The Brunch Buffet Par Excellence: The 40th Anniversary Date Venue Monday, May 29 2017 

Forty years: We made it yesterday, and so we celebrated with a date weekend to the New Orleans area, highlighted by Sunday morning brunch at the Court of Two Sisters Restaurant in the French Quarter.  I’ll compose this piece mainly as a photo essay, since sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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We discovered this Royal Street restaurant 20 or so years ago, and it’s been a New Orleans go-to place for us ever since.  This 40th anniversary date was our fifth or sixth visit over the years.

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The “jazz” brunch comes from a live jazz ensemble that plays in the background.

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Our choice is always the open-air courtyard.  Well, not exactly open air, because a leafy canopy of vines sprawls over the courtyard, providing deep shade.  The ambiance is classy, romantic, and oh-so-New Orleans.

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Humble Rewards of the Profession: The Granddaughter Has It! Tuesday, May 23 2017 

18700748_10155359983107888_7936898281869691341_oSarah and I were delighted this evening to hear the reports of our third grade granddaughter’s Huntsville Elementary Awards Day ceremony.  Our little straight-A girl shined!  Happy Papa-the-writer couldn’t be prouder that among her recognitions was the Aspiring Author Award.  Maybe she’s a chip off the old creative writer block!

I’m not surprised at all, because since she was a toddler, she showed imagination and creativity.  As a teacher and writer, I can tell those who have “it” and those who don’t.

Payton Elizabeth HAS IT!

Write on, Payton!

I can’t wait to see what bright promise lies ahead as she grows and develops her gifts.

Cajun Girls and Black Pot Magic Tuesday, May 16 2017 

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Smothered okra with chicken thighs and sausage: Distinctly Cajun!

I always tell my son and my son-in-law that the happiest decision they ever made was to marry a Cajun girl. I did!

One of the blessings of marrying Cajun happens in the kitchen, often with a cured black cast iron pot.  Such pots are common to other regional cuisines in the Deep South and elsewhere, but prairie Cajuns have unique black pot dishes.

Like smothered okra with chicken and sausage.  I grew up in the rural Deep South, and growing up, I ate my share of okra—-mostly fried—-but this dish is Cajun!  Sarah learned the recipe from her mom, who sometimes varied the recipe by adding shrimp.

I hadn’t tasted this delicacy in several years—-maybe more—–so when Sarah prepared it yesterday, we had an exciting and tasty culinary visitation with the past.

In conclusion: Cajun girls do it right.

Blessed Mother’s Day Saturday, May 13 2017 

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A photo of the family a couple of years ago.  Mama’s still there, and she looks just about the same!

It’s the eve of Mother’s Day 2017, and I just got off the phone with my 91 year old Mama, wishing her a happy Mother’s Day.

At my age, I’m blessed that she is alive and still living independenly, enjoying relatively good health, even though she just had gall bladder removal surgery.    She’s tough!

Almost all of my peers are not so blessed.  Their moms are gone.

To God be the glory!  And the gratitude.

“I Have Decided . . . “ Sunday, May 7 2017 

to follow Jesus!”

Familiar words to an invitation hymn we sang in church years ago.

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This child knew what she was doing!  We loved teh tee-shirts.

What a reward today to share with my family in our granddaughter’s decision to follow Jesus as she was baptized following morning church service!

Even more gratifying was witnessing her excitement, evidenced by the beaming smile on her face as she entered the baptismal.  This nine year old was ready!   She also realized the gravity of the ceremony and the eternal consequences of her decision, as much as a nine year old can.

Her grandparents are proud.  Generation to generation bears witness to amazing grace!

And the salvation beat goes on!

Where Have All the Daddies gone? Thursday, May 4 2017 

I was blessed to be raised by a genuine Daddy.  I hope my kids would say the same (although they called me “Papa” in the Cajun style.  Papa in Cajun = Daddy in English).

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This is a daddy????

So what’s up with this public service commercial that’s running lately, encouraging biological fathers to take a few minutes of their time each day to be a dad?  In the commercial, here’s this heavily tatooed dude with a muscle shirt and streaming locks  singing “I’m a Little Teapot” with his daughter (Don’t tell me this guy represents responsible manhood that strives and works and achieves to support a household!)

My Daddy took more than “a few minutes each day to be a dad.”  Being Daddy was his calling, his life’s work, his highest responsibility.  He learned the role from his daddy, my grandfather, and passed it down to me.

So where have all the daddies gone in this culture that wages war on family? in this generation that eschews marriage? in this age that doesn’t value commitment to family relationships?

We have become a society adrift in the sea of self-satisfaction.  Our children will suffer.

Daddy and me

Now this (on the left) was a Daddy!