Friday, September 15, 2017

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, I hope.

Big news. My cousin's 25 year old son was just promoted by the electrical company he works for to Linesman and was promptly sent to South Florida for an assignment with overtime.

Good thing it was only a tropical storm.
My mom chuckled over the news. An able bodied single guy will be very handy helping to restore power. Hurricane Irma covered Florida as a hurricane, and my state, Georgia, as a tropical storm. We watched the trajectory which caught my house, my brother's house outside of Carrollton, GA and Mentone, Alabama which is my mother's old hometown.

It was interesting to experience those sustained winds as Irma passed over. I slept through the heaviest of winds. About 40 years ago, I slept through a storm where huge Pecan trees where lifted out of the ground and laid down like match sticks by the wind about 100 feet behind the room I was in.

Irma's rain was the sort my grandmother loved which was a light steady rain that would soak in the ground. My grandmother farmed through the dirty thirties and the 40's during the Big War. I remember going to tell her how bad DDT was when I was a teenager. I stopped; she had a wistful look and said that was some good stuff. Some good stuff that controlled insects and almost decimated several bird populations. Everything is a matter of perspective.

I posted a picture of two of my dogs on Facebook. Louise seemed mystified by what was going on. I opened the back door to let a dog back in and heard a bird crying. I checked again with the resolve to rescue the animal. I could not easily find it. I went back in and when I came back out, I heard my favorite birdsong, so mom or dad must have been retrieving their youngster. I know what the bird looks like and it's song. I just don't know it's name yet.

Louise and BoDuke are cool with the power out. But what's with all that wind?

As bad as Irma and Harvey are, it's the floods that do the most damage. We will have some flooding in central Georgia; but, it will be manageable. Who I worry about the most are people out West with the fires. This is a year to remember with natural disasters.

Last Tuesday, the storm had blown away. The birds seemed happy in the sunshine. A sassy lizard ran the driveway away from the house. We had a lot of leaves and branches broken from the wind. The horse farm next door had an old barn to collapse. There are a few trees uprooted in the Pecan orchards. Being within weeks of harvest; nuts fell from the trees. Hurricanes this time of year wreak havoc on Pecan production.

There were tremendous trees blown over. Leaf and twig debris was everywhere. Mother nature prunes with a vengeance.

It was strange to have a curfew Monday from 2:30 am until 8 am the next morning. With so many Florida evacuees, all of the first responders, law enforcement and firemen and women burned the midnight oil for us all. It was appreciated.

There are some cultural differences between South Floridians and central Georgia. We talk to everyone. My sister had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday. Since the doctor was in, we went and stopped at a Chinese restaurant we enjoy.

I chatted up a few of the Floridians. They were cordial; but, they initially had that look like "Are you speaking to me?" I wasn't trying to agitate anyone. I only spoke to those who were carrying a heavy load on their face. Actually, I talked up a bunch of folks.

The day without power and the days without internet wore on me. However, I had my comfortable bed to sleep in each night. Plus I cooked a good dinner the day before in case the power went out. I can't imagine sleeping in my car or a motel in Atlanta only to join grinding traffic to go back home and see what is left. They were smart to evacuate. They saved their lives and possibly the first responders who would have helped them.

The traffic was heavy but flowing. I don't know what caused this back-up. This was my exit.
The funniest thing that happened as we were returning home. The Interstate was backed up and we went off a side road that had a huge truck stop. People were trapped and couldn't get out. So I stopped and let a long line of them out until; I got honked at and passed by a line of about four cars with Florida tags followed by a local who also honked at me.

So I waved at the one in front of the trapped cars and went on my way. No use holding up a lane of traffic if the traffic was going to drive around me. All I could think is the people who passed me chose a difficult road to find their way back to a highway going South. The first car that passed me, the guy was running his mouth and shot a bird at me. I can imagine the aggravation he was feeling. And this crazy car just stops and lets a whole line of people out.

And yes, we laughed about it might be cultural to deliberately stop traffic to let people out. I don't know. People did it all the time when I lived in the Atlanta area. Atlanta is quasi Southern. It's only the South when people feel like it. Even then, they have to read the Atlanta Journal Constitution to know for sure what Southerners are like. I mean I was always surprised to learn about Southerners in that paper at times. We can be an interesting lot with plenty of blarney to spare.

I remember one car that saved my life as I merged from Interstate 85 to I-475 about 30 years ago. They were working on the interstate and there was a narrow area to merge. As I merged, this car changed lanes where I needed to go. I slowed for them and was scared. It was the concrete median or the car behind. Luckily, the car behind saw the situation and made me a space.

I changed lanes and drove down to look at miscreant that almost killed me. She had a look that she was incredibly lost in her thoughts. Driving is a poor place to daydream.

Consideration in metro Atlanta traffic had more to do with accident avoidance. 

But hey, do you stop traffic so people can get out? Do you live in an urban, suburban or rural area?

Hell was open this Wednesday. These two trees had to call attention to themselves.

