It’s Not from the Birthday Candles!

Yes, it’s birthday week in my household, as well as in Armitage-land. My husband’s big day was on the weekend, and my younger son (much to his chagrin) shares a birthday with RA. But all of those many candles did not create the smoke that has been blanketing the province of British Columbia. The cause was the more than 500 wildfires currently burning in BC, combined with the hot and dry weather.

We are in Metro Vancouver (not near the fires), and yet we have been completely socked in with smoke! The air quality here has been at 10+, or very high risk, during the afternoon sun over the last few days. While air quality is so much worse near the fires, we in the city have been dealing with high particulate and ozone content. Personally, I’ve had scratchy eyes and a productive cough, combined with tiredness and something close to depression. It is also really anxiety-provoking — I can’t imagine how it must feel to live in a city that has air quality this bad or worse all the time.

We went out for a birthday dinner at a waterfront restaurant yesterday evening, the same place we went to in May for my older son’s birthday. The sun was shining, but it just looked like a weird red ball in the sky obscured by smoke. Take a look at the view of the water and mountains from the same vantage point (slightly different angle), the first picture taken in May and the second on August 22. You can see the same trees on the left.

And imagine… some people chose to eat outside on the patio!

It was cooler today — this afternoon it was 18 C (64 F), down from around 31 C (88 F), and there was a bit of drizzle. We need this cooler weather and a lot of rain to get rid of the smoke. And that’s assuming that a (presumably tongue-in-cheek) Facebook campaign to Blow Spokane’s Smoke Away to Canada doesn’t work! A Spokane, Washington resident suggests that if the 500,000 people there each put 5 box fans on their roofs, they can send the smoke back to us! Somehow, I don’t think that will work.😊

Is it any wonder that I’ve been a bit preoccupied and only checked out the Armitage birthday activities from the sidelines? It was fun to watch, though, as Guylty’s fan auction raised 2,269.98 Euros ($3,437.13 CAD) for LOROS, the hospice that took care of RA’s mother Margaret earlier this year. (Donations to LOROS can be made here.)

I also enjoyed reading the the birthday messages sent by other bloggers, some of which can be found below:

Gratiana at “Something about Love”
Servetus at “Me + Richard Armitage”
Zee at “Zee’s Muse”
Esther at “The Book of Esther”
Tessa at “One Last Time? Never”
Zan at “Well, There You Go…”

One last item that I’d like to bring to your attention is a little fundraiser, complete with matching donations, by a certain school teacher in Georgia. The money raised will buy materials to create a Bucket Band for the kids. You can even make your donation in honour of someone… maybe RA, like I did! (Okay, well they asked for his email address which of course I don’t actually have, but I just substituted my own. He may never know, but I’m sure he’d agree with the sentiment!) If you’d like more information on how to get involved with this great project for the kids, you can find the details posted by another Armitage fan here.

When I went outside tonight, I was so excited to find that I could finally see stars in the sky as the smoke is beginning to clear! No mountains are visible yet, but it’s a start.

25 thoughts on “It’s Not from the Birthday Candles!

  1. Wow, the picture comparison is absolutely crazy! I really hope all those fires will be over soon.
    Thanks for the shout-out here, and the list of all the birthday greetings. I haven’t been able to look at anything or comment elsewhere the last few days. Must catch up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is really so weird not to be able to see the mountains that we know must still be there! But really, I shouldn’t complain too much. The fires have been really devastating for some.
      I keep hoping I will have time to catch up with all the blogs too, but I think I missed a whole chunk while I was on my trip to Toronto. Ah well.


  2. Happy birthday to your husband and son!
    Our sons live in Seattle, and they’ve been seeing and feeling the effects of the smoke, too. A friend of ours works at the Space Needle and took some pics from the under-construction restaurant the other day. It was so strange to not see the city or mountains beyond the city due to the smoke. We’re with you and others praying for rain to help put out the fires and clear the air.
    Stay well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, and welcome! That would be interesting to see pictures from up high. I guess the whole west coast is affected. I think there’s some rain in the forecast for the weekend, so hopefully that will help.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Those two pics are night and day, like two different seasons even. I just cannot imagine what that area of Canada and northern California must be going through, just blows my mind. So glad your trip to Toronto went well except for your husband’s photo I.D. tribulation but hope you all had a wonderful time. Thank you for posting a map of the effected areas of the forest fire-it puts a more definitive visual in my head. Have a wonderful weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We had the wildfires from your province reach mine (Manitoba), causing some apocalyptic mornings. I read the air quality is close to those in Bejing. (Yikes!) Hope you’re doing alright Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Seattle smoke from a distant fire … | Well, There You Go ...

  6. As an American that ludicrous idea makes me ashamed to be one let’s just dump our problem
    of smoke onto Canada. For the idiot Moon all
    I can say is karma’s a bitch dude!


    • Thanks. You don’t know what you have until you miss it! We’ve actually gone away for two days, just to have a mini-break and rest & relax. Feeling much better now! Hope you’re doing well, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Everything’s good in the city now, but there are still 550 wildfires burning around the province. This is now apparently the second-worst fire season on record here, based on the amount of land burned. The worst thing is that hundreds of fires every year are human-caused.


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