Today is my 12th wedding anniversary, so my wife and I decided to spend a day and night down the road in Carmel, California. I’d spent a fair amount of time in Carmel before – I had a friend who was an amazing artist and she owned a gallery there. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years ago, and since then, I haven’t spent much time in Carmel. It’s not necessarily a place I’d spend a lot of time, seeing as how it’s loaded with high-end art galleries, expensive eateries, and lots of tourist trap shops with trinkets, t-shirts, and other baubles marked “Carmel.” But it’s clear something’s going on here: I must be getting old, because God help me, I’m actually enjoying myself. We spent hours wandering in and out of shops, overpaying for all kinds of stuff, but eating some great food and talking to lots of fun and engaging merchants. We also spent the better part of an hour down on Carmel City Beach, watching the sunset. It was a beautiful day, except of course for all the smoke in the air from the fires up in Paradise, CA and down in Malibu. It’s a bittersweet day, enjoying the beauty of the central coast while seeing all the smoke and knowing that hundreds of thousands of people are threatened by these historic wildfires and that several dozen have already died. But that is, I suppose, life – and it goes on, for most of us, anyway. To those who have lost their lives or loved ones – we wish you peace, and we’ll support whatever can be done to help you heal and ensure these kinds of horrible conflagrations are managed and mitigated as best we can.
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