Main Street Mamas: Stay Safe, Beauty

By nine p.m. last night, I was nauseous, dizzy, fatigued, had a bad migraine, and my sixteen month old was coughing. We’re in a very old building, the windows are not fully sealed or double-paned. We were going to start Thanksgiving Monday but decided to pack the car up early and drive away as fast as possible.

We drove to Monterey last night and are staying in Carmel the rest of the weekend. It was only a two hour drive. It is much better down here but the winds could always change. 

We’re heading to Tahoe where the air quality is green. It was like Armageddon til we got to Folsom.

We left when our six month old started coughing. Late Thursday night we drove to LA and arrived with two kids at two thirty a.m. We’re watching San Francisco in the news for the worst air quality in the world.

We just don’t know where to go. Even Santa Cruz is red now. 

I considered going to Monterey with my boys but then the air quality declined there too. I’m thirty-nine weeks pregnant and can’t risk going further, solo. So we’re sticking inside with the curtains closed and air purifier on blast. 

We don’t have a car so we’re still here.

We left for Tahoe last night. Crazy bad smoke until you get to Auburn. We had the air in the on recirculate and just drove as fast as we could. 

I was in Reno earlier this week, driving to Palm Springs now.

‬‬‬‬‬‬Headed to LA. Southwest changed our Thanksgiving flights for free!

We’re headed to Fort Bragg. We got a last minute hotel for under a hundred dollars‬‬

We had a trip to Palm Springs planned for this weekend. Air is great, if anyone can swing a quick flight!

We drove to Carmel. We got an incredible hotel deal.

If you want to escape but don’t want to add to the air issue you can always take Amtrak. It’s a pleasant train ride and an enclosed air circulation system. Trains leave from Emeryville for points north, south and east.

I was going to take my little one to Monterey this afternoon for the weekend. But it looks like it is supposed to get better here, and worse in Monterey. 

Same. But now it’s turning red here. Thinking to keep on moving.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

We would’ve left last night but our newborn is too young to travel far and doesn’t do well in the car. We’ve been inside the house since last Wednesday.

We left this morning around nine a.m. for Reno. No traffic, but the air was awful in Sacramento. It’s a hazardous 335 on the air quality index. 

We have been gone since last Saturday. First we went to Fresno, then we flew to Florida. We debated going to Palm Springs, but decided for Grandmas instead.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

We’re in Tahoe and it’s gorgeous. It sounds like there’re still plenty of vacancies. 

If anyone wants to go to SoCal, Great Wolf Lodge has a good deal right now.‬‬‬‬‬‬

Tahoe City air is perfect and there are a ton of vacancies everywhere. It’s a few uncomfortable hours in the car but once you are through the smoke it’s totally worth it. ‬‬‬‬‬‬

I just saw an article that they are evacuating a neighborhood in Santa Cruz because of a new fire.

American Airlines and Southwest will waive change fee if you call and say you were affected by wildfires. 

I heard there’s a wildfire burning in the Santa Cruz Mountains.‬‬‬

We are staying put. We don’t have a cheap place to go where we know the air quality won’t tank as soon as we get there. The husband has been sealing up windows.

We stayed. Mostly because I’m worried that once we go somewhere the air will get worse there and better in San Francisco. But now I feel claustrophobic and I just want to get out of this smoke.‬‬‬

Staying put! Baby has the sniffles, but she’s still in great spirits. We’ve got a mega good air purifying system in our house (yeah, we can thank Papa Bear for that!), and Mama’s gettin’ her home cooking ON. Praying that things begin to clear by early next week. Stay safe, beauty:)‬‬‬

Came to Paso Robles on Friday, and staying for the week. Great place for kids.

Anne Lesley Selcer is a poet and art writer. She is the author of Blank Sign Book—a collection of essays, and of Sun Cycle—a poetry book about the image. Her gallery publications and chapbooks include from a Book of Poemson BeautyBanlieusard, and Untitled (a treatise on form). Writing can be found in HyperallergicJacket2FillipFenceAction YesArt PracticalOpen Space, Gauss PDF andThe Chicago Review, as well as in gallery and museum exhibition catalogs. Work has been included in several anthologies. Occasionally she creates off the page.