisco International Airport and Bay Area residents have been advised to stay indoors. But as a dog owner whose dog expects to be walked three or four times a day, I can’t really stay indoors.

The Camp Fire is only about five percent contained and there is no rain in the forecast. But at least the winds have died down, so maybe that will help firefighters get this thing under control.

The photo at the top of this post was taken yesterday afternoon at around 3:00 and shows the sun partially obscured by the smoky haze. And the colors are unfiltered. That’s the actual color of the afternoon sky.

Summertime Blues

F1A8E12B-C6E0-4CDE-A77A-4DCE3126DFA0It’s summertime in America and many of you are suffering through sweltering heat and high humidity. I used to live in New York City, near Boston, in Chicago, in Dallas, and in DC and I can appreciate what you’re going through right about now.

Those are all great places to live, but with July about to wrap up and with August arriving in just a few days, I have to tell you, in all candor, I’m glad I don’t live in any of those places anymore.

I genuinely feel for you having to deal with the hot and muggy air, frequent thunderstorms, the buzz of electric fans, the hum of air conditioners, and having to bear the load of bloated electricity bills.

I, on the other hand, am quite comfortable in San Francisco. The highs during the day are in the mid-sixties and the lows at night reach the low fifties. The weather in this city, where it rarely gets into the 80s in the summer and never falls the freezing point in the winter, is, to me, ideal.

Now if they can only get all those numerous wildfires to the north, east, and south of San Francisco under control, this would be the perfect place to live.

And, oh yes, earthquakes.

Written for Teresa’s Three Things Challenge where the three things are buzz, July, and load. And for the Word of the Day Challenge, “candor,” and, of course, for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “comfortable.”