I had to take Dad to an appointment at the V.A. to have his medication evaluated for a discount benefit.
Ma was industriously going through all her old junk mail sorting things to burn in the fireplace. I told her she shouldn't be burning anything in the fireplace. Ordinarily, I'd think a match would do wonders for the place, but it reeks of smoke. She won't open a door or window for ventilation because she complains of the cold, even when temperatures soar into the 90s.
She said she had to burn sweepstakes papers. She's convinced the mail carriers went through her trash. Someone won $10,000 earmarked for Ma, and to add insult to injury, they called Ma to tell her about it.
Dad and I headed off down the road. When we got back, there was such a noxious, toxic smell. I told Ma she shouldn't burn anything. She said it was her house and she could do what she wanted.
Talking to Dad later, I asked him if he knew what she was tossing in the fireplace.
"She throws everything in there. She burns the styrofoam plates we use and the liners from the meat."
I have tried to tell her that styrofoam is toxic, but my warnings fall on deaf ears. One can only hope that the neighbors will call the EPA to complain about the factory next door. I'm sure the chimney stack isn't the requisite height. In the mean time, might be worth it to invest in a gas mask.