The Coming Storm

I’ve lived in Florida for most of my life, and have had the opportunity to live in different places across the state. I grew up in South Florida, spent a couple of years in Central Florida, and wound up in North Florida. Funny thing is, I’ve enjoyed all three environments. And yes, there are differences.

But the one thing I’ve never liked about living here is dealing with hurricane season. It’s unavoidable. In fact, over the years I’ve had the displeasure of riding out nine big storms, and on a couple of occasions had the opportunity to step outside while the eye passed overhead. A very cool experience, but it’s not worth the stress that comes with one-hundred + mile-an-hour winds.

And I’ve also been lucky that I’ve never personally experienced extreme damage. Sure, downed trees, downed power lines, some light flooding, but nothing that couldn’t be removed and/or repaired.

As I write this, there’s a storm brewing in the Caribbean and, at the moment, is forecast to head towards Florida. Of course, it’s still a few days out and the path can change east or west. That’s the fun part of these things – never quite knowing where it’s going to go, or how strong it’ll end up being.

I also feel guilty in a way. Why? Because I wish the storm would go somewhere else, another direction. But then that would mean other people would be affected by it. I always hate to see these big storms hit the islands. Their infrastructure is already fragile and it takes them years to recover. Ideally, it would simply curve back out into the Atlantic and be a fish storm, something to keep the dolphins entertained.

I’ve had people ask me why I stay somewhere that can be devastated by storms, but I always counter by asking where could I go that doesn’t have the potential for natural devastation? Out west, earthquakes and fires. In the south, tropical storms. In the mid-west, tornadoes. In the north, blizzards. What about along a coastline? Rising sea levels and tsunamis. There is no true paradise, is there?

I know, I’m being sort of silly here. I don’t mind dealing with the weather. At least with hurricanes we have warning. It’s not like it just appears and blows shit over. Plus, I’m prepared. Canned food, extra supplies, gas in the vehicles. My Cub Scout training finally paid off.

If you’re in Florida, the East Coast of the US, or on one those beautiful islands in the Caribbean, please stay safe.


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