I am hearing from friends and neighbors worried about Tropical Storm Eta currently over Cuba and projected to make landfall over the Lower Keys tonight as a Category One Hurricane. I am not one to minimize storms as I have over the years seen much destruction but this storm seems rather puny if I can allow myself such a characterization.
Rusty and I walked in town before dawn and there were a few people around, mostly the homeless pretending it was just a rainy morning in Key West. The wind and rain abated for an hour and we wandered unmolested, a good opportunity for my buddy to stretch his legs. I am not indifferent to the homeless in Key West but the shelter is now open 24 hours and from conversations I find most of these characters choose to be "free." It just looks unpleasantly uncomfortable to me.
I saw a few self important youngsters hustling around the marina with serious looks creasing their faces. They saw an old tourist and his camera ambling aimlessly with his dog, but I have to say there are too many boaters who think sitting in one spot on an anchor makes them sailors, a definition that comes into question when weather turns harsh. I wonder what their hurricane plans are and why they haven't had them in place since the day before yesterday?
Predictably the usual downtown streets were looking Venice-like, high tides, winds and inches of rain combine to point out the obvious: there is too much water.
It was a lovely walk, made more so by the fact that nasty weather is all around us and we were walking in a bubble of calm. So, the question then is, should I be worried? Many of my friends and neighbors are heading down that path but let me explain why I'm not, and neither should you be.
I have taken sensible precautions and those are the usual minimalist preparations for heavy weather. Bring in the outside furniture, hide the garbage cans, park the car under the carport and then watch my wife plying her water colors while Rusty sleeps in his bed and I flip through my photographs. That's my strategy for dealing with the hurricane as I'm off work on Monday.
On my drive to work in darkness I came across an accident scene on Sugarloaf Key which was cleaned up by the time i went to work mid morning. All that was left was a few cones and mangled guard rail. You have to wonder how you could crash into the railing with such force. Illness? Distraction? I am reminded of the imbecile who sent me to the hospital. but even on these straight roads, well marked and clear people manage to fail to thread the eye of the needle.
Meanwhile even as the storm approaches there are a few assorted residents who continue to live their lives without fear and some aplomb. My hat is off to them as they seem to share my low key assessment of the weather impacts. We could of course all be quite wrong.