Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricanes and Beer

Bunnie and I had decided we needed a day at the beach before summer is over. I haven’t taken a vacation in awhile and don’t plan on one anytime soon, and just need a little getaway, know what I mean? A little fun in the sun, a little quality time at the dive bar by the pier, a little nappage in the sand, a little swimming in the surf. What’s not to love, right? After fighting crazy stupid traffic to get down there (Laurel Canyon was closed down – I am so sure!) we cruised in my car with the top down to the gigantic parkinglotasaurus by the pier and headed straight for Big Dean’s, where they serve Big Gulp-size draft beers. After quaffing two each (yes, I did say “quaff”, that's what you do with beer, duh) we schlepped our stuff across the sand to our spot. It was a perfect day. We had our tunes, our portable champagnes in a cooler, good snacks. We went swimming and the water wasn’t even that gross for a change. Just an all-around wonderful day to live in Southern California. I had invited Jodi to join us a couple of days ago, but hadn’t heard from her. “I wonder what she’s doing right now?” I thought, as I lazily munched another grape and rolled over to have a snooze.

Turns out Jodi was living one of the scariest times of her life. She had flown out to Memphis for a concert and then to New Orleans to spend one night, unaware that Katrina was headed there. She was one of the last planes to make it out of New Orleans before the hurricane hit. Everyone was being evacuated from the city and scampering to try to leave town, but freeways were at a stand-still and were getting closed off completely and airlines were canceling all their flights. She was lucky to get on a flight at all. Businesses and stores were shutting down and boarding up their windows hoping to avoid as much loss as possible, but the hurricane is going to actually touch down in New Orleans today. And this is the big one they've all anticipated like the SF earthquake of '89. If Jodi didn't get out yesterday, there was a good chance she would be stranded there for at least 3 or 4 days. They are expecting the entire city to be flooded in feet of water and the power to be out for days and it will probably take at least three or four months to restore everything. So many people are preparing for the worst and believe there is a good chance they will die.

When I saw Jodi and gave her a hug after hearing the news, she got tears in her eyes talking about how the people she saw and talked to there could end up dead.

And here we were, on the beach, the luckiest people in the world having a great time. Kinda makes me feel fortunate? Yes. Kinda makes me feel like a total jerkface for complaining about anything, ever? Absolutely. I lost a toenail surfing. I have a giant zit on my chin. My shower faucet doesn't work right. Wah, wah, wah! My God, I hear myself sometimes and want to kick myself. Life is so good here. I pray for our friends in those areas affected by Katrina and hope their tragedy and loss is not too great, and they are given strength to pick up the pieces and carry on. Your west coast friends, though spoiled rotten and easy to forget how good we have it, are thinking about you with love and concern.

1 comment:

Chi said...

Yes, Bunnie..we are SO very blessed. FOOF!