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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hurricane Season & Summertime in Florida

Hurricane season has begun.  Well, not really til Friday... but since we just had three days of rain from Tropical Storm Beryl I guess we can say it has officially started.   Beryl showed up Sunday, and didn't leave until last night (Tuesday night).  She took a lady's roof off of her house, blew down a lot of trees, trashed signs in front of businesses, flooded roads and neighborhoods.... and.... for us personally... she blew down a huge limb in our side yard and ripped of part of our gutter and drain pipe.  I am just thankful that no harm was done to our one year old roof.   

Living in Florida, I realize, makes us "sitting ducks" as far as the rest of the world is concerned.   Hurricane Andrew that devastated South Florida was almost twenty years ago.   Yes, we do have our share of puny storms... but contrary to popular belief we don't get big storms regularly...  actually I can count on one hand the ones of significance we've even had in my 40+ years of life.  Generally, my attitude is "hurricane, shmurricane", and shrug it off.   Most are just rain-makers.  But I admit that Beryl made me nervous.... I fear damage to my home.  She might not have been a hurricane, but she was head-on.  

Here in the "River City", we have seven major bridges.  Which means you have to cross a bridge to get anywhere.  Through out our city, which, by the way, is barely above sea-level, is entwined creeks and branches of the river.  Literally, there is water everywhere here.  Heavy rains cause flooding.  Fortunately our neighborhood is on "built up" land, so it won't flood our neighborhood.  Would a Cat 5 flood us?  Probably, if it came close... or, God forbid, hit us head on.   Personally, I think a Cat 5 head on would wipe us off the map.  

Like other Floridians, we keep our emergency supplies handy during hurricane season.  Canned food, water, candles, oil lamps, batteries, flashlights, waterproof matches, a solar powered//hand crank short wave radio.... and more I can't think of.   Just "normal" stuff for us, since we have hurricane season every year without fail and it is instilled in us how to prepare.  Even children who were raised here know what to do. :)   Part of our Southern DNA, I guess. :)

Living in Florida means lots of lightening... we are the Lightening Capitol here.  Hurricanes... ultra mild winters... only two seasons... Summer, and January.... and we have weather that can and will drastically change in literally 5 minutes.. 

I hate hearing people bad-mouth it here.  If you don't like it here, then MOVE BACK UP NORTH!!!  Yes, it's hot here!  It's Florida!   It's sub-tropical... which means lots of heat, rain, humidity, and very lush vegetation.  And yes.  Bugs and snakes.  Sorry... those go with a hot and humid climate.  I don't like them either, but since I'm a second generation Florida Native, I know that like them or not, they are Natives too.  And it's just something you learn to deal with.

In North Florida, we have Southern accents.  Orlando and below is more Cuban, but there are still those with Southern accents in South Florida, but not as prominent as it is in North Florida.  We love swings, shady trees, sweet iced tea, and breezy afternoons.... and cooking.  Food = Love in the South.  That's something else that is just bred into us.  

I have a love/hate relationship with summer here in Florida.  I HATE the heat.  I hate it with every ounce of my being.  But, I love how gorgeous everything is in the summer... I love the smell after the rain when everything has that earthy smell.  Very lush... very green.  Very Florida.   I love our Thunderstorms.  They rock! :)   We do have a healthy respect for the lightening... best to stay indoors!!   

Here's to a gorgeous and fun Summer!! :)

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