Sunday, April 11, 2010

Water Ways

It’s hard to imagine a five-mile-long, flat expanse of concrete being beautiful, but the Twin Spans over Lake Pontchartrain were wonderful to me for two reasons. The first is that they are another sign of Louisiana, quite literally, rising above the devastation caused by Katrina. The second is that the bridge, unlike the roads leading to it, is smooth as glass, providing a nice quite, bump-free glide across the lake that I so love. This is the first bit of the drive to New Orleans from where we’re staying on the Northshore of the lake.

I was on my way to play Thelma and Louise (or maybe we were playing Lucy/Ethel) with my sister Michelle. We rented a ten-foot U-Haul truck to drive back across the lake to our niece Nik’s house where we were picking up a sofa to deliver to another niece, Melanie, in Mississippi.

Richard was spending the day at the World War II Museum where he’s been volunteering since before they officially opened, so I figured I’d take care of the sofa. It was a really large sectional sofa that Nik and Tom were generously donating to Mel, but Mel had no way to get it. Michelle and I wanted to spend the day visiting with each other; we combined the efforts, and away we went.

I really didn’t do the math before I reserved the truck, but, in my defense, I didn’t think I had a lot of options. Richard and I arrived in Louisiana in one vehicle. I figured that he would drop me at the truck rental facility, and the he’d head across the river (the Mississippi) to work. He’d then have to come get me when I got finished with the truck. These two facilities, even though separated by a river are only about five miles apart, so this made sense at the time – sort of.

As it turned out, while I was sleeping, and Richard was up baking biscotti, Bub offered Richard the use of his SUV. I could have rethought my plan, but noooo.

Michelle and I had a wonderful visit, and we were very successful at delighting Melanie and her family with their nearly-new sectional sofa. The only downside was that I had driven the truck almost three hundred miles, round-trip. And the rental companies do charge for mileage. I probably could have bought Melanie a sofa for what the truck rental cost, but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as nice – and I wouldn’t have had Michelle as a captive audience for nearly as long.

Michelle was about to be in trouble with her husband by the time I dropped her off. She still had to change for a dinner engagement with the company that employs him; and they were due to leave in ten minutes. I hope she’s good at applying make-up in the car.

I headed back across the river and then across the lake to dress for the friend’s fiftieth birthday party that had precipitated our trip down – which was again across the lake, but not across the river, in Uptown New Orleans.

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