Friday, September 30, 2022
Ian from Afar
I've been habitually checking the news coverage of Hurricane Ian in Florida. The areas where my family and friends live in Tampa, Sarasota and Jacksonville were largely spared, it seems. I spent several years in Venice, Fla., which is the closest I ever lived to where the storm came ashore farther south in Fort Myers. But even Venice seems to have come through pretty well -- there's been some heavy damage to the community theater but that's all I've seen online.
My brother in Jacksonville wrote yesterday afternoon: "We are home and sitting around keeping an eye on stuff. Mom was evacuated to a retirement center on the north side that (unlike where she lives now) is not in a flood zone. So far so good!"
Still, it was a huge storm and devastating to the Fort Myers region. We vacationed on Sanibel Island a couple of times when I was a child, and those memories are replaying in my mind as I see news coverage from that area. The bridge to Sanibel was demolished by the storm and apparently the island was really hammered. I think about the little beach cabins where we stayed in the summer of 1979, with their linoleum floors and jalousie windows. Each one had a cute beachy name like "conch" and "sea grape." Those buildings seemed light as a feather and although that resort still existed as of earlier this year, I wonder if it exists today. I suppose the buildings would have been modernized and brought up to more current hurricane codes in the intervening years, so maybe it does.
Anyway, that's where my mind is at the moment, reliving my memories of Southwest Florida.
Here in London, it's life as usual. I'm once again on a campaign to get kids to return their overdue summer books. Plus ça change.
(Top photo: The autumnal leaves of the persicaria in our garden.)