Tuesday, September 7th was our ninth day without power, thanks to Ida. Our little Honda generator was getting thirsty again, but the gasoline supply around the city was improving, so I optimistically set out for petrol. Across the canal and over to Chalmette I went, and sure enough, I pulled right up to a pump without any wait at all. While I was getting the gas cans out of the Jeep, I noticed that the daiquiri shop next door was open. Open, I say.
The thought of cold, slushy deliciousness after 9 days of no air conditioning and heat advisories got me so excited I was concerned about spontaneous combustion, due to the proximity of gasoline. I texted neighbors to get their orders, obtained the daiquiris, and pointed the Jeep homeward.
All was fine until I got to the top of the ramp for the Claiborne drawbridge over the Industrial Canal and the gates came down. The drawbridge went up, a barge went through, and the drawbridge went down. Great. Let’s go.
Seriously, let’s go.
The bridge was down, but the gates stayed down. Eventually, the bridge started going back up, stopped, then went back down. That maneuver repeated itself one more time, then nothing. We were stuck. There was no going forward, and the line of cars behind me was bumper-to-bumper, as far as I could see.
In these type of situations, I typically believe whatever the delay is, it’s occurring for a reason. It’s somehow preventing me from getting into a worse situation. That belief was put to the test whenever I looked down at those frosty daiquiris just sitting there. If I hadn’t stopped for daiquiris, I probably would have been home by now. But if I hadn’t stopped for daiquiris, I wouldn’t have daiquiris, and when is that ever the best option?
Such were the deep thoughts as 30 minutes became an hour of deep, motionless reflection. Eventually, the cars, pickups and bucket trucks behind me started backing up. It was disorienting to go backwards all the way down that ramp, especially with a bucket truck pulling a trailer beside me.
I made it home about an hour and a half later than I should have. Two of our neighbors who asked for daiquiris had to leave before I returned. The beverages themselves were still cold and delicious, but the all-important ice to liquid ratio did suffer from the delay. It might have been the least successful run for daiquiri run I’ve ever made, but a hurricane provides way too much perspective for such whining, even while still lacking electricity. (And those two neighbors fully enjoyed the cold sweet treats the next day, after some careful refreezing and thawing.)
Later that night, Mindy shared this article with me. The Claiborne Bridge malfunctioned, causing injuries when two vehicles dropped four and half feet from the bridge to the ramp. This happened about an hour after my retreat in reverse. Even more perspective. Daiquiris, once again, provided a lesson in leading a life full of gratitude, even when things are less than ideal.