Ahead of the storm

Posted on September 3, 2010


I swear, a person does not need television around here.  Yesterday we were taking a brisk walk along the shore.  A storm was brooding over the Leelanau Peninsula and we wanted to be snugly back home before it hit.  I heard shouting, and saw a tiny boat out there at the sandbar.  What the heck, I thought.  The sailors (I use the word loosely) could just jump in the water and practically wade ashore from there, towing their tiny craft with them.  The farthest they’d have to swim would be maybe 50 feet.  Were they really calling for help? 

No.  They were having an extended conversation amongst themselves about strategy.  Eventually, a couple of guys took the plunge, lightening the load so that the others could sail back to shore farther on down. I chatted briefly with the waders as they made their way south along the beach, but took no photos of them. They were in a good mood, mind you, but were not really picturesque.

The little boat with its bright sail, now that was picturesque.  I am fond of picturesque.

Fortunately, no doofusses were harmed in the shooting of these picturesque images.  However, I cannot resist an editorial comment or two.  

  • A person should not go sailing without a Personal Flotation Device, particularly out on the Bay, which is notoriously fickle, and where winds can spring up in quite a playful fashion and huff and puff until you are clear out into the Big Lake.
  • A person should not go sailing when a storm is brooding over the Leelanau Peninsula. 

But then, just in case you think I am mean only to doofusses and do not see my own frailties (which is true, but you’ll never get me to admit it), I must tell you that I completely forgot the carpet draped over the deck rail to dry.  Forgot it, that is, until late last night when I was awakened with the crash of thunder and the sound of a hard, hard rain.  I comfort myself that at least the carpet is having a very thorough washing.

Amy-Lynn of Flandrum Hill is battening the hatches up in Nova Scotia.  They are well-prepared for whatever Earl brings their way tomorrow, and are looking forward to a little cooling off.  Naturally it would be nicer for Mama Nature to provide the cooling breezes without the hurricane, but she has her little ways.  You know what?  I have just consulted my map, and it turns out that Nova Scotia is not really “up” from northern Michigan but rather “over” a ways.  Quite a long ways, but our good wishes are flying off there now.  It matters to me whether a hurricane hits Nova Scotia in a general way–but it matters in a very particular way because Amy-Lynn lives there, and her grandson will be coming home from school this afternoon, and that’s personal.

Kathy up in L’Anse (definitely up) was mulling whether people who meet through reading each other’s blogs are real friends or imaginary friends.  I was put in mind of a huge editing project I worked on a couple of years ago.  Half a dozen editors from all over the country were laboring away on these tedious training modules.  It took months, and most of us knew each other only through conference calls and email.  When we finally met in person, during a celebratory cruise as the project wound down, there were some surprises, and a lot of head-nodding as if to say uh-huh, I knew it.  The person I liked best of all lives near Houston, Texas, and it was no surprise at all that all of us were truly concerned for her family when Hurricane Ike came blasting ashore. 

When you come right down to it, you get to know people by listening to what they say and watching what they do over a period of time.  It’s always hard, isn’t it, to get to know the person behind the persona?  But that’s the way it is, whether you meet over coffee at Sonny’s or over Skype in cyberspace.  The important thing is to listen.