Posted by: guinness222 | July 28, 2007

I ain’t working this weekend!!

I’m feeling the crunch today. The crazy idiot tourists, the hot and VERY humid weather, the “burrs” under everyone’s saddles, and believe it or not the lack of hurricanes. Does that sound stupid or what!
How the hell can the “lack of hurricanes” bother someone? It’s easy. When I first moved to Florida full time in late ’97, I knew Hurricanes prowled the area. I’d been few a couple in New England back in the 50’s, and a few more over the years in different places. But Florida is the “bullseye” for mother nature with respect to hurricanes. But I wasn’t really phased by them,…then.
The year after we got here was our first real “hurricane”, a little one called Georges (phonetically “Jorrgis”) I remeber the forcast that it would make landfall on Saturday night into Sunday morning, it was a “catagory 2” I believe. But how could that be? My wife and I did a little shopping Friday, got batteries, bottled water, we hung out, as the whole town was “closed”. Shops were boarded up businesses all closed down, all loose things put away, lawn furniture in the livingroom, all the usual precautions. By noon time Saturday we were bored to tears. The weatherchannel was babbling on, the sky was clear and it was sunny, sunny, sunny. “Come on honey, let’s go for a ride”, says me. So we jumped in the convertible, put the top down and set out to see what we could see.
Yup it was just like they said, all the businesses were closed and boarded up, all the loose stuff stowed, and the streets were empty. (I could actually get up to the speed limit on the usually bumper to bumper hi-way!) We poked around the Harbor area and found one lowly restaurant open, so in we go. They had a big open deck overlooking the harbor itself so we had lunch on the deck, a couple of beers, helped some tourists and took pictures of them all smiling and looking all goofy tourist family on vacation. They offered to take a snapshot of us with my wife’s camera so we let them and gave them our best non-plussed “local” expressions. We cruised a bit more, found abagel shop open so we decided to get some as bagels are the “twinkies” of breads for staying power. The girl gave us about fourteen and said, “guess we ain’t havin’ much of a crowd today so here’s a couple extra so I can get rid of ’em all and go home too.” Then we went back to the house, watched the tube (TV), and turned in early. Still no sign of anything just a “cloudier sky at sunset” than usual.
Next morning, being Sunday, we figured we’d get up, go to church, come home, have a liesurely breakfast, and curl up with a good book. (Also another Hurricane necessity since electricity, we were told, usually is out for a few days.) It looked really ominous with dark swilling nasty clouds literally “roaring” by. The winds had picked up significantly and the palms and anything else around was waving vigorously. We decided to skip church and stay hunkered down. By ten or so it started raining, by 10:30 it was pouring sideways. (Seriously the rain was coming down,oops, I really mean across in sheets. The place across the street, maybe twenty or thirty feet away was a blurred blob, barely definable. And so it was for hours and hours. The electricity hadn’t gone out yet so I snapped a picture of the weatherchannel with thier map showing the “Eye” just about over us. Then it just died off to nothing but a very cloudy day, no winds, no rain. That was the “eye” directly over us. Then as fat as it died off it came back and we were back on the rollercoaster for hours more, window screens sailed by, garbage can lids, anything not nailed down,…but the electricity never went off. By seven or eight that night we were ready for bed,..and made no plans for tomorrow.
Next morning we got us, the sun rose into a virtually clear sky, and it was almost surealistic in that the fury and power of yesterday was gone,..poof,…vanished. And we were back to bing just an empty “ghost town”. So we went out, checked and found no damage to speak of, and just hung out for the day again, and back to normal the day after. And that was our first Hurricane in Florida.
The next few years were just “normal”, a couple of tropical storms, a few tropical “depressions”, but overall nothing to write home to Mom about. And so it went until 2004. What I call the “one a day multiple brand hurricane days”. It started not too very bad, then the storms started coming like an Uzi submachine gun as oppsed to rifle shots with time between. The worst on that year was “Ivan” , he kicked the shit out of a bunch of folks and property. the “little” Tropical storms in between the hurricanes concentrated on tearing up our beaches something fierce. (If I can figure it out again I’ll pop in some pix’s I took in ’04, and ’05 of the aftermath)
Going to end this part of the blog and see if the pix’s published in the “easy style” of blogspot. Back in a few.
-30-


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