In case you hadn't noticed. We are ending the babysitting phase of our visit to Seattle (some babies; they are more grown up than we are!), and we will have a few more days here to catch up on other matters. Things like visiting the museum to see the two Anslem Kiefer paintings there, stocking up on household necessities at IKEA, visiting Archie McPhee for presents and novelties, maybe going to the Museum of Flight again, etc. There is nothing much going on culturally right now that interests me.
We watched What About Bob with the girls last night. The younger one felt sorry for the psychiatrist character and was very worried when his house blew up. Still, we were all hugely entertained. Bill Murray at his funniest was very very funny!
It's all over when clowns get serious. Not just him but especially Robin Williams, who was side-splittingly hilarious and then made the mistake of thinking he was profound. He could be good in creepy roles, though, such as in One Hour Photo, a movie which I don't think I'll show the girls.
I'm glad we have some extra time here. Our next door neighbor reports that she closed up the house and stayed in an air conditioned room to avoid getting sick from the vog and smoke blowing over Hilo from Puna and nonetheless had headache and nausea. When the Kona winds blow, as they do now and then this time of year, we get these conditions, but this sounds like the worst ever.
My Facebook feed, which includes Puna residents, indicates that the mood in Puna is one of anger verging on downright panic. Our next door neighbor posted a photo of smoke towering over the area, similar to the view I would get. Below is a USGS photo of the way things looked yesterday from closer up. Note how dry it is. It has not rained for several weeks, which is drought conditions for East Hawaii. All my potted plants have no doubt perished in my absence. The orchids are OK; they can stand weeks without rain as long as the air is humid.
Even if the lava does not reach everywhere, the whole place could go up in flames due to drought conditions. Ugh. And we will all suffer the consequences, everyone who lives on the Islands. A big concern everyone has is the impact on tourism. We are expecting guests (friends) in March and June, though, and I don't think they will cancel.
I am avoiding the temptation to blame the victim here. The Big Island is a risky place to live, and Puna is the riskiest place of all. As I've said before, you need a Plan B if you come from elsewhere. People who are FBI (from Big Island, original residents or several generations there) have alternatives: relatives, places they can go; many in Puna have no extra resources. They may pride themselves on their independence, living off the grid, not needing the government (though many depend on SS checks, etc. and are most upset at the prospect of losing mail service) and so on. But they are really worried now. It's so sad to see such a lovely place in such peril.