Just like the old days.
mrguy and I were just sitting down to Hawaiian language class when I started getting multiple texts. One from my Wubbie, another from one of my teammates at work. The refinery was on fire. Was everything o.k.?
15 miles or so away, everything was grand. And now at home, things are pretty mellow, except that the cats are patrolling the house after having been subjected to the shelter-in-place sirens this evening.
Back in the day, when we lived in the old place, we were like the creamy filling in a refinery sandwich. The refinery up the street was pretty mellow. It would spew surreptitiously at night or during rainstorms. The older one to the south had less control over its waste product and was always spewing, or on the blink.
During the 7 1/2 years I lived in the old place, I was on a first name basis with the people who answered the phone at the air quality control board in the middle of the night. At first they wondered why I would call them so late, but these were the hours in which the refineries would have accidental releases. I worked late hours and so did my honey and if I didn't stay up I couldn't see him...why are you asking me this, air quality control dude?
Eventually we were all cool. The bummer was that although they had money to pay people to answer the phone in the middle of the night, they didn't seem to have money to pay inspectors to work in the middle of the night. The nice inspector would come in the morning and we'd chat about her kids. She knew that I knew what I was smelling, but unless she could smell it herself or detect it in a sample, there was no recourse.
Now we don't live near the refinery but we can see it twinkling at night from our house. Every once in a while it reaches out to remind us it's there.
Friendly little fella.