I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Florida now and next month

I see this cart on my daily walks

 This lovely little flower cart is something I walk past during my walk home from the coffee shop. The lady who lives in this home has sweet bouquets available for purchase ($5), and I have considered buying one often, but I would have to carry it home, which is another two miles away. So I don't, but when I saw it last week, there was a ray of sunshine that broke through the clouds just long enough to brighten them and give me a good shot.

As many of you already know, my sister Norma Jean and her son Peter live in Zephyrhills, Florida, a few miles away from Tampa. When I saw the predictions of the recent hurricane heading for landfall, projected to make a direct hit at almost my sister's home, I panicked and called to find out what they were considering. It turned out that they had left their home just that day, both cars packed with everything they could fit in, along with both dogs, and headed north to Virginia, where Norma Jean's daughter lives.

Then the hurricane made a turn south, and instead of Tampa being wiped out, it was Fort Myers. I've seen the devastation that Hurricane Ida unleashed on Florida, but it turns out that her home and the area where she lives got off fairly easy, at least in comparison to other places like Fort Myers. The two of them will head back home probably today, Sunday, if the roads between the two places are all clear and passable. I truly feel terrible for all the people who have lost everything, and the many who have died because they didn't evacuate. But I am also guiltily happy that my family and my sister's home were spared. 

And, thanks to many thoughtful comments from my dear virtual family, I have decided to go ahead and swallow my fears and travel to Florida myself to visit them after a long hiatus because of the pandemic. It's been two weeks since I got the third Covid booster and I will get the flu vaccine in mid-month, so I'll be as prepared as possible for airplane travel. I am assuming that by Thanksgiving during the last part of November the state will be experiencing normal travel to Tampa. That's where I will arrive, if all goes according to plan.

It was when I learned that all of my siblings will gather in that part of Florida to celebrate those two big birthdays that are coming up: my "baby" sister Fia's sixtieth, and my eightieth. How could I not be there? So, looking online for available flights, I found two direct flights from Seattle to Tampa, with no changing planes, no stops at all. Unfortunately, the only one I could make will leave at 9:45pm at night and arrive the next morning at 6:00am (that is Florida time; it will be 3:00am to my internal clock). Yikes! Can I do it? Well, I decided that since the flights are already very expensive, I'd go ahead and book a first-class seat on my way there, for a mere $300 more. I figure I can sleep easier that way, although I sure won't be very rested, I can also arrive in Seattle in plenty of time to make use of the First Class lounge.

It was the awful hurricane and all those comments you made about how I should probably just bite the bullet and go ahead and go that made the difference. Of course, until I actually get to Seattle and board the flight, and it actually takes off, I'm skeptical, but I believe this can happen. Just in case, I bought trip insurance. Who knows what will be happening in the world, and especially my little corner of it, by that time?

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. —Lao Tzu

Something weird is going on with Blogger. I cannot cut and paste the way I always have, I must try three or four times to make it work. And fonts and other things are constantly shifting and appearing for no reason I can figure. That quote took me several tries to accomplish, so for now I'm giving up on trying to do anything out of the ordinary. I'll soon be getting a new computer (another MacBook Air), and hopefully the new operating system will have fixed things. It's hard to deal with, but it's only a minor annoyance, given all that is going on in the world. 

I am truly afraid of what will happen in the midterm elections. Hopefully they will proceed normally, but the way everything has been happening lately, I'm afraid of violence and people being unwilling to accept the results if they don't like them. Our country has never been in such a state, at least not that I can remember. And the war in Ukraine and Putin's annexations have also scared me. Are we at the beginning of World War III?

Whatever happens, the only place I can have any effect at all is within my own sphere, so I must try my best to stay centered and part of the solution by spreading love and light in every way I know how. It's been several months now since I started spending part of every day in meditation, and it helps me so much. I haven't missed a day since I started and look forward to those quiet moments where I simply follow my breath. Afterwards, I spend a few moments in silent prayer for all sentient beings. It might not make any actual difference, but the world around me sure seems brighter and happier when I alter my own attitude.

Nice color

I took this picture while on my Saturday walk with Melanie yesterday. It is definitely one of the most beautiful times of the year, and I am enjoying being able to walk more than five miles and seeing what my neighborhood looks like. There are so many things to be grateful for, and if I point myself in that direction, I believe that all will be well. 

