Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Blizzard of 2013 (still) A Day at Sombrero Beach

Photo by Jane Lewis
     The news of the blizzard in New England last weekend evoked flashbacks of the Blizzard of 78'. I was very young back then and that event imprinted a certain survival quality toward my outlook on life. "Stock up on bread and milk" became the mantra for anyone who chose to live through storms in a cold new England winter after 1978. That idiom also applied to hurricane season in summer. Although this current storm happened hundreds of miles away from where we are now, images of the blizzard of 2013 brought the remembrance of being without heat or power for days and being chilled to the bone.

Photo by Christine Lyonnais

     We're fortunate now to be away from New England's frigid temperatures and enjoying the mild weather in Boot Key Harbor. My friend Christine sent photos of her husband Donald shoveling after last weekend's blizzard. It was peculiar how quickly we'd forgotten about cold, ice and snow. It almost seemed unimaginable. We don't have a TV so we rely upon emails and Internet to get most of our information and unlike the news media on television we're not bombarded with stories of weather unless it affects us.

     This morning we awoke feeling pretty weather to deal with, a cloudless blue sky, warm balmy breezes, sunshine, and a planned outing at the beach with a free concert at the Tiki tonight! That was until...I opened the fridge. I sensed something was awry when the freezer that I'd been planning to defrost all week was frost free and all of the meat had defrosted! Oh, I forgot to mention, it's not always halcyon days in paradise. My mind went into trouble shooting mode. I checked the outside lazarette where the refrigeration breaker is located. It was off. After uttering a few expletives under my breath, Joe sensed my exasperation. "What's wrong?" he asked. "Looks like that day at the beach won't happen today! I"ll be cooking all of the defrosted food!" I replied.

     You're probably curious as to why the breaker was off. The previous day, Simple Life was in the process of having her new anchor windlass installed. Everything inside the boat had to be moved in order to access the battery bank to run cables to the bow where another battery and the new windlass were to be located. The breaker for the refrigeration must have been bumped in the chaos and the rest was history.

     I assessed the thawed meat situation and checked my recipes. Jambalaya seemed like a viable choice since it called for shrimp, chicken and andouille sausage, all of which had thawed. I determined that we could use the remainder of the chicken and steak for shish kabobs and the rest was Italian sausages. So with the problem resolved at least part of our beach day could be salvaged. The ordeal was an minor inconvenience and we felt fortunate to be in here in paradise.

     By 2:30 PM the day at the beach was on. With beer, beach chairs and umbrellas loaded into the dinghy, we were heading down Sister Creek for Sombrero Beach to our favorite spot under the palm trees in the sand. Not a bad timetable for a "stressful" day in paradise.

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