I am up early. Dark outside. Black.

Bocci last night! Love the game!

We did not do well. We lost 2 out of 3. All close games

I played in the first 2. The 2 we lost. I made no contribution in the first game. However my ability returned in the second game, though sporadically. We were all off our game. What a far cry from last week!

When games are close, they take forever to play. We were the last match on the court. The place was deserted by the time we finished!

We were defeated at my end of the court by 3 women. Deb is a nurse. Francesca an appraiser. And Gail, I don’t know what. Good ladies! They whipped our asses!

That last comment does not sound politically correct. Actually, they beat us!

There is a hurricane threat again. It is called Paloma.

I thought hurricanes were behind us for the year. Generally, we are safe after November 1st. Today is november 8.

Technically the hurricane season runs through November 31. However most of us are comfortable after Novemebr 1. Not this year. No comfort factor today. Any would be false.

The hurricanes generally start off the coast of Africa. Not this one. It is coming up from the western Caribbean. It is presently south of Cuba. Winds are now at 80 miles per hour. That makes it a 1 already. It is projected to cut over the middle of Cuba as a 2 or 3. Then, and the “then” is important, it is supposed to bend east over the Caymans and into the Bahamas.

If such occurs, Paloma will only skirt the keys with its outer edges. We will experience heavy rain which is projected for late tomorrow and through the evening.

I worry. As history proves, hurricane paths can change radically and rapidly.

What is going to be the saving feature for the keys is the big snowstorm now raging in the north central United States. North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota presently are being hit big time with snow. In fact, parts of Minnesota had up to 4 feet during the evening.

The cold spell and winds accompanying that storm are supposed to cut diagonally south east across the country, eventually running over Florida. The cold front is supposed to push hurricane Paloma to the east, thereby avoiding Florida.

I hope so!

The last time we had a November hurricane was 2001. A couple of months after 9/11.

We had planned a big party for a friday or saturday night. Called it Celebrate America! Invited around 200 people. They all came. No one was really concerned about the hurricane. I think it was called Georges.

The morning of the party I called Louie Scarmuzzi. He and his good wife Christine of Great events were in charge of the catering. I said maybe we should cancel. He said “How?” All the food was there at his place. The flowers had been delivered. His position was that if we were going to stay and not leave because of the hurricane, have the party! The major expense had already been incurred! He was correct. So we went ahead with the party.

Two hundred strong! Flags all over the place. A huge one on the front gate. Red, white and blue flowers adorned the house inside and out. Everyone came dressed or decorated patriotically. We all sang God Bless America at one point!

The weather was fantastic! The calm before the storm! Not even the whisper of a breeze.

A terrific party! Every one had a good time!

When I got up the next morning, the TV was blasting about this terrible storm that was going to hit Key West. The wind was picking up. There were white caps on the water. So, I decided to pack up and run. Back north to Utica.

Of course, it was too late to get a flight out of Key West. They had stopped flights the day before. Even before the party.

Lisa was living with us at the time.

I announced we were going! A major proclamation! The issue was how.

We drove north on US 1 to Miami. We left early. It was one way all the way up the keys. We moved right along. When we reached the toll booths in the Miami area, we were moved thru by attendants waving their arms for us not to stop.

Every one and every thing was geared up for the storm!

At the airport I was able to get us reservations out the next morning to Syracuse. We spent the day/evening at the Miami Airport hotel. Not bad.

It was all an experience. Georges hit the keys. I had some damage to my home. But everything gets fixed.

Paloma is coming upon us quickly. I would like to say I am not concerned. However I have been in the keys long enough to know I am and should be. That gnaw is starting in my gut. I will be here the next 48 hours. Hopefully other than a little extra rain, Paloma and Key West will never know each other.

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