Thursday, July 11, 2013
Making the best of it
As Valerie Garman reported this week, the beaches area received more than a third of its average annual rainfall amount in just two days. It overwhelmed the stormwater drainage systems, backed up into homes and businesses, made roads impassable.
Fireworks and attendant festivals were delayed, vehicles were stranded in standing water or damaged by wash-outs, and folks living in low-lying areas lost furniture, wallboards, carpets and priceless personal possessions.
But as in many disasters, human beings try to find a way to smile. Those fortunate enough not to be faced with a struggle to preserve their lives and property sometimes found some joy or humor in the weather.
You may have seen the videos being shared on Facebook of two folks kayaking along Jenks Avenue, using what appeared to be planks of wood for paddles, or the person wakeboarding in a residential neighborhood, pulled behind a pickup truck.
We made the mistake of trying to go to a shop on Thursday, and were turned back by a police blockade on Front Beach Road that probably saved us from being stranded.
People standing in a rainy line at a Redbox kiosk that afternoon joked about seeing animals gathering two-by-two, as sprinklers buzzed and spat alongside a nearby overfilled retention pond. Someone driving a golf cart draped with plastic walls surveyed the neighborhood.
Even the subjects of a TLC reality series got into the soggy fun, wading up to their knees along Front Beach Road. (That's them in the photo above.)
Last Friday, I saw three boys making running leaps into the shallow ponds that had covered the golf course along Delwood Beach Road, and thought back to rainy days of my own childhood that were spent splashing in shallow branches that had swelled into creeks.
I would have loved to do the same, except that these days rainy weather is more apt to make my joints swell and creak.
(This is my Undercurrents column for The News Herald and PanamaCity.com for Friday, July 12.)