Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Wednesday, Day 17 Since Being Home Since My Son Grounded Me ;) Florida Gov Finally Issues Shelter in Place. What Is Normal Anymore?

True Confessions Time.
Yes, I watch him every morning.
I had issues with him in the beginning.
He definitely got with the program.
He's been a calm, reasonable voice.
"No one knows for sure when this will be over"

So true.
People hate the unknown....
...people hate living in limbo.

I've been home for 17 days.
And, honestly I'm fine.
I can deal with reading and being online.
Love researching, writing, cooking.
My oldest son grounded me.
I suffer from asthma....
...I'm prone to bronchitis.
So I have to be more careful.
Otherwise.. I'm fine.
Glad my last trip was Seattle... 
It was a beautiful trip.
But now I'm home, staying in.
Doing my thing.

We all have to do what we have to do...
That's the reality of right now.
This minute, this day, this week.
As for me I'm blogging...
...blogging as in writing a long blog.
Note shortly I will talk on the tropics again.
We are 2 months until Hurricane Season.
Hate to mention that but you can't hide forever.

As I'm typing I'm multi-tasking obviously as I'm watching the Governor with the sound down turning it up here and there when he says something very compelling; his images and graphs kind of tell the story without the sound. I'm listening and trying to pay attention to a class I have on the phone with friends in Crown Heights on Chassidus and we are saying prayers for people we know who are in the hospital battling the most severe effects of Covid-19. And we are staying connected as best as we can during a time that isn't an easy time yet it's a time that as long as we have our health we can cope with not running around to all the places we are so used to running around to when living a normal life. And, yet this has become slowly normal too even though it's not a normal we wished for but we are stuck with for the time being. 

I have a friend that posted this on Facebook the other day and he's not one to post very often, but when he has something to say he always nails it. This is so true and it's something really worth thinking on while we are secluded from our normal routine to realize that my ex-husband mentioned recently that despite living in busy NYC he can suddenly hear the sounds of birds and Spring vs the sounds of traffic that drown out the beauty of the world that hear often in Raleigh.  And, yet even here in Raleigh on my quiet street I can still here some traffic off in the distance usually but not anymore. Some people like the sound of traffic but when you realize you don't hear it suddenly it somehow hits home. In Wuhan the ever present smog and pollution disappeared and blue skies were seen for the first time in no one can remember when after they shut down the area to fight the illness that has traveled around the world.

Things I've learned or remembered or thought on over the last month or so.

When Romaine Lettuce begins to go bad... you can cut the darker part off and it lasts longer.
When you cook a huge turkey breast, you can save the large bones and use them to make soup.
Old Coffee in the Coffeemaker makes great Iced Coffee once put in the fridge.
Pick up the phone and call a friend and hear her voice rather than type fighting with auto correct.*
Plan out my day carefully because time lately moves fast and when you look up it's 2 PM... 
We've thought back on our lives and remembered the good and made lists of what we'd like to fix.
I really can't wait to go to Myrtle Beach again or sit and talk with a friend at Starbucks.

The list goes on and on.

*My friend and I raised our kids while talking on the phone nonstop all day on a phone with a long cord that was 25 feet long and got caught on dining room chairs, children and toys often. Our kids got used to the fact that we were on the phone nonstop talking about "the school" or hurricanes or projects we were working on for a group called Neshei Chabad that was a Women's Organization. Somehow with all our kids and work responsibilities we were responsible for putting on all the programs in South Florida from classes, trips to visit old people in nursing homes to fundraising fashion shows in mansions on the water with backdrops you see in fashion magazines to cooking for older people who were shut in recently released from the hospital but their children who lived far away called some Rabbi on Miami Beach who called us to ask us if we could send over broth every day because they could not eat solid food yet and yes we did and to be honest looking back I'm proud of the good things we did... while talking on the telephone all day on long corded phones while raising our children. Seems I was born to multi-task. 

Don't get me wrong we were not Saints but we did good deeds and we had a lot of fun laughing at things that happened while trying to get things done as life sometimes just gets in the way in the craziest of ways when you live in Miami. We had planned a large program for the World Premier of a book just being released by an author that many wanted to read with a large meet and greet at a local Synagogue and then a smaller breakfast to discuss raising children to be held outside at a beautiful home someone always lent us by the Bay with a huge lawn to set up chairs and tables and........while arranging this.... after paying for all the things needed Channel 7 News put out a bulletin that there was an Encephalitis Alert and people should wear dark clothes and stay indoors. I think it was 1990... who remembers? We looked at each other in terror than laughed hysterically until we had tears in our eyes. What else could possibly happen next?  Spoiler alert... it was lifted before the night of the large program with 300 people attending and luckily it wasn't hurricane season; life in tropical Miami.