Yep, we got enthusiastic rock painters here too. 


  1. We do stop to let people people merge. To let them merge safely.
    I am glad you and yours are ok.
    My heart goes out to the people affected by natural disasters - world wide. And to those affected by unnatural disasters (wars, terrorism and their aftermath) too.

    1. Mexico had a hurricane and a huge earthquake. India had a tremendous flood. The list goes on. Inconvenient for man but a huge reminder we are part of the Earth not The Earth.

  2. l type for a group of Florida hospitals. Typing a lot of reports of the effects of Hurricane Irma on people's health and power still being out. Congrats to your nephew for his new promotion and assignment. I'm sure the people in Florida will appreciate it.

    I do let people merge in traffic. I'm a very cautious driver; hubby is aggressive; I close my eyes a lot when he is driving in busy traffic. Where we used to live several years ago, son had to travel a mountain type of road to go and visit his girlfriend at the time. You couldn't pass on the road because there was no room to pass. One time he and a friend decided to just go the speed limit on the road. They had a line of 84 cars (they pulled over afterwards to count them all) behind them since they were not going faster than the speed limit and didn't pull over at the few spots available to let the rest of the traffic go. When they got to the end of that stretch and pulled over and people could pass, a lot of finger waving was exhibited.

    I would have gone crazy without power or Internet. Can't even handle it for a few hours, let alone days. Call me spoiled or pampered?


    1. I know your son and friend had a good laugh going the speed limit. I remember a man who was a year older than me in school. He was hired as a police officer at 18. He liked driving super slow on the main road in time. No car would pass a patrol car. lol That's what they get for hiring someone so young.

      I wouldn't call you spoiled in the least. My house was unusually filthy when the power was turned back on. It was like we were frozen in place. I'm glad it is over with.

  3. Hi Ann - so glad your nephew has his new job with opportunity for extra cash. I'd hate to evacuate and then sit in piles of traffic, or go back that way too ... everyone rushing. Must be challenging all round - thankfully Irma has passed now - cheers Hilary

    1. It is good to for someone young getting their start in the world. I entered the work world early and lucky to have employment. But there is certainly an uncertainty we all feel at that time in our lives. Thanks for visiting Hilary.

  4. Nice you survived and didn't get pounded as they did in TX and FL. I live in a town of 5000 and most people are courteous and offer you a way to merge into traffic. We always wave and greet each other often.

    1. There are certainly advantages to living in a small town. I do feel a compassion for those in Texas and Florida. When they rebuild it always looks better. But how miserable that rebuilding can be.

  5. I stop to let people out, unless they are trying to shove themselves in front of me, then screw them lol pups sure have a bewildered look about them.

    1. All the dogs knew it was a peculiar day. They all went outside like troopers and took care of business and came back to their beds. I guess they knew the lights were out. I do enjoy the candlelight.

  6. Interesting post - The only natural disaster I have ever experienced was the Loma Prieta Earthquake. We were fortunate to only have minor damage - cracked foundation, cracks on the sidewalk and patio. Most of my pictures on the wall, fell and broke. We were without power for just a day and a half. Plus they don't evacuate anyone. Best to just stay home, if it is still safe to do so.

    I can't imagine being made to leave your home for your safety. And then not being able to return. Hurricanes scare me. I'd take a earthquake over hurricanes and tornados anyday.

    1. Tornadoes are quite scary to me in they are unpredictable like Earthquakes. I guess it is what you get used to. Earthquakes seem very scary to me.

  7. Inland, it's always the flooding that does the worst damage.
    Between a rock and a hard place with letting traffic out. Nice to let someone in but you don't want to hold up those behind you.
    Pups are cute!

  8. People are that kind of friendly in NC, too.

    It's good news to hear you rode out the storm.

    1. I was surprised by some of the damage. We really did not have a problem. The big thing was the wind came from the opposite direction than it usually does when we have a storm. Thanks for the good thoughts.

  9. I love the memory of your grandmother's farm. Must have been the most comfortable part of the storms passing. Your pups look so curious.
    Congrats to your cousin's son for assisting during this disaster!
    I live in Michigan. Since a child floods, hurricanes, and a tsunami all seemed unreal to me. It's horrible seeing the reality of it and the effects it has on thousands of people.
    You probably put a few smiles on the faces of Flordia visitors. Very kind of you to let people pass by in traffic. That's a huge good deed!!

  10. We live in the country and traffic is thin on the ground, we try to keep away from busy places as much as possible!
    Irma was dreadful. I have a friend who lives part time in the BVI and he was there and could not get off. He says it is total devastation, now he has Maria to contend with. Also have a friend who lives on Nevis, they missed Irma but not sure if they are going to miss Maria !!! I hope so as we are supposed to be visiting them in November! Thanks for you visit and comment. Have a good week Diane

  11. Hey Ann, I just loved to read your blog, I was looking for the idioms and landed on your this page. You write pretty well, keep it up.

    Freya West


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