A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, September 19, 2003 :::
Hurricane Isabel was the real deal, the first real hurricane to hit Washington in the 22 years that it has been the home of A Mind That Suits, a Florida boy. There is precious little to report, as your correspondent decided to take a nap around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, and by 4:00, when he awoke, the excitement was all over and done with.

But it was a fat lot of excitement. Mt. Pleasant, the leafy neighborhood were A Mind That Suits parks his carcass, was barely touched, but less than half a mile away the destruction was remarkable. This was mainly due to ground water: non-stop rain since May has left the ground completely soaked, so three inches in an hour and a half simply proved too much. At the bottom of a road running across majestic Rock Creek Park, one mighty tree that stretched perhaps 80 feet had been uprooted and lay across four lanes of traffic, leaving one lane to carry people in both directions, very slowly, because they could not see oncoming traffic. And it forced A Mind That Suits to make his best guess dodging traffic, as he was on foot. The busses are running irregularly.

This had its amusing, schadenfreude elements, one must admit. That particular stand of trees was on public land, an escarpment that rose up from the road perhaps 50 feet. At the top of it stand several very modern, California-style houses, redwood boxes on stilts, overlooking the ravine. One hesitates to price them, but the Rockefeller mansion, catty-corner across the park, cost $25 million, so a price tag of $4-5 million is not out of the quesiton. It has been the opinion of A Mind That Suits that that particular public stand never received any kind of maintenance because it hid the rich houses from the prying eyes of hoi polloi. Somehow, in the middle of a strip of road bordered by some of the most expensive houses in Washington, just that little stand of woods never got cleared, to the point that pedestrians could not walk on the sidewalk without getting cut by leaves.

No longer. As soon as the trunks of perhaps 15 huge trees get cleared away, those houses will stand naked at the top of the hill. Ha.

But the loss of the trees is tragic, even moreso the loss to any car owners who parked the family vehicle at the bottom of the hill, which is among the only unzoned streets in DC.

A Mind That Suits has an unshakable belief that Washington, DC, is easily the most beautiful city in the United States, beating even San Francisco hands down. That is in part because of the unhurried, irregular design of the streets, and in part because of the wonderful variety of architectural designs, all traditional in nature. (A Mind That Suits loves modern houses, and wishes they were more of them, but one cannot have everything.) But proabaly A-Number-1 on the list of reasons that DC is so gorgeous is the trees--huge, old, luxurious, everywhere, even in the poorest neighborhoods.

"There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." It's true; it's worth remembering. And to all those poor souls who have to dig themselves or the possessions out from under fallen trees, A Mind That Suits offers his sincere sympathy.

But A Mind That Suits cannot let this pass without noticing once again that the problem with the government may well be the nature of people attracted to Washington. These are people who greet the news of an impending snow storm by clearing out the grocery stores. They don't have a week's supply of food at home in the dead of winter anyway?

And a hurricane, for an inland town? Forget it. The government shut down, people crowded the stores, panic was everywhere. There is a sense in which people here take such things too seriously, and not seriously enough. This was never going to be Andrew, or even Fran, but it could mean that you were without power for three days, as seems likely for several hundred thousand unlucky souls in the area. Plan accordingly, but don't plan for the Apocalypse.

Until tomorrow.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 2:21 PM



Post a Comment


A Related Website on Christian Spirituality
The Fullness of Him
The Easiest Way to Keep Up With the News:
Best of the Web
Links to Web Friends
One Good Turn
A Dog's Life
Power Line
Rambles and By-ways

What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Powered by Blogger