I was once sitting at the water's edge in the Florida Keys at a small motel my friend owned watching an Ibis wander through the mangroves, dangling my feet in the water and this huge old plane appeared out of nowhere flying low... very low over where I was sitting enjoying the quiet moment in nature and then I realized it wasn't a scene in some old TV show I used to watch but ... they were spraying mosquito poison everywhere the way they did when I was a little girl before they stopped spraying for mosquitoes all the time because they found out it wasn't much healthier for humans than it was for the mosquitoes that seemed immune to it anyway. When the cars were not covered in mosquito spray with ingredients now outlawed from use they were covered in gritty red African Dust aka SAL and no the Chamber of Commerce in Miami never advertised that when Jackie Gleason said Miami was the Greatest Place on Earth. Life went on..

But we haven't seen anything like this in many moons and generally only seen in the movies. Jim Williams was talking the other day on how similar this is to the movie Contagion. Many online have mentioned that and wondered how that could be. It's easy in that whether you realize it or not people are always and forever researching how to battle Germ Warfare or the accidental release of a germ that is being studied into the general population that is prone to mutating. Really I took two different classes in college on Germ Warfare for my degree in International Relations; one was a compare and contrast on the reality of that occurring vs the release of nuclear materials or a nuclear accident and the other class was in description of the most deadly designed viruses and how it would impact the public both financially and politically. Expanding on that last class the most dangerous was one that would impact the lungs and attack older people thereby taking out the structure and fabric of society both economically and more so politically. Basic classes for people in various fields of study such as International Relations. Haven't seen the movie, it's on my short to do list though my husband did a while back when I was out of town as normally I hate scary movies but this is one I do want to watch.

So my friend who was going shopping anyway bought some groceries for me carefully... brought it here leaving it outside. I watched as she sprayed all the paper bags with disinfectant and we talked from a distance me inside her way outside wearing her mask and gloves and it was good to see her and as she left she said "can't wait for us to be able to just go out to Starbucks and sit and talk" and yeah that would be normal and nice. Then I put the stuff out onto the balcony as it's cool today and tonight, carefully washed down a few products to put away for Passover and there's some lettuce drying on the counter on a towel for my husband's salad. I'm pretty sure I got all the soap off the various produce. Hmnnn Is this normal?

My friend in the hospital went home last night, actually I was friends with her mother and my aunt but now I follow her on Instagram account Busy in Brooklyn where she shares incredible recipes. My friend Devorah Leah who lives in Crown Heights who usually teaches our phone class is still in the hospital but said to be stronger today and hopefully she will be home for Shabbos before Friday Night. Then my daughter sent a message that our friend Yudi's mother in Crown Heights was taken to the hospital and the list goes on. I spoke to my best friend at 2 PM or 2:45 after I got done disinfecting everything and taking a shower and we talked on life and compared notes and well no more long 25 foot cords but still laughing and talking and being honest with each other and that's good.

So from my house to yours... I wish you bananas and strawberry jam and apples and candy and that you and your loved ones live through this and we all get back to sitting at Starbucks talking on life and complaining we don't like the new straws :)

Wednesday, April 1st. 60 days until the hurricane season and I will talk on that soon as I have much to say but I don't want to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater which I do feel like talking on how bad the hurricane season could be. Hopefully, by then the curve will have flattened and medication will be found that is 100% effective and we can find a vaccine and we can all get back to hugging and going to parties and sitting at Starbucks taking pictures of our favorite new drink.

Sweet Tropical Dreams,

@bobbistorm on Twitter and Instagram

Ps... Life does go on, it evolves... what's normal changes and then something else become normal. Having to talk holding a phone with a cord (even a 25 foot cord...) kind of tied you down. Then we were online on AOL and we never left the computer because you couldn't take the IM with you. Then we were able to talk on Text Messages so we were able to go to the store and have a more normal life and then.......our phones became our computers and then ...well you get the idea. What is normal changes often but still here typing, writing, thinking out loud and talking to my friends here, there and everywhere.

Good old movie... watched it on TV when I was little on one of those channels that showed old movies over and over and I bet it was great on Broadway. But we can stay home and watch old movies and songs and scenes and plays online while hiding from the world while staying home and staying safe. 

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