There is nothing that makes me more antsy during a beach vacation than the droning on and on by TV’s talking heads warning of an approaching hurricane.
Such was the case during the recent visit by Hurricane Matthew, which left hundreds dead as it swept across the Caribbean heading to our East Coast.
Floridians in Matthew’s path couldn’t have been better forewarned. Every half hour or so, Gov. Rick Scott’s message came across loud and clear.
“This storm can kill you!” he warned the usual hangers-on who, out of misplaced bravado or because of the normal love for home and all it contains, failed to use common sense.
Scott minced no words. He indicated that he would not risk the lives of rescue personnel to rescue those who stubbornly refused to come inland as the storm approached.
Outliers are a tough bunch. I imagine that a number of them still defied the warnings and stayed put during the ferocious storm.
Not this scaredy cat, who hustled his wife and longtime friend and house guest, Sally LaFoy, into abandoning ship on Thursday morning. Every mile that found us closer to Raleigh eased my angst.
Although I’m awed by the majesty of the miracle of the ocean, I’m mountain born and bred. As Shakespeare wrote in “The Tempest”: “Now would I give a thousand furlongs of sea for an acre of barren ground.”
When’s the last time you experienced an epiphany?
For most of us, they’re so rare we lose them in the fleeting fogs of memory.
But I doubt that UNC football player Nick Weiler will forget his latest epiphany.
One of the several definitions of epiphany is the manifestation of a supernatural being.
We adapt that definition to fit those moments in our lives when we accomplish or experience something that seemingly is far beyond our normal capabilities.
In the game two weeks ago against favored Florida State, Weiler kicked a 54-yard field goal in the game’s last second to win the contest.
That’s 54 yards! Over half a football field!
The significance of the moment was not lost on young Weiler. As teammates and fans swarmed over the field to congratulate him with hugs, fist poundings and everything short of kisses, they had to chase their hero around the football field before they could catch him and administer the well-earned mauling.
I imagine that in the years to come, in good times and bad, in youth and old age, Weiler’s moment of epiphany will be revisited during his conscious hours and provide a considerable sense of satisfaction.
Leaving the beach earlier than planned, because of the threat of Hurricane Matthew, I spotted a Highway Patrol trooper issuing a traffic ticket to some unfortunate soul.
Now I’m all for law and order, but I thought at the moment that if ever a speeder should be excused, it would be when the speeder wasrunning from the wrath of Mother Nature in one of her worst moods.
The scene reminded me of the story of a trooper who had stopped a woman for speeding.
He concluded his lecture with, “You were not only going 15 over the limit. You were also dodging in and out of traffic. Furthermore, it states here on your license that you’re required to wear glasses, but you aren’t wearing them!”
“Officer,” the offender retorted in a haughty tone, “I have contacts!”
“I don’t care if the Pope is your first cousin, you’re getting a ticket!” the trooper said.
See what I mean?
I recently attributed my reluctance to trading cars to all the bells and whistles that I’d have to master as a new car owner.
Reader Jon Larson bears me out:
“As I age, I am well aware of the slowing of my reflexes. So things like adaptive cruise control, collision preparation and auto braking have already demonstrated they are quicker to respond than I am,” Jon writes.
“So there is a 600 page standard manual and a supplemental manual of 300 pages for the radio and navigation systems. So that’s 900 pages of reading in order to make the car work. I can read ‘War and Peace’ in less time. Ye gods!”
Ad placed in an area magazine by a local environmental group:
“Governor! Move your ash!”
Snow: 919-836-5636; firstname.lastname@example.org