Sep 4, 2007

Living at the Beach

by Terri Wagner

I made a dreadful mistake and then compounded it on Friday. I forgot to leave work by 2. By 4 p.m., Interstate 10 was backed up; nope, no accident, just everyone headed to the beach for Labor Day.

I normally take the downtown tunnel, however, because the interstate tunnel was backed up, the downtown traffic was a nightmare. Left lane backed up for miles and people cheating by taking the right lane and easing into the left. That made me so furious I called a friend who works in a tall (that being relative) building and asked her to shoot the driver of the white pickup two ahead of me. He let in 10 cars!!! That was nice in overkill.

I took a back road to the main road to the beach. Uh, compound mistake, should have taken ALL the back roads. I sat in traffic on my cell phone ranting about all the out-of-state cars that made my normally one hour commute into a two hour vision of, well you know.

My other human house occupants were off for the weekend/holiday. My canine occupants were so glad to someone, anyone, that they instantly forgave me for being late. Ok, a few treats were part of the forgiveness.

Saturday, I took an older newly-single sister with me to the movies, back up the same beach road. I personally found it offensive that the weekend was gorgeous. It should have rained if there was any justice!

On Sunday, I found myself in the ox-in-the-ditch syndrome and had to stop at the store. I forced myself to get only what I had to have, knowing I would have to come back the next day. But at least I felt I tried to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

That night as I read my scriptures--New Testament, Paul’s adventures in missionary work--it occurred to me: I had lost my way. I was doing all the right things (staying at work, transporting older sisters, taking care of my dogs) but it all felt wrong. I was actually furious with my fellowman. I needed an attitude adjustment.

So at midnight on Sunday (or is that Monday), I ordered a pay-for-view movie, The Nativity Story. I had somehow missed it at Christmas. Wonderful movie, put me back in the proper frame of mind.

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father gently reminds me of how much I have and that a little inconvenience is the price I pay for living on the Gulf Coast. So really, how bad could it be?!

Mental note: carry something to read in car when backed up with traffic. There, that should ease the anger.


  1. Yes, Terri, traffic can be among the most irksome things on earth. I'm suddenly wondering if it would have been any better traveling in a covered wagon over trails, not roads. Certainly no faster. I usually have a tiny B of M,a pocket hymn book, and some pick-up knitting or crocheting in my bag. It's heavier, and usually when I need it it's the time I left it home. Have you tried singing?

    Actually, getting inspiration for a clever blog isn't doing bad.

    Just where along the Gulf do you live? We lived in Biloxi a couple of wonderful times. Long ago. I loved driving the beach road then. That was way back before Freeways were invented.

  2. Oh my gosh I'm in what was your neck of the woods. I'm in Elberta, about 5 miles from Gulf Shores. And thanks for the idea. I love to cross stitch. I suddenly have a vision of me being the one everyone is mad at as I count one more stitch to make sure I have it right, ha.

  3. I saw how bad it was when I tried to go to the store. Oh my goodness. It was just as bad on Monday going north when everyone was going home. It's tough to live in a resort area all year round when everyone wants to come and visit. Great entry.

  4. Great post, Terri! Don't you love the gift of a new perspective? I am always humbled by the direction the scriptures give us in life.


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