Two months ago tonight my wife and I returned from leading a tour of Alpine Europe and spending 10 days in Israel on a personal excursion. We knew before we arrived that our house had been flooded as the result of a break in the water line leading to the refrigerator. We now have new flooring. The kitchen cabinets are installed, but we must wait about two more weeks for the counter top and putting the cabinets into full use. Just this little misfortune has terribly disrupted our life; perhaps this has been reflected in the number of blogs we have posted. Breakfast of cereal and coffee is about the only meal we have been able to have consistently, and that required moving from room to room to locate the needed items. Lately we have also been able to have a sandwich and fruit in the evening. We have spent at least a dozen nights in local hotels when we have been unable to get in our bedroom or when the dirtiest work was going on. It might sound like a vacation, but it’s not.
The Tampa, Florida area where I live has made the national news in the past few days because of the rains and flooding. I was just watching some of the late evening news a few minutes ago. We are barely in August, but the weatherman said we have already had more rain than the yearly average. During the first three days in August we had 8.42 inches. This is more than the monthly average. Some neighborhoods, especially those near the Gulf, the bay, or along rivers, are still under water. I feel for those folks and the length of time it will take them to get back to normal.
When we made our first tour to the Bible lands in 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem and the West Bank were still part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. We crossed from Jordan into Israel through the Mandelbaum Gate. Today the Grand Court Hotel, the Olive Tree Hotel, and another hotel stand in that area.
In May I walked past the Olive Tree Hotel and noticed the sign outside the hotel with the title “Weather Forecasting Olive.” I grabbed a shot with my cell phone and thought you might enjoy it.
Actually I have noticed that the shrubs in my yard provide the same forecast. Well, except for the snow. We have had one dusting in the fifty+ years we have lived here.