I know the season is changing in Alameda. The leaves on most trees are turning yellow and beginning to thin. Some trees are now a bit orange and red. The temperature hasn’t dropped much, but it is cooler outside. The sun does not feel as warm. Many are still wearing shorts and t-shirts. I am wearing sweaters and boots.
Yep, it’s California.
I moved to California six years ago. We drove from Maine. Prior to Maine, I lived in Michigan most of my life. Clearly, I knew the four seasons.
On the last day of our drive, we began in Bakersfield. It was October 31. When I checked, I saw that the temperature in Alameda was 56. To me, that was the entry into spring. I wore a blouse. And I was comfortable.
The next year, I found myself feeling a bit cold when the temps were 56. As each year has passed, I get colder and colder. Each year, to the regret of my budget, I turn on the heat in the “winter.” Don’t worry, I only put it on for a couple of hours. Instead, I layer more. And I wear socks. And this year, I often have a jacket on when I leave the house.
If we choose, we can adapt to almost everything.
It was intriguing to hear how people were responding to the awareness that the hurricane Irma was going to hit Florida. Most knew someone who lives there. It took so long for the storm to hit because it was slow moving, that the anticipation was overwhelming for many. There were predictions of the path; those changed once Irma arrived.
People watched the news and checked their phones. Calls were made to friends and relatives.
Those not in Florida felt helpless. And everyone was reminded of our vulnerability. We have no control over acts of nature. And we, as well as our material goods, are fragile.
It is difficult to be incapable of doing much except to provide support. We try to avoid thinking what it would be like if we were in the hurricane.
How prepared can one be?
Yesterday was when hurricane Irma was landing on top of Florida. Knowing people living there, I have been a bit preoccupied with the prognostication of how and where it would impact. Being a slow-moving hurricane, the subject was occupying news and thoughts for days.
I went to the theater yesterday. While getting my tickets, the woman at the desk said they had opened early to allow people into the air conditioning since it was so hot outside. “Where did this heat come from? I have lived in the Bay area forever, and we are not supposed to get this hot. I am very upset.”
Indeed, the projection of her voice verified that.
I chose to say nothing. I wanted to tell her that it angered me that she was so self-centered when the people in Florida were struggling to survive.
She is entitled to her priorities. So am I, ergo, silence.
In Alameda, there is an attempt to have restaurants stop automatically providing plastic straws with drinks. The straws are not recyclable. To begin with, the goal is to have the facilities wait for someone to ask for a straw before giving one. This means that people have taken the responsibility of contacting places and asking them to do this.
It also means that guests can take the initiative of asking servers to not bring a straw. Once again, an attempt to heighten peoples’ awareness of how we can contribute to help save our environment.
Paper straws are apparently far more expensive than plastic ones, thus making it difficult to expect that food places will make a switch.
I hope that this blog will heighten our awareness of how we can stop contributing to deterioration. We all need to be educated about so many behaviors that have become habitual or ritualized in our lives.
Can we change? I sure hope so.