In 1998 we moved from northwest New Jersey to our current home in South Florida. At that time, many of our friends warned us of the danger that we faced from hurricanes. Thankfully though, apart from a brush with Hurricane Floyd in 1999, we had little experience with these storms until the notorious hurricane season of 2005. That year brought forth, among other storms, deadly Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (and also brought a good deal of damage to Florida). It also spawned Hurricane Wilma that wrecked havoc on the Caribbean and Florida, killing 19 people (6 of them in Florida), and caused billions in property damage. The 2005 hurricane season left me with a respect for these storms that I hadn’t had before living through them.
Last Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy barreled across eastern Cuba and headed up the east coast of the United States I thought of those less fortunate – those living in the flimsy shacks in the Caribbean islands – people without the funds to flee or to safely stay. My heart reaches out to them.
Now, as Hurricane Sandy leaves our latitudes and pushes north toward our friends and family in the Northeastern U.S. we wish all in its path well.
For those of you who might find yourselves housebound for the duration of the storm, I would like to share with you one of my favorite short stories. It is a story about storm, a ‘simoom’ , and it is by one of my favorite writers – Edgar Allan Poe. Its title: Manuscript Found in a Bottle. It is great reading by fire light. The story goes well with a splash of old brandy in a great snifter…so pull the family tight, stoke the fire logs and pray that the internet doesn’t fail. Then let the winds howl. Stay safe in your abode and read this classic aloud before bed.
To all of our family and friends in the path of this storm, please prepare well and stay safe.