Thursday, August 30, 2012

Making God Laugh

There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” My plans were modest enough, I thought. I wanted to fly to Denver for a friend’s wedding. I knew this friend through an e-mail list for women weight lifters. This particular list is down to five people, two of whom I have met in real life, the bride and another woman who lives in Colorado.

We have been together long enough to have heard all the details of the bride’s courtship, engagement, and wedding worries, and the other four of us all planned to be there. I was looking forward to meeting the two women I had not yet met. 

Whenever my husband and I fly anywhere, we tend to fly from New Orleans, because flights from Baton Rouge can be complicated. To go to Denver on United, we would have to fly Baton Rouge to Charlotte, NC to Chicago to Denver. To fly from New Orleans to Denver on United, we would take one plane, from New Orleans to Denver. It was even cheaper. So I made us reservations on the 8:27 AM flight out of New Orleans on Thursday, August 30th.

On Monday I got an email saying my flight could not be confirmed and to call the travel agency. The flight had been cancelled due to the storm, but we had been booked on a later flight, leaving at 3:07. By then Isaac should have blown out of town, leaving us good to go.

It would have worked, too, if it weren’t for the high pressure system to the north that held Isaac in place so it could drop almost 8 inches of rain on New Orleans on Wednesday alone, flooding out I-10 at LaPlace and causing problems with Louis Armstrong International Airport:

KENNER, La. - New Orleans International Airport and its 250 flights a day remain shut down and without power Thursday, even as the effects of Hurricane Isaac subside.
Airport Director Iftikhar Ahmad said the terminal sustained roof damage, with leaks "all over the place.”
Entergy-Louisiana is working to get power back, said Entergy’s Charles Rice. He said they have to fix downed power poles on Airline Highway, then fix damaged equipment at the airport and then work their way back into the surrounding city of Kenner.
But even if the power is restored quickly, the airport still has problems because the airport approach lights, which rise 7-10 feet in the air along the runways, are under 3 feet of water, Ahmad said. The inundated portion of the approach lights contain key electrical equipment that may be damaged, Ahmad said.

We had to cancel our trip. Even if we could have changed our trip to leave out of Baton Rouge, the earliest we could have left would have been Friday, for the Saturday wedding, and it would have meant all day traveling from city to city to city.

The bride has been very gracious about it.

I don’t know why God needs a good laugh so much that he has to mess with my modest travel plans. Can’t he just watch the Colbert Show or even Everybody Loves Raymond reruns like the rest of us?

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