Timing, they say, is everything. At least that’s what was running through my mind the morning that hurricane Wilma blew into town. You see, my parents had been planning to go to Disney World that day to meet my sister and her family who were visiting from Oregon. As we sat watching the storm’s fury through the front window, the power inevitably went out and I realized that I would have to resort to extreme measures to ensure that they were able to enjoy their vacation as scheduled.
As soon as the wind dropped below 74 mph I made my way to my parents’ house a few blocks away. “Are you packed yet?” I asked. “Look – the screen fell in the pool!” my Mom replied. “Yes, yes…very nice…it will still be there when you get back” I said. “But there are branches all over the yard!” she exclaimed. “The city will take care of it. Now go enjoy your vacation!” I quipped as I pressed the car keys into her hand, pushed her and Dad out the front door, hustled them into the car and threw a couple of quickly packed suitcases into the trunk. “Have a good time and don’t worry about anything” I shouted as they drove away. “Stay TWO weeks!”
Phew! That was close. Now came the hard part – pushing their generator over to our house with a bunch of heavy tree limbs blocking the roads…
As I trudged down the street with the generator I was struck by two thoughts. The first was that I wasn’t sweating nearly as much as I was after Katrina knocked out our power a month or so ago. In fact, it felt quite pleasant outside. Then it dawned on me: Of course! Hurricane season occurs during the hottest part of the year. Now that it’s almost November it’s much cooler outside.
Think about it. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 1st. Who’s the idiot that thought of that? It’s just STUPID. If you have hurricanes during the hot summer months they’re going to be stronger than if they occurred during the cooler ones. Not only that, if you lose your electricity and it’s only 75 degrees or so outside you don’t mind as much as you do when it’s in the mid to upper 90’s and the humidity is 98%.
So I suggest that we have hurricane season from November 1st through April 1st when it’s generally cooler here in South Florida. “But, Chuck, you can’t just move hurricane season” you might say. Well, do we not adjust our clocks at this time of year and, essentially, “move” an hour of daylight? It’s the same thing. Instead of “Daylight Saving Time”, think of it as “Hurricane Reduction Season.”
I can’t believe nobody thought of this before I did.
Now, if you were amazed with the brilliance of THAT idea then you’re going to LOVE the next thing that occurred to me as I continued to push the generator towards our house…
As I struggled to remove the enormous tree branches that blocked my path, I thought about how disappointed my son was going to be that, once again, the weather was going to prevent us from flying the model airplane. The model airplane that is made primarily of balsa wood. The model airplane that is powered by…wait…what was that?!? Of course!
Now, stay with me here…There has been a lot of talk around town lately about how we should best manage our lush tree canopy. On one side you have people that say we should have as many trees as possible. On the other side you have people complaining that we lose our electricity every time a stiff breeze blows through town. Well, I propose that we re-plant Miami Springs with: BALSA TREES!
Yes, that flimsy, light-weight wood that you build model airplanes out of actually comes from trees. I did some quick research on balsa trees and learned that they offer many advantages over the oak, poinciana and ficus trees that we currently have littering our roads, roofs and rivers:
Again, I can’t fathom why I’m the first person to think of this.
So there you have my two ideas for some simple things we can do to help alleviate our pain and suffering here in South Florida. Honestly, I should receive a Nobel Prize for these ideas.
As for my parents – they arrived back in Miami Springs the Friday after the storm and just coincidentally ran into us at Holleman’s Restaurant that evening. Our clothes were dirty, we hadn’t had a hot bath in days and I hadn’t shaved since the day before the storm yet my parents looked remarkably refreshed. “I guess you’ll be wanting your generator back now, huh?” I asked sheepishly. “Oh, Heavens no!” my mother said. “You can keep it…the power is on at our house!”
I guess that’s why my Mom went into the real estate business – somehow she knew it isn’t “timing” that matters but “location, location, location.”That’s it for this month. If you know how I can get my parents to go out of town again so we can move into their house until our power comes back or have any other Nobel Prize-worthy ideas, send them along to