Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Walk in the Rain, Tea and a Bizarre Letter

I hate rainy weather. In theory I like the idea of being tucked up out of the weather listening to the wind howling through the palms and watching the rain pounding the window panes, but in reality I hate feeling cooped up.
It rained yesterday as I left Key West, gradually drying up as I went, such that by the time I got home my waterproofs were dry even though the motorbike was covered in road muck. I tried to walk Cheyenne but the rain caught us after twenty minutes and we beat a retreat. When I got up after lunch it was...raining.
Hard. I could see rain pelting the waters of the canal underneath the house. I looked at my dog, and as you can see she had no hesitation about getting out, rain or no rain. Well bugger, off we went.

Summer downpours like this, which has lasted two days and seems reluctant to peter out tend to cause chaos in the Big City. Key West floods at the least provocation and streets routinely go under water. It's tedious stuff as the least water covering strikes terror into the hearts of the stoutest drivers, even those driving trucks that are "Ford Tough" and equipped with huge tires and four wheel drive. All for show no doubt. As a result the pace of urban locomotion is reduced to a pedestrian crawl.

In the tough outlying communities further up the Overseas Highway we pride ourselves on our self reliance, well not really but one would like to think so. Happily there are fewer cars on the side roads so things are easier away from the main artery. Some days a man wants to go for a bit of a drive especially when trapped in the home by rain and it's on ay slime these that one might want a slightly greater reach along the side roads. In any vent we reached the red diamonds on the very end of No Name Key twenty minutes after leaving the house.
She was happy and wandered at will while I tried to make my phone camera work with wet fingers and an equally damp screen. You'd be amazed how quickly the phone ceases to operate at the slightest appearance of rain. So there I was standing in the downpour cursing my electronic Swiss Army Knife which was about as useful in the rain as a brick in my pocket.
I was quite jealous of my dog, I standing there watching her while she had fun and I had none trying to ignore the opportunities for picture taking that were beyond my hopelessly damp phone.
I dried out a bit in the car as we slowly made our way back to Big Pine. I was thinking about hot tea and melting honey on toast to fight off the chill of a 73 degree rainy afternoon, but Cheyenne was not yet done torturing me.
I spotted his Pashtun hovel on the No Name bridge and stopped to fiddle with my camera. A face popped out and I whisked him good luck as he eyed me eying him. I reserved for myself the thought of how mad for fishing the must be to squat in this unutterably miserable spot while waiting fr a fish to impale itself on their hooks. Tea and toast sounded better than ever, but my dog would have none of it.
It's not at all like Key West where it seems most streets could be rated "low lying" but flooding is inevitable everywhere when the rain won't stop.
These days new houses are required to be on stilts to keep them above the flood plain which makes sense when you see the waters rising.
It doesn't take much water...
A sense of humor helps, which is easy enough to maintain as long the waters stay away from the front door.
The duck may have been a decoy but the Key Deer weren't. As usual Cheyenne paid no attention to the curious creature, she was much more interested in the smells emanating from the securely planted trash cans.
At home with tea water heating, and the rain starting to ease up I made a trip to the mailbox and found a hand written note addressed to me. Jim Phelps? Never heard of him, and apparently he hasn't heard of me as I live on Ramrod even though the post office is on Summerland which confuses strangers, and fortunately doesn't faze our letter carrier. In this case I'd have been fine if the misspelled hand written note had got lost. That the postage was a freedom stamp added a small layer of irony.
Who knew? I want to sell my house. Not actually. In some way I cannot quite explain I found this letter to be remarkably intrusive. I restrained myself from calling this guy and giving him a piece of my mind but what happened to the notion of hiring a realtor to announce my intentions when and if they arise?
My wife suggested we tell him yes for some absurdly high amount but naturally these weird sharks aren't charities and I decline to play the fool for some evanescent amusement. Years ago I had a colleague at work who used to respond to solicitation letters, the ones that came with postage paid return envelopes by filling them with lead foils from the tops of wine bottles. By making the envelopes as heavy as possible he wanted to create the highest possible cost for the irritating senders. Perhaps I'll call Jim at two in the morning during my break from work and see how he enjoys intrusion, after all he did solicit me!