MARTHA’S VINEYARD, August 26, 2011— Hurricanes are nature’s reminder that change is the only constant in our world. But not everyone gets the message. Why should life be different than politics?
One approach, let’s call it the Red State mentality, is that the media hypes up storms to an insane level. It isn’t a disaster, it’s just a little windy.
The Blue State approach is to send in the National Guard to save everyone, and while they’re there it would be nice if they could build a few new public buildings.
Think of this as you-are-all-a-bunch-of-wimps vs. I-want-my-mommy.
Then there are the folks who proudly exclaim, “The last storm missed my house, and I sat on the porch the whole time drinking whiskey. I ain’t leaving this time.”
Others leave, then get mad at the weather forecasters because their house wasn’t destroyed.
People believe that a hurricane’s track is a preordained thing, and they are disgusted when forecasters can’t guess it in advance.
The reality, of course, is that hurricanes are forces of nature. They are unpredictable. They are like 13-year-old-boys: They break rules, are hard to understand, and barely communicate.
Historically speaking, ten or twenty years is the blink of an eye. So if you have lived in your house for 18 years and it has never flooded, that doesn’t mean you are safe from the next storm. It just means you’ve been luckier than many.
The last time we had a bad storm, winds approached 70 miles per hour and my neighbor’s property looked like a war zone. Fire broke out on the power lines behind our neighborhood, and we were without power for days. At one point, our big picture window started humming oddly, and I pushed my family into another room. That wasn’t even a hurricane.
Did I mention that Traverse City in Michigan is very nice this time of year?
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