Trip braves Tropical Storm Lee

For lots of folks, summer ends with Labor Day weekend, and the perfect last fling is a weekend at the beach. Tropical Storm Lee has put a damper on things.

As a part-time resident of the Gulf Coast, Lee’s not such a bummer. The storm has its own fierce beauty. Steel gray clouds scud low across the sky. Wind-forced drizzle stings like a tattoo*. The stifling heat is gone. And in a few days, Lee will move on to the upstate, delivering drought relief.

I can enjoy listening to the wind whistle through the screens and watching the chop break over our dock because I have the benefit of modern forecasting, which indicates the worst will be only a gale**.

Sure, the house quivers on its pilings when the wind gusts, and it’s a struggle to stand upright, but we’re not in the kind of danger that would force an evacuation. Instead, I’m hanging out under the house, taking pictures to prove how tough my dog is.

According to Pat Ferrell, historian for the American Shetland Sheepdog Association, Shelties hail from the rugged “Shetland Islands in the Northern Atlantic, exposed to the vagaries of the sea and north winds.”

Major Redmont Trip, 12, appears to enjoy the scents carried in the wind, but prefers to curl up on a rug indoors.

* Authorial license; I don’t have tattoo experience, but saying needles is cliche.

** The Beaufort Wind Force Scale defines a gale as winds from 39-46 mph. Hurricanes begin at 74 mph, and move to a different scale.

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