Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vegan MoFo Day 11: Happy Irmaversary

I hate to let you down but I have no video for you today and I'm not hitting the prompt either (kitchen tour).  Yesterday was one month since Irma blew through and changed so many lives. I know about the wildfires in California and it's weighing so heavily on me right now, you likely feel similar. I'm listening to sound bytes on the radio "it all happened so fast, so fast" "it's gone, all gone" "this is the price we pay to live in such a beautiful area" it's like flashbacks, same words uttered by so many of us in the Keys exactly 1 month ago.  Looking back and reflecting, we have made huge amounts of progress. Sometimes I forget that fact when so much is left to do. But I do have water, electric and communication to a good degree. The road is getting a temporary fix. I'm not scared that people think I died in the storm, and I can call my family and friends at will. C130s and military choppers are not the only thing in the sky, in fact I've even begun to notice the stars again. Some people think books should be written about this whole mess in fact we all know that will happen. Not by me. I don't want to remember. I grabbed a notebook a day or two after the storm to write things down so I'd remember. Just as quickly I realized I just want this over. Remembering the palm trees completely bent sideways at the shelter accompanied by near white out conditions... driving back to Big Pine on the tail end of the storm, seeing the higheay littered with boats, dumpsters, huge trees and wreckage flying around like tinker toys... turning  onto Long Beach during the receding surge and feeling nothing but sheer terror the truck was going to start to float and we were going to die by drowning (more fuel for my water terror)...Living at a friend's formerly beautiful home now in ruins plucking land crabs and iguanas off walls and from behind moldy furniture day and night... no sanitation at all... finally getting a shower after too many days to count, using bottled water... military military military absolutely everywhere providing aid and protecting us. Sitting on line for Fuel Relief Fund gasoline when no place in the Keys had a drop of fuel, besides even if they did they couldn't sell it since there was no power and the stations themselves were destroyed. The first glimpse of where my house was... then finally getting my first glimpse of Deer Run, gut punch after gut punch. Standing in the middle of Grimal Grove and literally having no idea where I was. All of this barely scratches the surface. I guess when I allow myself the luxury to think about this, just one month in, yeah it's been pretty traumatic. The wildfires are making me ache for all those effected. I know a bit of what they are in for during recovery and compared to them I've got it easy. Not to mention having to deal with FEMA, SBA and disaster assistance and at times feeling so ashamed to need help after working my entire life having my first job at 13. The fire survivors will be subjected to, and will have to endure that final humiliation as well.

I cannot even post a picture of the first brewed cup of coffee I had weeks after the storm. It was from Tom Thumb and even though it came in a shitty foam cup I savored it. But we still do not have a computer or internet it makes everything that much more challenging, thank goodness for this vintage phone. One thing I've not yet discussed either is the trauma of watching the post storm ecological disaster unfold in real time as well. It's a lot to take in seeing the trash piles, looking at the plastic everywhere and being an active participant in that aspect by drinking bottled water, having everything including food come in plastic and seeing the stuff in the water and on the trees that we will have to help cleanup.  How did 1 cup of coffee turn into this? I'll be back tomorrow with a video. FYI the prompt today was kitchen tour. The good news is that once I got through all the stuff that swirled into the kitchen it looks like we will be in pretty good shape that way when it gets a monumental scrub down. Have tested most, but not all, the appliances. So far so good. Hope springs eternal is all I know.

When you wake up tomorrow, make sure you breathe deeply when you pour your coffee. I hope you have a roof over your head to give thanks for, and a job or purpose that, no matter how crummy or great you think it is, you give thanks for that as well.

Hang tough my kindred Keys and beyond spirits. We will get there.


  1. This is tough to read, but I'm glad I did. I also continue to be impressed by your generous spirit and optimism. Even in the midst of a catastrophe, you still have the capacity to care so deeply about victims of other disasters and about the effect of all those plastic bottles. It's really inspiring.

  2. Your compassion is ever present and as ever I am in awe of your spirit. Namaste❤️