In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I was awaken by the unanswered ribbit of one lonesome frog.

It appears to my ears that the soggy Earth and rainfall ponds around and under my Breaux Bridge home were no longer, and the curtain came down on the three-day coloratura of nature’s grand amphibian opera.

Sponsored by Barry, that one-time/one-minute hurricane turn tropical storm turn tropical depression, I was treated to days on end of organic night music.

But it’s all over now.

And that’s a good thing. As it happened to a majority of people in Acadiana, not much happened with Barry, or Barely (from a text) as some called it.

For a lot of others in Louisiana and in nearby states, however, the end result was as bad as a Cat 4. Homes and businesses flooded, people rescued from rooftops; no lives lost, but plenty of lives upended. 

Anytime there’s potential for a hurricane, coupled with the worst-case scenario forecasts, you can bet I properly prep for such a weather event. Barrystorm was no exception.

Looking back, guess I was overly earnest as I started Thursday and bought ice (two 20-pound bags, one 10-pound bag), a case of water, fruit, boudin, several containers of nut and berry mixes, a flashlight, candles and some beer. I also put gasoline in my car.

In Pont Breaux, Friday evening was breezy and nary a drop fell. Still, Nouveau String Band wasn’t to be at Tante Marie’s, nor Lee Benoit at Pont Breaux’s. So the fallout from Barry took the fun out of Friday and money out of the pockets of musicians, waitstaff and other nighttime business all over Acadiana.

With no weather-related threats on hand, some friends dropped by and cards were played late into the night. They departed and I saw on Facebook some faraway friends had checked in.

I stood on my back steps and then came in and wrote at 2 a.m. July 13, 2019: mild, sometimes gusty wind; clouds racing across the face of the nearly full moon, sometimes white, sometimes gray, sometimes black. Hiss of a warm, determined wind through leafy trees.

And that was that.

At first, Saturday appeared no different than the day before, but the intent was there. Regardless, I got in three rounds of OffRoad Cro K on the pleasantly windy banks of Bayou Teche and enjoyed a gathering of friends on a rooftop porch.

Then I watched the rain, falling lazily as if on vacation, burst into mist when punched by a bolt of angry wind every now and then.

A few of the porch sitters arrived at my place and we consumed a concocted meal of black beans and boudin (a nuevo dish I highly recommend) seasoned with pressed garlic and pickled jalapeños. And with another curfew, no open live music venues and ArtWalk tripped up, cards would again commence at my place.

As the evening progressed, it got hurricane-ish as I sat alone at home.

Wind gusts, like a speeding bus rushing past, shouldered the house. Sometimes the rain sounded like rice forcefully thrown at the windows. It wasn’t scary, but the nagging thought of a freak tornado gnawed at me just the same.

By Sunday, 20 pounds of ice returned to its original state and was as cold as a mountain stream when I poured it out.

I still have plenty of beer. I’m not one to let my hair down during a hurricane, I’m too cautious, or, as my friends say, “paranoid.” In fact, I have the dubious title of SafetyBoy that I proudly share with former neighbor and artist, Yvette Chappius-Kent, who’s known as SafetyGirl.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Years ago, say at least 30-some, I was a bartender at a bowling alley/bar on the outer banks of North Carolina. Hurricane Charley, a Category 1, was inbound and I figured I was in for a night off.

Not the case. I was told if I wanted, I could head in during the eye of the hurricane to relieve a coworker with one too many shifts under his belt. So I did. A relatively peaceful drive to work did not prepare me for the organized chaos that ensued.

Locals and tourists alike weren’t deterred by a Cat 1 and came out in force for an impromptu public Hurricane Party. Despite the relatively short shift, it was a glorious night for tips. We’ll never see that sort of thing again. For many reasons.

Anyway, back to Barry: Monday afternoon, my neighbor and I talked about hurricane forecasts and prepping for what didn’t transpire.

And we had no complaints.

That frog under my house, however, may see it differently.

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