For more than a month, I’ve been sucking down smoke in Ashland, Oregon. The whole state seems to be on fire. Admittedly, I haven’t seen any actual flames, but the Rogue Valley, where I live, is surrounded by wildfires. No matter which way the wind blows, we get smoke. More than 200,000 acres are on fire in southern Oregon. At this point, it’s not healthy to be outside, much less taking a long walk which is my usual way to stimulate the brain and come up with new writing ideas. That leaves my brain in the fuzz zone. It’s hard to think straight. I’ve even had vertigo from all this smoke and spent an entire morning wobbling around the house. We take clear air for granted here in Oregon. We love our trees and rain. Here’s to doing everything we can to protect them from climate change which is oh-so-real here in Oregon and in Houston and in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, and soon to be slamming into the Caribbean and perhaps Florida. Wake up calls all around. For those who have eyes to see and noses to sniff…it’s time to wake up and smell the smoke.