Monday, August 31, 2009

Fired Up

I'm fired up tonight, in more ways than one. Living in Los Angeles during the great fires of late summer and early fall is just so weird I'm not sure how to describe it. You drive around this city right now, doing all your regular errands, listening to the radio and talking to your friends, all under the most amazing cloud you've ever seen hanging over the mountains to the east, north and west of the city. It's truly incredible -- the juxtaposition of going outside to pick up your slightly damp from the sprinklers morning newspaper while sniffing the air and smelling the acrid carbon, looking to see the horizon and wondering whether any progress has been made over there and then running your finger, lightly, over the plant by the door and wiping up ash, tiny flecks of grey and white, like dandruff on the tip of your finger. When I tell you that the sky looks apocalyptic, I'm not exaggerating. I can't see flames from where I live but I can see the giant mushroom cloud, gray at the bottom like a blanket and then some beige and then the cap of white, fluffy and absolutely still.

So there's that, and the heat. The heat. The dryness of the air and the scratchy throat and lank hair, the persistence of it.

And then I got fired up by one of those chain emails from a friend. This one was about some amendment proposed by Senator Coburn of Oklahoma, the same Senator who held a recent town hall meeting and answered a sobbing caregiver's question with the most inane, out of touch answer one could imagine. The same Senator Coburn who declared a few years ago that "the gays" were the biggest problem facing this country. Oy vey! Not sure why this certain friend would send this thing to me, crazy, liberal, socialist me who believes our country should have universal health coverage, but she did. And I got the email and fired off a reply, sort of regretted it and then said to myself NO! I know what I'm talking about, and it needs to be said.

And now I want you to read my friend and blogger's brilliant piece about said Senator Coburn. I sent the link to the people who were listed on the email, and I hope they read it. I really do. Please, please read it and pass it on. It's most important and it fires me up. Click HERE.

I'll tell you a funny thing that happened today, though, which will calm us all down and make me laugh, again. I was out, walking with Sophie down the street. I was wearing a white linen dress and Birkenstocks. A couple of elderly ladies stopped to talk to me, one of whom is a neighbor that I don't know too well. The other lady wondered who I was. I'm her mother, I said with a laugh. She then said that she thought I was a lovely nurse, taking my charge for a walk. She was struck by how nicely I was talking to the young girl. I don't know why I thought that was funny, being mistaken for a nurse. Despite the fact that I was wearing a white dress, I so do not feel like a nice nurse. I'm a tired mama, wishing I had a nice nurse to help me out.


  1. Might I suggest you don't read /open chain e mails?

  2. It wasn't actually a chain email. It was a petition to send to your congressman or woman. And I thought it was important enough to rebut, so I hit reply all and did just that.

  3. There are special places in hell for people who refuse to walk a mile in someone else's moccasins and tell them what to do.
    Of course when you have the best medical care available in your country paid for by your "neighbors" why should you care?
    And you are a nurse, you give the most wonderful nursing to Sophie in so many ways. In Spanish the word nodriza was always used to define the woman who cared for the child, often more important to the child than her/his own mother.

  4. We've been thinking about you all in CA. I can only imagine what the sky must look like. We are experiencing the haze here in CO from the fires. Keeping all of CA in our thoughts and prayers... and I mean that!

  5. Those photos of the clouds of smoke over L.A. have been blowing my mind these past two days. Horrid. I am so sorry it's happening, and I hope& pray that it RAINS BUCKETS on the area, soon!

    I enjoyed the image of you in a pretty & romantic white linen dress, out for a walk with Sophie. Even though you are a tired mama, you are bright & lovely, and doing a great job of caring for your family, with enormous passion and love.

  6. Thank you for the link. That is an amazingly logical and well thought response to Sen. Coburn and his lunacy. Whatever happened to intelligent debate in this country? We are becoming a nation of yelling idiots without a brain in our heads ....

    .... and the nurse mistake .... it must be a generational thing. She probably grew up with nurses walking children up and down the street in their prams .... while the cook was in the kitchen and the maid was in the parlor ... and mom? out shopping for hats perhaps?

    .... be safe in the hot zone there - I hope you're all breathing ok. My thoughts are with you guys.

  7. I, too, have been following the news of the fires in CA. I can't help but thinking of everyone I know there, and the places that I'm familiar with. It must feel so surreal. And by "it," I mean the fires...and the nurse comment, too.

  8. The pictures of LA are just incredible - and surreal! And do nurses wear white dresses anymore or just colorful scrubs?

  9. You are not a nice nurse but a very nice Mama.

    Stay safe from those fires.

    By the way, thanks for the booklist I got it from you.

    Love Renee xoxo

  10. your description of the fires sent chills down my back; very much reminds me of a september morning here in new york a few years back, the anniversary of which i am presently bracing myself.

  11. Thinking of you and those fires. We've had fires in previous years and it's just so amazingly awful and scary.
    Be well. Be okay.

  12. Thanks for the great link -- what a perfect, intelligent response.

    Nurse!? Hilarious. You weren't even wearing dansko clogs. Or, fitting their generation, one of those little white nurse caps. I bet you looked beautiful and elegant in that white linen dress.

    Stay safe in all that fire and heat.

  13. So glad to hear you're a long way from the fires! Even though it's all around, in the air you breathe, invading your nights.

    Coburn is from Oklahoma...which pretty much says it all. Here in Texas we have John Cornyn. From the frying pan to the fire. I've given up on all of them.



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