Small Town Americana: Football Sunset on the Friday Night Cajun Prairie Friday, Sep 23 2016 

14369948_10210261940966331_6878946588461921302_nSunsets along the Gulf Coast this time of year can be spectacular.  So tonight from the home stands at Blue Jay Field, looking across the home team’s sideline toward the west,  I rejoiced in the prairie’s flatness that allows this captivating perspective of creation.  The  setting sun’s dazzling, colorful splash across the darkening  sky defies imagination’s capacity to grasp eternity: May we stand in awe of the Creator of  sunset!

In-service Daze Saturday, Sep 17 2016 

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The sustenance of an all-morning in-service: Not by bread alone.

How many tedious, butt-numbing hours of in-service,  committee service, and administrative service  accumulate in thirty-seven years of a career in education?  I’m not sure of the number of  hours in answer to that question, but surely enough hours that add up to many, many daze.

In most of these meetings, especially the ones that go on for multiple hours, the endurance of will pits the mind versus the behind: Which portion of the anatomy has greater capacity than the other to absorb the abuse resulting from interminable hours of squirming in an uncomfortable chair, of straining to remain alert (and at times, awake!).

Sometimes the mind prevails, other times the behind, but in all cases, the contest is nip and tuck.  And in reality, neither wins—-in the meeting-bureaucracy of educational administration, both mind and behind are well-acquainted with losing.

A Thyme For All Season[ing]s Sunday, Sep 11 2016 

Sarah posted this on her Facebook wall a few days ago.  Too good of a thought not to give the permanence of a blog post.  Take it away, Sarah Ann . . .

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What’s the cost of so much thyme?

Cleaned out my spice rack and found:
I can no longer claim I don’t have enough thyme!

 Can’t figure out why I have so much thyme on my hands!
Maybe because thyme is of the essence!
Meanwhile, I’ll just have a good ole thyme with all my thyme!
I’d better start killing some thyme!
It’s going to take some thyme this thyme!😆

When the obvious is the obvious… Wednesday, Sep 7 2016 

I’ve got to believe that the city traffic planner who posted this  marker at the intersection of 12th and Park Avenue did so in jest.  Is a traffic sign even necessary?  That makes as much sense as planting a “Slower Traffic Keep Right” sign in the unpaved, single-lane alley that runs behind the house.

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No kidding?

Wild Wisteria: The Medusa Vine Friday, Sep 2 2016 

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Wisteria shoots bristle like venomous tentacles: Medusa’s locks!

Anything green and growing in this part of creation has loved summer 2016.  Never a dry spell—- showers, even floods, abounding from spring till now.

And so the Wisteria vines flourish and thrive above all.  I have trimmed and trimmed and trimmed the unruly shoots at least once a week since May.  However, the more I trim and prune, the more  the vines roar back with determined ferocity.

This time of late summer, when in normal years the tumultuous vines  have slowed  in their increase, I think of Medusa, that hideous goddess of antiquity, whose unruly locks writhed with venomous fury.   Such is my nemesis, the Wisteria vines!

His Eye is on the Rosette Spoonbill Tuesday, Aug 30 2016 

floodFifteen inches in less than a daze.
Ditches, ponds, coulees, and fields awash.
As in Noah’s day,
a swollen, sullen tide covers streets and fields:
The watery curse on a gray,  fallen world spreads away.

Now the day after . . .
No rainbow.

But!
As His eye is on the sparrow,
So the Rosette Spoonbills,
Graceful birds who forage in pink
amid the bounty of nature’s flood.
Disaster to man, nurture to nature.

So  despair not:
He who cares for the Rosette Spoonbill
cares for me
With grace deeper than the flood.

What lies beyond the end of the road? Hyperbole! Saturday, Aug 27 2016 

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I rejoiced to discover this declaration posted at the end of a driveway just beyond the parking lot at a local strip mall, alerting me to the hazard that lies beyond the road’s terminus.  Why, without this emblem’s counsel and guidance, I may have foolishly driven from the smooth pavement into the inhospitable brush, even into a mud-ridden ditch that runs just beyond, resulting in calamitous damage to my vehicle and bodily harm to my person!  But mercifully and propitiously, some noble fellow anticipated the threat to mine and other wayfarers’ safety in those frightful hazards beyond the road’s end—-he posted this life-and-property-saving pronouncement in the name and for the purpose of humanity, man’s finest impulse to preserve life, limb, and property in his fellow creature’s interest.  Hooray for man.

Jammin’ US 190 Tuesday, Aug 16 2016 

A couple of Interstate Highways and fifty or so years ago, US 190 through Eunice, Louisiana, was an important thru-route from Baton Rouge to Texas.  I remember coming through here as a kid (cerca 1962) when the highway was only two lanes.

Of course, Interstate 10 changed the travelscape enormously so that 190 has become  a regional highway rather than  a major cross-country route.

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Two traffic signal cycles to grind through an intersection in downtown Eunice?  Unheard of until  traffic “daze” such as these.

Except, of course, when I-10 has to be shut down for an emergency such as the great Flood of 2016.  The swollen Mermentau River Basin began flooding the Interstate south of here a couple of days ago, so all that voluminous traffic is being diverted to a 50+ mile stretch of 190 from Kinder to Opelousas.  We’re right in the middle of the detour here in Eunice.

The result?  Rumbling, long-haul eighteen-wheelers stacked up and backed up at  every traffic light across the four or five mile stretch of  the city limits.  The only other time I recall such traffic in Eunice was during the aftermath of Hurricane Rita, which shut down segments of I-10 in similar fashion.

I suppose there’s a benefit, since many of those travelers spend money here for gasoline and food.  Meanwhile, we locals know to stay off the main drag.  If we have to cross to the other side of town, there are traffic lights from one end of town to the other, and we can get to just about anywhere using the back streets.   Our hearts to go out to those frustrated travelers, though.  Many of them are probably fussin’ and cussin’ the name of our city as they grind their way through the intersections.  I hope some of them will come back one day when traffic is normal to gain a better  impression of our hospitable country-Cajun small town.

The Flood of 2016: A Marker for My Generation Sunday, Aug 14 2016 

Three trips into the attic to stem the dripping tide yesterday  painfully reminded me of muscles I haven’t thought about in years. 12 + inches [of rain] are enough!

Our grandparents marked the epic flood of 1927 as their high water mark—-no pun intended; our generation will mark the flood of 2016 as our  flood epic.  The ’27 flood was big-river flooding, mainly–the Mississippi and its tributaries.  But the ’16 flood rose  from torrential rain.  We’re astounded

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Simply too much rain!

at the number of people in our locale, for example,  whose homes took on water from rain-induced street flooding with nary a stream nor bayou nearby.

I also believe that the territorial extent of the ’16 flood surpasses the 1927 flood.  From the Pearl River on the east, almost to the Sabine River on the west, the ’16 deluge washed across all of south Louisiana with sensational effect.

From the Cajun Prairie to the Rocky Mountains: A License to Geaux! Thursday, Aug 11 2016 

I took this pic of my Cajun daughter’s Colorado license tag last June when we  visited Greeley and the mountains on vacation.  The plate is mounted on the  Camry we bought in 2005 from Courvelle Toyota in Opelousas—-it’s a very Cajun Camry!IMG_0501

But here it is way up yonder in the Rocky Mountain state.  I’m proud when I look at the photo now, but also a little bit lonely.  That car always looked just fine in Baton Rouge with a Louisiana license plate.

But we—-kids and parents both—- grow up and move on.  At least those folks in Colorado see some purple and gold and know that Louisianians are proud folks.  We love our state and we love our kids who grow up and move away.

Geaux, Tigers!

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