Looks like Hurricane Gustav has left New Orleans somewhat. Some of those towns, like Houma, I'd been to. Granted it was 1981, yet I'd been there. Ventured to New Orleans with a boyfriend at the time. His maternal family lived in a small town called, Donaldsonville. We drove all night, from Des Moines. For some reason, we didn't take enough money to stay in a motel on the way there.
Looking back, I couldn't stand that boyfriend. In fact, I read my 1981 diary, which reminded how we went to the movies the night before the drive. Yet when he dropped me off, he announced he was going to see this woman he'd been seeing and sleeping with. Just to say good-bye he said. We got into such a row, and I was concerned we wouldn't make the trip the next day. Naw--I was more upset what people would think. So I blubbered to him how much I loved him. Yea. OK...did I tell you this guy tried to cook with vodka, eventho the recipe called for wine? That WAS 1981.
We wound up doing the trip. I met his aunt and uncle, who lived in Houma. Sweet, sweet folk. His uncle announced, if I didn't eat the catfish he was about to fry up, I wouldn't get anything at all. His aunt just smiled. And we all enjoyed each other. The catfish was great, and those people were the best part of the trip. They opened their home to me. We traveled to Louisiana the next year too and our relationship was more fractured. We didn't speak in the car for the first seven hours.
The only reason we did was I had the gas card and we were purt near on "E". That trip was also the time we had a flat tire on I-55, outside of Cape Giradeau, MO. Should have gone home then. But nope, we stayed in a motel, to cool off from the disastrous start of the trip. I should've slipped out the room and hopped a Greyhound back to Des Moines. We fought in the motel room. I recall he said I was crazy to think we were going to go out and find something to eat. Then he thought I was crazier I had a pizza delivered and wondered how it was going to be paid for. At first he refused to eat any, until his stomach churns won out and he said, "It's your money."
That trip second trip to Houma was worth all the headache from him, because his aunt passed away just a few months after out visit, from cancer. She was really the only reason I even agreed to go on that second trip. To see her. Their house wasn't a lively as the year before. Sweet, sweet folk.
So on this Labor Day, as I labored to finish a rough draft of a short story, pet some cats, sipped a grande Mocha Frap, enjoyed my destined to be de-cluttered home and Thanked God, I thought of the folks in the path of Gustav. Prayed the harm would not be a horrid as originally thought.
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