Well, we've had our second day of thunderstorms and I'm finding that Blue does not want anything to do with thunder.  So I stepped outside in order to get Blue out to do his business and discovered that the water in his cup had turned the color of tea.  This happened a few weeks ago when we had overnight showers.  Only that time it looked like coffee!  Really dark!  I thought, "is this what we're breathing?" and then figured, being the first rain in quite a while, it just washed the dust and dirt off everything.  Well, maybe not.  As I poured the water on the gardenias, I noticed what looked like soot in the dregs of the cup.  Could the air be holding that much soot?

If you didn't live in the midwest or east in the 50's I don't imagine you've ever seen real soot caused by heating with coal.  The house my grandma lived in had a coal burning furnace like most everyone else at the time, at least till about 1960.  When we went to visit, we were not allowed to touch, much less sit on the steps or railings or window ledges of the grand, covered, front porch.  Despite almost daily attention and cleaning, the soot was ever-present and tough to get out of clothes.

It's funny how you can get sucked down memory lane by something so simple as soot.

Getting back to the air, do you really think that we're breathing what I saw in the cup?  About 6 or so years ago after fires in the foothills, I noticed (after the ash was gone) we still had quite a bit of super fine soot in the hills.  California houses aren't built to be airtight.  In fact concept of weather stripping on doors and window is pretty much lost here.  So even months and months after the fires, whenever the wind would whip up the blackened hills, you could see a noticeable layer of soot.  It's so fine, that it easily filters into any and all crevices.  I've gotten used to it over time and think of the extra dusting as just part of life, but after a look at that photo, I'm really wondering....

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