Les Traditions des Vieux Temps: Paquer des Oeufs Thursday, Mar 29 2018 


Sarah “paque” son oeuf avec Mme. Ethelene.  Les vieux jouait comme des enfants!

Un de les bénéfices de ma décision de retraite est la possibilité sur les vendredi matins de rejoindre mes vieux amis  pour Le Café Cajun.  La semaine passée, on a pâque’ des oeufs, la tradition des Cajuns du prairie Louisianais.  C’était merveilleux de rire et cajoler avec cet bande des hommes et femmes comme ils célébrait les mémoires de leurs jeunesse.  On jouait commes des enfants!

Pour le monde qui ne comprends pas cet vieux jeu de Pâque, l’objet et de déterminer quelle œuf possède l’écale le plus dur.  On cogne doucement les boutes des deux œufs pour voir laquelle craques le première.  L’oeuf qui craque et jeté a cotée, et le “gagneur” continue pour “paquer” avec le prochain œuf.  L’œuf qui ne craque pas a la fin du conteste et le champion!

J’ai publiée un poste sur le suject de paquer des oeufs en 2008.  Ma femme Sarah a posée la, et la semaine passee, elle a posee encore.  Elle aime beaucoup paquer des œufs.

Laffy Daze Monday, Mar 26 2018 

Through the years of empty-nesthood, we’ve adopted a number of married-couple life-patterns that take advantage of the relative freedom that comes with kids leaving the


Chineese noodles and egg rolls for lunch on the patio at Rouse’s on a fresh, late-spring morning: Taking time to smell the “Laffy” roses.

nest.  All is not bleak and dreary in this advanced stage of mid-life!

Our latest routine, or at least one we’re proposing to make into a routine, I call “Laffy Daze”–or translated, “Lafayette days.”

We’ve done Lafayette shopping days for years since the kids moved on, but those days had to conform to work routines.  Except for rare holidays, we were confined to weekday afternoons, after work, for our excursions.

But with the advent of our retirement phase, we’re free from the constraints of day and time.  So, the Lafayette days concept morphs into the more playful Laffy Daze.  We observed our first Laffy Day last Thursday and had a blast.

Laffy Daze allows us to go to town on weekday mornings to avoid both early morning and late afternoon traffic.  Furthermore, the streets and stores are delightfully un-congested: no traffic snares, no endless checkout lines, no jostling crowds.  I noted last week that the typical shoppers on weekday mornings are retired-looking folks (like us?) and housewives  with pre-school children in tow.  Weekday shoppers are not as much in a hurry as they seem later in the day at rush hour or on Saturdays when all of the poor working stiffs pile into the streets and retail places.

Best of all, though, we’re not in a hurry ourselves.  We wake up without alarm, leisurely sip coffee with the morning news, and get on the road when we’re ready, not when we have to.

Laffy Daze are good days.  If this routine becomes a rut of retired living, may we wear it into a rut deep, well-and-often-travelled!










The Most Recent Family Photo Wednesday, Mar 21 2018 

My immediate family is scattered geographically, so we don’t gather that often.  Last 29339560_10216202059503761_6225354764536359467_nFriday was out latest reunion, so we posed for the obligatory photo.

Not a bad looking lot, our advancing ages notwithstanding.  And an added blessing is that we all enjoy relative good health.

There are a couple of interesting ironies.

Missing from the photo are the oldest and the youngest of the conjugal family, father and little brother—-they were the first departed.  An added irony is that the youngest sibling, Nathan Jr., was the first in the family to depart.   He was followed a few years later by our father, Nathan Sr.  Juniors are not supposed to outlive seniors.

Most interesting irony of all: Mama is 93, and she has fewer gray hairs than any of her surviving children, all of whom are 20-35 years her junior.

That’s not fair!




Country Roads, Acadiana: Cajun Prairie Spring Wednesday, Mar 14 2018 

Cajun prairie spring

Cattle grazing amid the flourant wild yellow pasture flowers blooming against the green winter grass, all transposed against the sky blue  hemisphere of late winter/early spring: earth’s poetry!

One of my favorite rural Acadiana drives is Louisiana Highway 10 from Ville Platte to the Vidrine community in Evangeline Parish.  The prairie views are picturesque, with neatly-manicured farmscapes spreading away to the horizon from either side of the winding roadway.  From soybean fields to rice fields to livestock grazing, the flatness of Cajun prairie in spring works magic.


Country Roads, Americana: Sam Houston National Forest, Texas Friday, Mar 9 2018 

What would it be like to live in a national forest?  I’d love to know.

We wandered deep into the Walker County, Texas, woods this afternoon to see a glimpse of country living, Americana, as we visited the setting for Zach’s and Trisha’s future homeplace in exactly such a place.


Honey and Payton stand near what will become a driveway.

To think of this coarse, wooded landscape as  an upscale housing development requires some imagination!

A Texas-sized imagination, perhaps?

We’re happy for our kids!



Walt Whitman, Get Real: Joyous leaves of friendship? Sunday, Mar 4 2018 


Live Oak leaves promote neither joy nor friendship!  Ask anyone who’s had to rake them.

American poet Walt Whitman visited Louisiana in the Civil War and saw a Live Oak tree, which inspired him to write a poem, “I saw in Lousiana a Live Oak growing, . . . uttering joyous leaves of friendship.” (Must have been this late winter/early spring time of year when our Gulf Coast trees shed.)

Joyous? Friendship?

Nuh-uh.  Walt, you never raked these horrid, waxy leaves that skitter and scatter like panic-stricken wild cats before the rake.  If you knew what I know about Live Oak leaves, you’d have written instead, “I saw a Live Oak, day after early spring day, shedding leaves in interminable torrents driven by the mad March wind, accumulating and covering the ground beneath  heaps of teeth-gnashing exasperation.

The First Evening of the Rest of Our Lives: Retired Friday, Mar 2 2018 

On this first evening of Sarah’s retirement,  we convened after supper on the patio with a small fire against the late winter chill: what adventures lie ahead? We can’t wait till Monday: no alarm clocks allowed.