With that, dear friends, I will get ready for the rest of my day, with John coming by to take me to Fairhaven for breakfast. My sweet partner still sleeps quietly next to me, and I can feel your presence in my heart. Until we meet again next week, dear friends, I wish you all good things. Be well.

P.S. I accidentally posted this on my other blog, and had to copy and paste (with difficulty) and so I apologize for the mistake.


Rian said...

"In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present." —Lao Tzu DJan, I love this!

ApacheDug said...

First of all, I love that bouquet cart you pass DJan. If that was me, there'd probably be fresh flowers in my apartment a couple times a week and I'm a guy! (Don't mean to sound sexist there, but men just aren't into cut flowers like women are.) Second, very glad to hear about your family in Florida being mostly spared. That is huge good news. Third, VERY impressed with your planned trip there! And First Class to boot, woo-hoo! How exciting, you inspire me and I do genuinely mean that. Finally, I'm sorry that Blogger is giving you problems and as a fellow Blogger I can truly relate--I wouldn't blame it on your own operating system though, this is Google's tomfoolery I'd wager. Hope your week ahead is safe & sound.

John's Island said...

Good morning DJan from your Seattle neighbor. I sure enjoyed today’s Eye. As usual, I clicked over to leave a comment. Many who comment here are regulars and I feel like I’ve come to know them through their words. Today, I agree completely with Rian and ApacheDug. Just in case they stop back, let me say thanks to them … You said it well! ๐Ÿ˜Š

ApacheDug said...

John from John's Island, hello. I always enjoy coming back here and reading your comments too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rian said...

I do that too, John from John's Island! (that's come back to read other comments...)

Linda Reeder said...

I was so relieved to read your post today and learn that your sister and family are OK. They were smart to pack up as they did and get out of there and very fortunate to have somewhere to go. And then the storm mostly missed them!
So many people did not escape that storm, and more are on the way. I think maybe that quote should say "build your home on higher ground".
I'm taking it easy today now that I have my long routine PT done. I worked in the yard for three hours yesterday and today I'm hurting. So I have Seahawks on the TV now as I type, and I'll have the Sounders on this afternoon. The sun is shining and all of my fellow northwesterners, fortunate to escape storms, and hopefully fires, can go outside and play. Or sit back and relax. We can listen to the news and worry again tomorrow.
And I'm glad you are going!

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you and all your other commentators.
Enjoy your family time. And yes, my heart aches for those around the world who have lost so much. Hugs.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so glad your sister got out and that her area wasn't hit as hard as they thought. I too feel a little guilty but so relieved that all my family in Florida did fine, even my nephew in Bonita Springs. I have been through a bunch of those storms and the aftermath is the worst part. My heart aches for those who lost so much and am just stunned at the number that lost their lives.
Glad you are going for the two milestone birthdays in Nov. Was surprised that first class was not that much more.

Judee said...

Happy to hear that your sister and family was spared the devastation that hit Ft. Myers.I have decided that in regard to Covid, the only thing I can do is build my own immunity with Vitamin D, Zinc, Vtimanin C etc. ( of course I'm vaccinated). I have flown to Florida and just wore my mask the entire time and did not eat or drink on the plane. You are reminding me that I want to resume mediating as I often put it off and never get to it and it is so helpful. I enjoyed your post.

Gigi said...

So happy to hear your family left and their homes were spared. My sister in law lives in Tampa and foolishly decided to ride it out. They were very lucky, I don't think she quite realizes that it could have been very bad.

I'm glad you are going to see them. Wear your mask and be safe!

Red said...

There certainly are things to worry about in the world right now. I don't think a flight to Florida is something to worry about. How about that? a 60eth birthday and an 80eth birthday.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I refuse to worry about things I cannot change...the world and war and bad people...call me selfish. Instead I will think positive and fix the things I can do something about.
I am glad you came to the decision to visit your sisters and brother...to celebrate!! Good for you! You are a First Class lady so why not a First Class flight!!

Anvilcloud said...

You can remove formatting from what you paste by highlighting the inserted text and clicking the Tx button to the upper right. You can also do it by pressing CTL+Spacebar on a PC. That would either make it alt or command on Apple, I think. However, my preferred method, is simply putting it in my text editor (Notepad on a PC) and then repasting it back into Blogger. You must have a text editor on Apple too, I assume. Anyway, there are ways to remove weird formatting.