Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sandy Versus Irma

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself as I walked Rusty in the green and pleasant land that is Palm Beach County.  I contrasted what I saw and compared it to where I live 200 miles away in a burnt out desert. He saw  bright green iguanas lounging in perfect safety on a  bunch of ficus roots across the canal. He had taken a decent walk so now was his time to hunker and observe. So he did: 
Then I met Bob Vecchione from Long Island. He came by and asked me how I was doing. For some reason I blurted my tale of car buying under storm duress and he had  his own way of cheering me up. He had survived Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. Now retired in Florida he was hit with two waves of seawater from both sides during that massive hurricane and his car barely survived yet he still drives it today, with a pinch of nostalgia I suspect.
His perspective on the random irrationality of powerful storms was interesting to me as he confirmed my own suspicions about hurricane preparation. I think we do it more to please ourselves and reassure ourselves that we have done what's possible. Certainly some actions will help but all too often people who take no precautions at all often end up with less damage than those of us who obsess over every detail of our storm response plan.
He told me about his neighbors who did nothing and came through unscathed and he talked about the slow and aggravating period of recovery. He empathized, it actually felt good talking to a stranger.
Rusty enjoyed running through the grass but while we talked he sat and stared at his nemesis across the water. Bob told me the ficus tree had been huge and shady and was cut down just a month before. He muttered it had seemed a shame at the time but now with all those reports of trees knocked over by high winds...
Rusty and I wandered back to breakfast at the hotel cutting across dew covered fields and avoiding spandex cyclists who ran hither and yon in upscale Boca Raton.
At the breakfast table we overheard a guest engage in a conversation, a monologue perhaps, with an employee. At one point the hail-fellow-well-met traveling businessman sympathized with the hotel employee saying how much damage he had seen and how much easier Tampa had it from Irma. My wife and I burst into spontaneous laughter. Indeed I'm sure the city of Boca Raton was in a huge uproar over the tipping of some ornamental plants in their pots...
Leafless winter in the Keys...and my electric blue Fusion to replace my bland tan Fusion that drowned. It's not a worthy thought I know but still I had to wonder how many cars drowned in Boca Raton?