There’s a little “Gauguin” in all of us

Painting by Gauguin

The tranquility in of this painting ” The Day of the god” (Mahaba no Atua) at the Art Institute of Chicago by Gauguin masks the inner turmoil facing the artist.

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Manatees can’t win

 

I’m not talking sports. Unless you consider the boat dodging that West Indians manatees do to survive in Florida. Eight hundred and thirty manatees lost their lives in 2013 according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In spite of the increase in deaths, the US Fish and Widlife Service proposes to change the status of manatees from endangered to threatened. The populations of manatees in Florida has increased four fold in the last 25 years to 6,300. Sadly, I guess there are now more moving targets for boaters.

As a result of this proposed re-designation will speed limits be eliminated in manatees zones resulting in even more deaths? Florida’s beloved manatees face a perilous future.

http://m.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0108/Are-Florida-s-manatees-no-longer-endangered

Is it 2017 yet?

Canal Street Historic District.

Policeman rerouted traffic away from Canal Street Historic District in New Smyrna Beach.

Sitting in stop and go traffic on I-95 on January 2, 2016, I should have known something was wrong when all I saw was Clemson fans and out of state tags. Not sure what I was thinking—I actually had planned a trip on the Saturday after New Year’s Day and the Orange Bowl. “You sounded so happy this morning!” my son explained on the phone. “Yes, but that was before I got on the road.”

The signs in Fort Lauderdale said “No traffic delays through Daytona.” I guess there wasn’t any 5 hours ago, I mused. But now there was a blocked lane near Daytona due to an accident which compounded the problem.

At New Smyrna Beach, me and everybody else decided to exit. The cops in New Smyrna weren’t happy to see us, so they routed us to a two lane detour. Realizing that New Smyrna Beach was a bad move, I got back on I-95.

While inching my way north, I started thinking about someone besides myself. What about the people in the accident? Were they okay? What about the drivers from other states? Had they anticipated delays as seasoned travelers? Was I the only one caught off guard? Again, I asked what was I thinking? As we headed near the accident scene there were four highway patrolmen, no signs of an accident but lots of rubbernecking.

Painting of St. Augustine Lighthouse.

No time for the St. Augustine Lighthouse.

As I approached St. Augustine, there was another accident but the nearby drivers seemed okay. The next day at church a member mentioned that her father had died yesterday. What a way to start the New Year, I thought. Suddenly my troubles seemed quite small.