I keep forgetting that the hills around me, like many hills and mountains of the west coast, have been up in flames. I walk outside to go to work and have that homeowner’s panic. “Why does my neighborhood smell like smoke?” I briefly consider going back inside to compulsively check the iron, the portable heater, the toaster, until I remember that it’s from seven miles south of us.
On the other hand I have been encouraging the smoke coming out of our new gas grill. It’s amazing how quickly the first tank of propane goes. I do have the strange sensation of becoming my father as I stand over the flames grilling a steak. Granted, I’m grilling myself a portabella mushroom on the vegetarian side of the grates, so the comparison eventually falls apart, but for a brief moment I’m back on my parent’s patio tending to their gas grill.
However we’re now running low on fuel, and just haven’t quite gotten around to getting more. While part of this is us uncertain on how to get the thing refilled after 7pm, most of this must have been a weekend lassitude settling in and lingering, as it’s a little soon for this to be new appliance burnout…like what happens with the bread machine, or the ice cream maker, or the automatic hot dog cooker, or the three-in-one breakfast cooker, or any number of things in my Amazon shopping cart. I am nothing if not a good little consumer.
Or perhaps we’re just waiting until the rest of the sky is a little less smoky.