Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hurricane Country

 

Why live on a coast prone to devastating hurricanes?

My grandparents lived for a time about a quarter mile from the famous Flora-Bama. The bar divides Alabama (Gulf Shores) and Florida (Perdido Key). A quarter mile is a long walk in the sand after some drinks, by the way.

Perdido Key is the quieter side — more families, fewer shops and restaurants. Gulf Shores is more popular with college kids because of the bars. But the birds and the dolphins don’t know the difference.

Perdido Key is a barrier island, like Galveston. Left entirely to nature, it would move with the currents and possibly disappear. One hurricane buried our deck and let us jump off the balcony. Another sucked the sand away.

That’s something people love about the ocean: it’s different every day. A fisherman or shell collector can expect anything. Storms dredge up stuff from deeper water for beachgoers to enjoy.

Cousins, aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, third cousins, friends, and adoptions gathered every year at that house until a hurricane finally picked it up and placed it on the road. C’est la vie.

It has been a while since I’ve been back. But, rain or shine, that shore will always be my home away from home.

The closest we get to paradise on earth isn’t an endless peace. It’s renewal.

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  1. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeekaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Love the pictures and videos, but the shell photo is my favorite. 

    • #1
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:17 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeekaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    By the way, just yesterday I was pondering a question similar to what you bring up in the OP, because Thomas Sowell discusses this point. He says something obvious but controversial: if people choose to live in areas at risk of storms and other natural phenomena that could destroy their homes, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of others to keep compensating them for their loss and helping them rebuild. I don’t remember if he was referencing in particular federal and state emergency funding, or whether he was including private insurance. 

    • #2
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenbJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Oh Aaron: You make me want to go to the beach even with a hurricane bearing down. My husband and I went on a short trip to the Chesapeake Bay/Patuxent River side of southern Maryland but I don’t think it gave me quite enough ‘shore time.’ And yes, if people want to live on a barrier island or just the shore in general, they should be willing to live with the dynamic of that life. No building the 12 bedroom manse for $1 million plus unless you can self insure. Thanks so much. 

    • #3
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    By the way, just yesterday I was pondering a question similar to what you bring up in the OP, because Thomas Sowell discusses this point. He says something obvious but controversial: if people choose to live in areas at risk of storms and other natural phenomena that could destroy their homes, it shouldn’t be the responsibility of others to keep compensating them for their loss and helping them rebuild. I don’t remember if he was referencing in particular federal and state emergency funding, or whether he was including private insurance.

    I agree. As usual, voluntary associations and private charity (true charity) are preferable to government programs and mandates. Even with FEMA and the like, a lot of help and repairs still come from volunteers and good neighbors. There would be more if people didn’t assume government takes care of everything. 

    • #4
    • September 16, 2020, at 8:37 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Gorgeous, as always, Aaron. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.

    • #5
    • September 16, 2020, at 10:42 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. AUMom Member
    AUMomJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We consider Orange Beach, the beach between Gulf Shores and Florida, our home away from home. The beautiful, clear water, the sugar beaches, the walk to the piers every day are our idea of luxury. Your pictures do it justice. Thank you. 

    • #6
    • September 16, 2020, at 11:29 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Blondie Thatcher

    Love the pictures and the stories, Aaron. Topsail Island, NC is essentially a sandbar. Every time there is a big storm that comes our way, I expect it to be totally gone. Most of the native North Carolinians who have homes there feel the same way. 

    • #7
    • September 16, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    sawatdeeka (View Comment):

    Love the pictures and videos, but the shell photo is my favorite.

    If you think that’s a lot of shells… 

    And those are just the shells that hadn’t been buried yet. Sometimes they go several inches deep. But the best place to find the good ones, when the waves cooperate, is in the water. 

    One of these days, I’d like to make a trip down to Sanibel Island where larger and rarer shells are more common.

    • #8
    • September 16, 2020, at 3:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes