Sunday, November 8, 2020

Waiting For Eta

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.
Florida Keys Storm
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. 
Florida Storm
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.
Key West Storm
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. 
Outside where the weather may be frightful they tell us winds could reach 85 miles per hour in gusts and 75 sustained tonight. They expect widespread flooding trees down and so forth. The official county emergency management PAGE says high schools in Key West, Marathon and Coral Shores are open. So all is ready for this late season hurricane which seems to be chasing it's onw tail on a  very crooked track.

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.

Florida Keys Road
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. 
Overseas Highway
Hurricane season ends November 30th. I can't wait.


A few pictures from an early morning walk downtown on my last day off..
Key West
I photograph it far too much but you can see why: St Paul's Church. 
I miss the productions of the Red Barn Theater as well as the Waterfront Playhouse.

Skateboarding illegally on Duval Street. I should have called 911.
We are all naked before God they tell us; some chose to be naked before their neighbors as well.

Decorations at The Bull Bar.

The county courthouse, 500 Whitehead Street.
America voted to make politics boring again and I am very relieved  about that.  Lots of cheering and celebrating by happy unarmed people not threatening anyone.  And the President-Elect offering an olive branch to the people who accused him of being a paedophile. Turning away from dictatorship at the ballot box seems highly American to me. Onwards and upwards. 

The late lamented Sippin' coffee shop on Eaton survives in  an upside down sign left hanging.The Hard Rock CafĂ©.