Happy Hurricane Birthday!

My birthday is in a couple days and it’s a monumental one. I’m turning 65. The good thing is I can now get Medicare and the bad thing is I can’t take that cruise I was dreaming of to celebrate it.

The end of August is peak hurricane season and ever since I moved to Florida I’ve spent plenty of birthdays locked behind hurricane shutters. Since I started blogging, almost every year I’ve written a post titled Happy Hurricane Birthday!

So here’s this year’s commentary. There are two hurricanes brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a first, two storms expected to make landfall within hours of each other. It’s 2020. What else can I say.

Please pray for the people of the Gulf Coast.

The Benefits of Random Reading

When I started my Clean Kindle Challenge I thought I’d be stuck reading a lot of long, dragged out titles that at one time I had high hopes of enjoying. Many times books sound interesting to me or I can get them for free so I download the book and there it sits because something more intriguing has come along that took precedent in my world of books.

What I’ve found so far however, is that I may not be that fickle when it comes to choosing a book that is worthy of my attention. A couple of my Facebook fans chose The Great Gatsby as my next read. I never read it before and thought I should, but more modern titles always won out. Well, I read it and I loved it and now I know why so many people do too.

My Facebook friends didn’t recognize any of the titles I randomly picked for them to choose from this week. I didn’t know any of them either. I selected The Dogs of Detroit by Brad Felver. It is an award winning collection of short stories that is absolutely amazing! I have trouble putting it down.

He is an Ohioan and I suspect I came across this book in a BGSU alumni newsletter. I also went to college at Bowling Green State University in northwestern Ohio. I look for and find books to read in all kinds of unusual places and never lock myself into a specific genre or author. There is so much to learn about the world around us between the covers of a book. And that is true for just about any book.

Based on what I’ve already found stored in my Kindle, I’m looking at the rest of my Clean Kindle Challenge with more anticipation than dread. See what books are hiding in the back of your Kindle or even tucked away, lost in a sea of books on your bookshelf. You just may find a hidden gem.

Thoughts of a Hurricane

Yesterday we closed the hurricane shutters since we were told that Hurricane Isaias was on its way to us. Today we’re still waiting. I went out for my morning walk before the rain supposedly begins to arrive in a couple hours. That gave me time to think about hurricanes of the past.

I’ve lived in Florida for 40 years so I’ve been through my share of hurricanes. My first recollection of a storm was in the late 1980’s. Richard and I would go to the store and buy pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, pick our favorite, get a spoon and climb into bed to watch the storm go by. We didn’t get the flashlights out, no one I knew even had shutters. Sometimes we might put masking tape on the windows as a precaution, but mainly we did a lot of nothing.

Then Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. I can still see the face of the woman who said, “Where the hell is the cavalry?” That storm was devastating and people suffered immensely because we had no safeguards or backup plans in place. After that things started to change in terms of hurricane preparation.

In 2004 Richard and I took a trip to Washington DC. We got a call while in the Holocaust Museum to come pick up our dog from the kennel. That was embarrassing. He had to stay alone as Hurricane Jeanne pummeled through. We had to stay an extra night in our suite at the Willard Hotel since the airport was closed. Poor us.

Wilma came through in 2005 and we were without power for 9 days. But I have to say the worst storm we experienced was Irma in 2017. The house even with all the shutters closed, rocked and rolled all night long. It was a Cat 4, the strongest I’d ever tried to sleep through.

So here we are with Isaias. We can’t pronounce the name and she is unsure of what she wants to be, hurricane or tropical storm. So here we sit in the dark with all the shutters closed and as Richard says, he farts harder than the wind we are going to get from Isaias. Even though we now take all the precautions we can for a storm, batteries, flashlights, water; one tradition stays in place. I got mint chocolate chip ice cream and Richard got dark cherry chocolate.