We’ve returned from the grocery and checking houses before Hurricane Isaac comes to town! Bob is preparing the blender now for our hurricane party libations. I’m sure the rest of the world shakes their heads in dismay that we coastal states make a party out of a hurricane. But you have to live here to understand. Hurricane days in Florida are much like snow days up north. People stock up on supplies, schools and businesses close and then everyone left in town hunkers down for the storm. The TV weather forecaster works you up for about two weeks giving blow-by-blow movement of the storm and every day he warns you to get ready with all your supplies. The first summer we were here there were 18 threats of hurricanes. We wondered if we had made a huge mistake moving here. But after a few summers of the “little boy who cried wolf,” we came to realize we didn’t need to worry quite that much. That’s not to say we aren’t prepared today with water, canned goods and a non-electric can opener, but we are relaxed about it and going on with life. It’s one of the perils of living in Paradise!
Our home is about a mile and a half from the Gulf of Mexico as the crow flies and for the past 17 years we’ve never really had a close call except for Hurricane Charlie. Charlie worried us because Venice was supposed to be a direct hit. Instead the warmer waters of Charlotte Harbor sucked it in and the hurricane tracked to the northeast through the middle of the state and up through Orlando where people had been advised to flee to. It just goes to show you, no one can predict exactly what the storm will do. Our son, Jeremy and our daughter-in-law, Sarah, lived in New Orleans when Katrina hit. Bob and I had a real bad feeling about that storm and we told them they had better get out. They didn’t leave until her parents insisted, so the kids ended up getting caught in the grueling exodus away from the city. In a day and a half they only managed to put 50 miles between them and the city. Fortunately they found a hotel with 2 rooms left…one with a leak in the ceiling and the other which became theirs. They stayed there through the storm and the next day and then drove east and south to Venice. The good Lord was looking out for them as the roads were clear enough to get through and they found gas all the way. After that Bob and I decided unless it was the hurricane of the century heading straight our way, we would prepare but stay put and avoid the hurricane gridlock. We will live in God’s hands.
So Key West has battened down the hatches and Hurricane Parties abound. With that thought in mind I am compelled to start the first canvas of my Key West collection. I love the feel of the quaint yet quirky island. Funky art is the name of the game and I intend to play!