My last post, back in November of 20 one six, was a beach scene, photographed late in the afternoon and manipulated via Photoshop to a strangely lit landscape, as if time had quit but light still worked.
That light thing is marvelous, by the way. The way it sets out, collecting moments (probably in waves, but I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know. But I like to think that it involves waves), everything in its path, this universal snapshot that will flicker a billion years from now, and I will still be me, and you will still be you: strange brethren, lit from within, as if we had a living pulse, even in space dark, shining.
I didn’t sign up for Nanowrimo this year, but decided to challenge myself to put up a post every day this month. This will be a short one. A salvo of sorts. Over my own bow.
Here’s one of my weapons… RESEARCH!!!!
Found an old phone book at a local estate sale. May 1956. Apparently, I’ll buy anything.
Actually, not true. This is exactly the sort of thing that gets my heart beating faster: time capsules with nouns! People and places. Where they lived and shopped. Where they ate and drank. Their banks, barber shops, beauty parlors. Tailors, typewriter repair shops. Flower shops and funeral homes. Every page has a story to tell.
For instance: Tourist Courts!
Tourist Courts were popular all around the Florida coast back in the 1950s. Most of them are gone now, but I found one …
Pelican Court Cottages, located in the small town of Cinco Bayou, which is surrounded by a large body of water called … Cinco Bayou.
And here it is, sixty years later. Just up the road and cute as a button.
Has a lovely courtyard. If you look closely at the following image, you can see a deep shade of blue straight back. That’s the bayou.
Since I didn’t want to trespass, I drove around the corner and took a photo of the bayou from the Cinco Bayou City Hall.
There you have it. Adventures with time on the beautiful Emerald Coast.
Hermine is now a hurricane, the first to make a Florida landfall in years. She took a little jog to the west yesterday, which put us in her sights, but she turned away again, just a flutter of wind and a few scuttling clouds.
For the past hour, we’ve had buckets of rain, mostly teasers; the first rain lasted maybe 30 seconds. The next, maybe five minutes. The next one, ten. She is playing with us, this one.
It’s Wednesday and two nameless storms are churning off the coast. Have been, for days.
If you want to be technical about it, these systems have identities: Tropical Depression 8 and Tropical Depression 9.
I cannot recall the last time that two storms have battled for so long to be named.
The first one to reach sustained winds of 34 knots (39 miles per hour) will be named Hermine.
The one I’m keeping an eye on is Tropical Depression 9, gathering strength in the Gulf of Mexico, parked south of my keyboard. Whether she becomes Hermine or he becomes Ian, time (and speed) will tell.
The name on the stern was was Layover. But to Robert, she was always the Lotus.
His path out of the muck and the mire.
She was a 40-foot cutter-rig with a center cockpit, built in 1981 by Endeavour Yachts. And she was a mess. Neglected. Dirty.
The bimini (the canvas cover over the cockpit) hung in rags.The hatches leaked, the heads didn’t flush. The only thing that worked in the galley was the overhead light. There was a leak in the fuel line. And the engine needed work.
But the seller was motivated and the price was right. The boat was inspected in July. On August 2, 2004, Robert took possession of the boat and had her moved to another location where she would undergo extensive repairs.
Over the next several weeks, the Lotus had her engine overhauled, her hatches and heads replaced, and a new stove installed. And new canvas all around: new sheets, main sail, and cover for the cockpit. Robert had stainless-steel davits built over the stern to hold the new dinghy.
And then she is moved to Bahia Mar, to prepare for the journey home.