Laugh More, Worry Less


The state is on fire, again. It seems that three of the last four years have been off the charts for wild fires.

2017 – Napa and Santa Rosa burned. Santa Barbara County, too.

2018 – Paradise, the town, was wiped off the map.

2019 – Because of heavier winter rainfall, the fires weren’t so bad.

2020 – 3 million acres have burned, and it’s only September 13th. We might not get rain for 2 more months.

No one can do anything outside. The fires down south send smoke some days. The fires up north in Oregon and Washington and our own Mendocino fire send smoke other days. Unless we get a westerly wind, we are shrouded in smoke and sometimes falling ash.

I let the dogs out this morning and took in a deep breath at the back door. The foggy ocean air stank. Another day stuck inside.

I turned on Facebook, sipped my fake cup of coffee and started scrolling.

There was a black and white photo of Rod Serling, the narrator of the Twilight Zone.  The caption read, “Imagine a world where YouTube, Twitter and Facebook merge to become known as:


I snorted my coffee and couldn’t stop laughing.

My clenched jaw relaxed. My high shoulders lowered in relaxation. My tight neck loosened up a bit.  Why did it strike me as so funny?

I guess I needed a reason to laugh. 

Facebook friends argue about climate change and whether or not it has created these early season wild fires. The big Bay Area fire used to be from 1991 when 3500 houses burned in Oakland and Berkeley.  25 people died.

The Santa Rosa fire of 2017 nearly knocked down that record when high winds drove a rogue fire through uninhabited canyons and into a subdivision, taking out most of the homes in Coffey Park, burning 2834 homes and killing four people. Parts of Napa burned that year, too, along with Santa Barbara and other CA fires killing 40 more people.

Australia had record fires last winter (their summer). Now the American Pacific Coast is burning from end to end.

I spent the day putzing around, doing a little of this and a little of that. My plans to work and paint outside were scrapped. I didn’t want a smoke headache for hours.

After the nightly national news and before the online symphony concert, I ended up back on Facebook. 

A friend had posted something pro-military that said because of U.S. intelligence, we were able to fight Al Quesadilla and get Osama Bin Laden. Yes, you read that right.

Al Quesadilla.

Autocorrect strikes again.

I snorted my evening beverage as I laughed out loud. My jaw had been up to its old tricks, stuck in a clench, until Al Quesadilla broke through and let it relax again.

It’s good to laugh.

Our national election is less than two months away.  I receive daily texts from Joe, Kamala, Elizabeth, Cory, Pete, Nancy, Chuck,Hillary and any other Democrat out there. That’s what happens when you give money to Amy McGrath (running against Mitch Mc Connell).

Our orange president says one thing about Coronavirus and Dr. Fauci says the opposite. My home state of Iowa is a hot spot for Covid-19, along with 20 other states where masks are optional and bars are reopening in time for the colder weather. It will be more people breathing the same indoor air.

Sports teams are passing around Covid-19. Colleges are passing it around.  My senior-aged friends are staying healthy but still taking risks: golfing, having dinner parties, taking group photos while hiking. I consider shopping for groceries a risk. That’s why I go out on Sunday mornings when everyone else is just waking up. Plus, I want the Sunday paper, and you have to get it early.

After buying my newspaper, I wait at the double ATM while the unmasked guy finishes up his transaction. He gives me a dirty look. He thinks the virus is a hoax. I want to yell, “I see my 90-year-old mother from time to time!”

Maybe today I’ll read the comics. I could use a good guffaw.

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