Sunday, February 08, 2009

Smoke Ahead


I grew up in New Jersey a simpler time. When these times lost their simplicity I decided to move here where I could once again bask in the life style that I grew up with. While growing up one would rake their leaves in the fall and burn them. If you wanted a green lawn in the spring one would burn their lawn when it died back in the winter. Eventually burning became illegal back there. I’m not even sure if it is legal to burn incense there anymore.

I occasionally get whiffs of my childhood while driving through the country. There is a distinct difference in the smell of burning leaves and yard debris and the smell of wood fire smoke, but I appreciate them both.

When seeing smoke ahead while driving down the road I brace myself to be transported back to my childhood. This was the case the other day as I drove through a cloud. I was prepared to be taken back again, but the cab of my truck was filled with an unwelcome acrid stench. Some dirty rat bastard was burning plastic. It had all the charm of a fire at the dump. Some things shouldn’t be burned. It is acts like this that will get burning banned here as well one day.

10 Comments:

Blogger Donna said...

Yesterday, riding the motorcycle, we noticed a variety of smells. More unpleasant than pleasant, I believe: Did you know mid-Missouri is home to some large turkey farms?

Oh, and I know spring is not too far away, because the skunks are out, no doubt looking for romance. Unfortunately, many of them choose to cross the road and die.

Riding a motorcycle, you smell EVERYTHING!

4:31 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'd far rather smell burning leaves than listen to the incessant whine of leaf blowers - and they emit noxious fumes as well.
"Dirty rat bastard." I like that. Think I'll add it to my bad word vocabulary.

6:54 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I do love the smell of wood smoke and burning leaves. I have a large steel drum that I burn my yard waste in. In the late summer and fall I'll spend hours outside with a beer and a book, occasionally throwing something new into the fire. It aint heaven in suburbiaville, but it's close.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Back when I lived in the city nothing pissed me off worse that some knucklehead burning their leaves.
So there you are, in the PNW.
Its been raining and cold for months.
Along comes that one clear day and what happens?
Some ass fires up a smoldering, damp, smoke belching fire.
The entire neighborhood is now in a thick haze ALL DAY LONG.
Then about half the time these people get in their car and drive off.
What I learned is, that this spring ritual is a learned behavior.
Well, right after we moved out of the city, the city council UNLEARNED such stupid activity and banned backyard burning.
Oh darn! Now maybe the learned behavior can be composting?
Of course not. Now they bag it up and send it to the dump.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I love the smell of burning leaves.

I love the smell of Ireland in the winter. Burning peat or coal coming out of chimneys, mixed with the smell of diesel fumes and the smell of fish frying at the chippy on the corner.

That totally transports me.

10:43 AM  
Blogger g said...

reminds me of a song by the dead kennedy's - think i'll start a forest fire.

11:38 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, I bet the summer smells are the best in your state.

Beth, the sound of the metal tines of a rake scraping the ground is a beautiful thing.

Darev, most folks out here opt to burn a large pile all at once rather than feed a fire for weeks. We just seem to have more debris here I guess.

Gearhead, I'm with you on the compost, but sometimes one has more compost than one can deal with. I sometimes look for creative ways of getting rid of compost.

Auntie, so now I have the idea that Ireland is a smelly place ; )

g, I'm surprised there aren't more forest fires here with the burning practices I see around here.

5:40 AM  
Blogger g said...

just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there.

7:13 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

What a concept, dude...

9:29 PM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

I am totally am with ya on this one Guy.......I have a "burn pit" It is mostly a bon fire pit but it does get stray pieces of cardboard and sometimes the contents of the shredder. Never never never is plastic to be put in my "pit" also there is no metal added to the burn. Every so many years I dig the accumulated ashes and add them to My woods. The worms and the turkeys appreciate it. I'm not happy if hubby puts green grass clippings on a currently burning fire tho'
oh well
loopymama

5:51 AM  

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