Back from Key West

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    Nov 22, 2017 11:54 PM GMT
    Ride home through the Keys we uneventful. The Florida Turpike was another matter. Bumper-to-bumper in some places with heavy traffic, that we assume was related to pre-Thanksgiving travel. Still, we stayed close enough to schedule to return our rental car in time.

    I'm including a few pics here, of some Hurricane Irma damage. Not as bad as some places, but then KW missed the worst of it.

    We had dinner last night with the daughter of the founder of a battered & homeless women's shelter located in Key West. She works there with her mother, we've known her for years. She tells a different story about the storm damage than I saw in my short walks around.

    Many homes, although they look OK on the outside, are actually uninhabitable. Single women, in some cases with their young children, remain homeless after the storm. And not just in Key West itself, but coming from some of the other Keys that were harder hit. Keys too small to have women's shelters of their own.

    As a result of the demand on the Key West shelter she and her mother operate it's turning away some applicants, their capacity, resources & budget strained. The daughter's coming to the Fort Lauderdale area this Friday for the weekend, hoping to raise money at speaking engagements. She needs a place to stay, but rooms are scarce and rates high for the holiday weekend.

    So we offered to let her stay in our spare room (this "office" actually), which she may decide to do. A hassle for us, we're all tied up with Thanksgiving at friends' all day Thursday, haven't even gotten around to unpacking yet. And this office is a perpetual mess, also our junk & storage room, little time to prepare.

    But her clients are suffering worse, so how do you not offer? She said she'd sleep on our sofa if needed. She was also hinting to us over dinner that she'd like to see a large donation from us. That would be tougher, after this trip and with budgeting for Christmas. But again, their needs supersede ours.

    Pics are in the next post.
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    Nov 23, 2017 12:12 AM GMT
    This is on a neighboring Key, where we always stop to get their exclusive ground coffee as gifts for our friends, "Baby's Coffee of Key West". This isn't the shop itself, which is partly closed, but another building I think held some of their storage.


    This is in the Old Town part of Key West. I was told the windows being blown in allowed water to damage the interior too severly to salvage. And some of the claboard siding was also ruined. And yet, depending on the stucture's history, however modest it may look, if it's got historical value it can't be completely torn down unless totally unrecoverable.

    You see many old, quite small & unremarkable houses with brass historical markers on them in KW. So this one was gutted and is being rebuilt. On Simonton Street, as I recall. Other adjacent houses also lost their windows, but simply remain boarded-up.


    This one fared better, on the next street over. But not livable for some time, I would guess. And yet again, not possible to demolish for something new.

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    Nov 23, 2017 5:16 PM GMT
    Well, got a pleasant surprise today (US ThanksgivingThursday). I went over to our neighbor, who'd been getting our mail and newspapers for us while we were in Key West. As compensation I brought her a 1.75L bottle of Dewars scotch that she likes. She hugged and kissed me, said the timing was perfect, she'd finished the bottle she had the night before. She's not an alky, BTW, that bottle will last her well into the new year.

    But in addition to the mail & papers, she had a delivery package. With the pair of Totes folding umbrellas I had ordered online. I didn't expect them for days yet, after we had returned home.

    They are lovely. Extra large canopies, and in a black & medium grey "tread" pattern fabric. I'm tired of the solid black umbrellas men are supposed to use. These are still masculine, something a man can use, yet different & unique. No one will mistake ours for theirs in a restaurant or elsewhere.

    They're mainly for the car. Our last pair of matching Totes lasted nearly 10 years. But rolling around on the car floor, and being stepped on by passengers, does take its toll. (A reminder - I'm talking about the old umbrellas, not me!)

    And after 8 rainless days in Key West while we were there, guess what it's doing here near Fort Lauderdale? Intermittent showers. So the umbreallas a timely surprise, that may get their first use when we leave in about an hour for the Thanksgiving dinner with friends.