Friday, August 28, 2020

Beach, Hurricane and Voting

It is really hard to believe we have been at Shelter Inn Place for 169 days. We have the routine down pat getting up early before it is too hot and humid and doing our morning walk and run (Nanc). Next is breakfast and then two or three hours of reading the news on line. During this time we listen to music and avoid listening to any news. We have taken a couple day drives to explore the area. Heading ten miles west and we are in ranch and prairie country. Of course, heading east we are quickly on the Atlantic coast. Nanc continues to make sure that we have been eating healthy. 
It is the rainy season in Florida so almost every day we see huge clouds. The pattern seems to be if the wind is from the east the rain threat is in the morning and if it is from the west we get thundershowers and rain in the afternoon. Almost every evening when we are watching the local news the buzzer warning of severe weather in the viewing area goes off. These storm are usually smaller and localized somewhere in the viewing area that stretches 100 miles along the coast and inland to Lake Okeechobee. We have had a couple storms with what I call flash-bang thunder and lightning, very scary!
We did hit the beach again just to escape the boredom of staying home.
As you can see we had no trouble social distancing.
The day was full of sunshine but we watched as this big cloud got closer and closer. We decided to pack up just in time and the sky opened up with a heavy downpour. By the time we got home the sun was shining once again..
As I said in the last post, seeing the way things have been going in 2020 we would probably get a hurricane. Sure enough, at the beginning of the month we were in the "cone of uncertainty" for Hurricane Isaias. Since it was only a Cat 1 storm we decided to stay put. Here is what I learned about waiting for storms from a friend in Louisiana. "Waiting for a hurricane is like being stalked by a turtle." You get an early warning days before the storm, but you never know for sure how bad it will be until a few hours before landfall. In the above picture Isaias was raining and blowing just south of us.
The good news, we had accordion shutters installed last year so it only took about five minutes to shut each one. On Saturday I closed the three window shutters to have it done before it started to get windy and raining. As you can see it was still sunny.
The storm was expected to arrive Sunday night so I did not clear the patio or close that shutter until Sunday afternoon. The good news, Isaias stayed off shore about thirty miles from us and was "only" a tropical storm with winds about 50 mph. The bad news, it became a hurricane as it moved north and hit the Carolinas pretty hard. 
You can see why I like the accordion shutters. The original shutters required getting on a ladder and putting up one slat at a time. Also, we are supposed to remove the shutters within 10 days after the storm passes. It took me less time to do all four of our shutters than it took my neighbor to put up one panel. Our neighbors who have lived in Florida a long time said this was a good practice storm for us.
It is the rainy season and skies like this are very common. Usually the storms don't last very long, but they can bring a lot of rain, wind and lightening.
A heavy afternoon shower.....
...... followed by a beautiful sunset and.........
Nice rainbow.
This moth hatched on our patio door and stayed there drying its wings before taking flight.
Neat heron at Lexington Lakes.
When we became Florida residents in November we registered to vote at the same time. Voting here is is much easier than what we experienced our whole lives in PA. In March for the presidential only primary we voted early, an option we never had before. 
For the August 18th primary for local officials and our US House Representative the election was by party. For this election we opted for mail in voting. Thirty days before election day our ballots came in the mail giving us plenty of time to check out where each candidate stood on the issues important to us. 
We mailed our ballots on August 1st and were able to check on line to make sure they made it to the office. It was all very easy and we are looking forward to getting our vote in for the November election.