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Week on the beach

By Clif Knight 

Being shut in our home for eight months because of COVID-19, our interaction with others has been confined to occasional visits with relatives and infrequent trips to grocery stores for food products and drugstores for prescription drugs.  

My wife Geanell has pretty much been a homebody because of a medical condition that puts her in a high-risk category for surviving the coronavirus. I have worn a mask and practiced safe distancing when in public places and escaped the virus. 

Our status changed last week when we threw caution to the wind and traveled to the Gulf Coast to be in the company of Geanell’s five first cousins and their spouses and companions. We spent six days were there without medical complications, and we all returned home virus-free.  

However, the property damage we saw along the 95-mile Gulf Coast Express Way from Interstate 65 to the Fort Morgan beaches gave us second thoughts about living in that area.  

The wind damage from Hurricane Laura was evident. Pile after pile of broken tree limbs and tree trunks lined the highway rights-of-way, waiting to be picked up and hauled to the landfill. Some building roofs showed damage, while highway signs were toppled and pecan orchards destroyed. 

The damage to buildings along the Gulf was even more evident. Discarded household furnishings, sheetrock, siding, asbestos, roofing and other rubbish was piled among the highway. Pickup crews were using double high-bodied trailers to haul away the trash. Carpenters and roofers were busy making repairs on roofs and siding of beachside houses. 

Gulf water and white sand beaches showed no signs of damage. They provided ideal settings for brilliant sunrises and sunsets. Beach activity was light despite blue skies and daytime temperatures in the mid-80s 

Our crowd of eight to 12 people made eating-in difficult at restaurants. However, we opted for carryout and more home-prepared meals than usual.  

Some of the women took advantage of shopping opportunities while the men spent time reading, watching television, napping and playing card games.