How could a sensitive and discerning reader not empathize/sympathize with the plight of Andrea Bainbridge of Portland, Oregon as she describes the careless and uncaring behavior of her next door neighbor. Andrea’s home does NOT have air conditioning requiring her family to leave the windows open to properly ventilate house.
She understands the bonding and healthy family interactions that can occur around backyard fire pit, but has to attempt to slumber in a bedroom wreaking of smoke! One solution would be to save the money to install AC. She chooses to criticize her neighbors as being inconsiderate for lighting fires at ground level on their own property which appears to be legal. Or even better yet, Andrea could actually ring the offending neighbors doorbell for a face to face rather than hoping neighbor reads her letter to editor.
Sunset magazine and Better Homes and Gardens make outdoor fire pits seem really great to gather around in your backyard. I can picture friends sitting around the fire enjoying food and drink well into the evening. I love a fire and build one every night through the winter in our fireplace insert. And I have considered our smoke. But in the winter, most of our neighbors’ windows are closed.
We do not have air conditioning. We need all windows open to get the house ventilated during the summer. I head to bed and find our bedroom totally stinking of smoke from someone’s outdoor fire. This is not a barbecue; it’s clearly wood smoke. A chimney funnels smoke 20 feet into the air. A backyard pit at ground level drifts right into neighbors’ windows. I’m amazed that this is actually allowed.(Attend a city council meeting and make a motion to declare backyard fires illegal or against code) Smoke is always in someone’s face as it drifts around.
I don’t have an answer(one answer is to buy an AC system for your house) but would like people to think about their neighbors before lighting a festive fire in their yard.