Is anyone else tired of all the smoke in the air yet? I miss seeing the mountains. I don’t know about you, but one of the best things about living in Missoula is being surrounded by the gorgeous mountains. So, what’s the point of living here if it feels like you’re drowning in New York smog?

One of my boys was convinced today that a volcano had erupted because of all the ash in the air. It took me 10 minutes to convince him that the weird color in the sky and the ash falling like snowflakes was from a fire not from a Mt. St. Helens rerun. The strange sky color isn’t the only adverse effect the smoke and ash has had. It has also brought allergies.

I am not prone to allergies, but have been suffering smoke allergies this year. The watery eyes, the scratchy throat and the stuffed up sinuses have been a pleasure these past few weeks. I guess one good thing that has come of it is that I have gained a new found sympathy for those who deal with allergies year round.

Right now I’m longing for clear blue skies with white fluffy clouds framed by beautiful tree covered mountains. I can’t wait to gaze into the starry night sky trying to pick out the constellations and hoping to see a shooting star. I guess it’s true what they say, that it’s the little things you miss the most.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.