Who knew that, in the ACTUAL United States – not Narnia or Hogsmeade, or the outer reaches of the grounds of Hogwarts, that there was an actual place named The Great Dismal Swamp. I swear, it’s true. Ask me how I know!
I spent a good chunk of my week-long vacation in the Outer Banks last week running from the smoke that’s coming from massive forest fires there. I even spent part of my visit to Knitting Addiction talking to Jeanne about them. See, in addition to being a yarn-store-owner/pattern guru, she’s also a firefighter. Pretty much, she rocks. She told me that she’d spent part of her duty the previous week helping to control the fires, but, that since the peat (think traditional Irish fuel for heating homes) that’s currently burning in some of these fires can be up to eight feet thick in places, they are really just trying to contain the fires, and waiting for some really strong rain to saturate the ground before it can actually hope to be “put out.” So basically, they’re trying to help nature to (safely) run it’s course.
What that means for people in Southern Virginia and North Carolina is – a lot of smoky days!!! We could smell it just driving in through Virginia. At first (since I’d also seen an ambulance around the same time), I just thought there was an “everyday” fire burning. An hour later, I phoned up to my mother – ahead of me on the highway – and asked what the heck was burning. We were very surprised to find that we could smell it (depending on the winds) from our little vacation house on the Pamlico Sound in Avon, as well!
The peat has a definite tang to it – almost like everyone in the state decided to cook-out at the same time. It’s a bit overpowering. Depending on how the wind is blowing, it can be oppressive. Particularly for those with breathing problems. AHA! Insert one 6-year old bundle of joy with asthma. Then, tell him he can’t stay outside near the beach or water for too long on his once-yearly trek to the Outer Banks. WAH!!!
Don’t go feeling too sorry for him though – he’ll be in Myrtle Beach with his dad and on a cruise to Canada with me before the Summer ends, so he ain’t missing much in life. But, it was a bit discouraging on the days we didn’t get to spend the requisite 12 straight hours outside.
So, obviously, we are back from our vacation (didja miss me?). I will fill in the details over the week. I’m going to take a cue from the ever-organized Robin and catch you up a day at a time. Because our days were jam-packed with excitement and I don’t want you to miss out on one second!!!
It’s actually because I’m scatterbrained and don’t want to forget anything. This blog’s serving a purpose for me, too, ya know!!! It’s my own personal scrap-book, so I can’t leave anything out!
See you tomorrow with Day 1!