Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Southern girl

I'm a southern girl.
But not just any southern girl. A southern Louisiana girl.
I came from Jefferson Parish and grew up right outside of New Orleans. Our family used to take the ferry across the Mississippi to walk the French Quarter on Sundays. We'd eat po boys and watch people sing and make fudge. Sometimes daddy would get some alligator on a stick at the Market and us kids would ask for a bite like it were the very first time. One of my favorite things to do was to drive around the city looking at the old worn houses. I'd imagine what stories were born in them. That's what I love about the south...the history, the fantastical stories that weave the fabric of the culture there. History is what gives it it's spirit.
If you look closely, you'll notice my Louisiana roots showing. I say things like "ya'll" and "where ya' at?" and understand it when someone asks "howsya'mamaen'dem'doin'?" I know the proper pronunciation of Tchoupitoulas (chop-it-too-lis) and Burgundy (ber-GUN-dee). "Go" is spelled Geaux and Breax is pronounced "Bro" and yes, i've known tons of Brauds (bros) and Thibideauxs (as well as Geautreauxs, Boudreauxs and Michouds). If I lost you with any of that, then you're most likely not from Louisiana. Give me crawfish in the springtime and King Cake come January. Fry me up some boudin balls and lets go get a snowball for dessert. I need humidity or I feel like a fish out of water and I'm most comfortable at or below sea level. It doesn't matter how much the Saints suck, come football season we root for them. And, most importantly "Geaux Tigers" was a phrase that Sadie learned by age 1.
Yes, I'm a southern Louisiana girl. And you can take the girl out of Louisiana, but you can't take the Louisiana out of the girl.

I realized this truth when we crossed the Atchafalaya Basin on our way to Baton Rouge. Gray clouds billowed across a suffocated sky until they were so full they emptied huge drops of rain on the windshield of the car. It was like a prelude to my tears. Rain! I touched the glass. My eyes swelled and the top of my throat closed shut. Rain pattered the glass...a welcome home round of applause. I missed this place; the people, the culture, the geography. And I didn't know just how much until we came back home after a year in San Antonio. I felt so relaxed, so peaceful. I wanted to soak it up in a way that I never had before. I wanted to appreciate it and revel in it.


Lisa & Aaron said...

It's funny because as I was reading this post I was thinking "I like that," and "We did that," and "Oh, I love that too." You made me appreciate my home a little more :) Glad we got to visit while you were in town!

Jessica said...

I know what you mean. There is just something about going HOME.
I miss all the EAUX's of Heauxme. Does that work?

Stacy Hutchinson said...

Okay, I don't know if it's my postpartum or not, but this post made me cry! My parents currently live in Idaho, so for the past three weeks they've been here living it up with po-boys, crawfish boils, jambalaya, red beans, pralines, crab cakes, touring Ponchatoula (our hometown), hearing bullfrogs and crickets, soaking up the humidity, enjoying the blooming magnolias, and stocking up on "Slap Ya Mama" seasoning. I love it here! There's no place like it.