Can you see me? I'm still here, just off to play in sunny Finland. No, really. Well it was sunny for the first week, on and off. I landed on Saturday, Oct. 15th and will be returning on Halloween night. Last weekend I had the distinctly odd pleasure of watching a category 3 hurricane wallop my city, my neighborhood, etc. while sitting in a hotel lobby in Riga, Latvia. It was my birthday and I was sitting there watching a German TV station broadcasting their reporter live from ground zero in Naples, FL. It was beaucoup strange, let me tell you.
I hear from friends that my house is ok but the yard and trees are trashed, of course. My mother's house fared ok and she even got power back yesterday. My office is on Brickell Avenue in the financial district and it has power as well despite the debris and skyscraper destruction all around.
Though the authorities are once again embarrassing all Americans with their extreme ineptitude and finger pointing (think Keystone Kops stoned to the gills), Miamians and probably all Floridians are helping their neighbors themselves and pulling it together. Will FEMA and the State and Feds ever get past the clusterfuck approach? stay tuned. Hurricane season is not over till November 30th. Argh.
On the 'fiddle while Miami gets blown away' side, I've found beautiful yarn, learned to weave yesterday on a large floor loom, learned all about how you buy yarn in Latvia (more on this later, it's quite a process), and saw a pair of wild swans heading south overhead on their way from the small wetlands around the lake across the road from the house where I'm staying. Just breathtaking... Nature is very close in Finland. Tonight (it's 6 pm as I write this, 7 hours later than Eastern Daylight Time) we had mushroom salad with mushrooms Gomez picked a few weeks ago in the forest around her house. And drank juice from some berries that have no English name also picked in September. Yesterday I had lunch with a Finnish couple, friends of Gomez (Gomez & I have been best friends since age 12 or so), and we had cloudberries and also fresh cranberries picked by Raine, the husband, in the forest park adjoining their apt. in Tampere. These are not the large, dark, hard berries we know, but smaller, thin-skinned little luminous red orbs that get a generous helping of sugar on them before spooning them up.
Yum. And we had Forest Chanterelle soup, probably the best mushroom soupn I've ever had in my life, from mushrooms harvested earlier in the week by Raine. If the CEO of Campbells had any honor at all, s/he should shoot the company in the corporate head for daring to call that glop mushroom soup...
When we came home from picking the girls up at school this afternoon, there were fox tracks in the snow all around the house. Love it.
Le sigh. Well, just wanted you to know I'm alive and well. Will post a multitude of pictures when I return, assuming I ever get power back... I hope all of you are fine and if in So. Fla., that you survived the blow in good shape. I send you snowy hugs...