Fried Oyster Imagery: Teacher Write Thursday, Feb 28 2019 

I composed the following in a sensory writing exercise with my English 1001 class this week.  Since I need to blog something, and having no other content expediently at hand, this will do!  So here it is, to close out February 2019.

thA fried oyster po’boy is my go-to comfort food of all time! When the waiter places the dish in front of me, my mouth waters at the sight of the crispy golden-brown nuggets heaped on a bed of lettuce and tomato on a crusty French bread bun. I lean over and sniff, sensing the aroma of the freshly-fried dish, bathing my sinus in the steamy warmth emanating from the oysters-fresh-out of-the-fryer. Then, seizing the bun with both hands and folding the two sides together, squeezing to compress the bulging sandwich to a thickness that I can set my teeth into, I tear off my first bite. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Firm and crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, my taste buds revel at the salty, musky savor of the tastiest comfort food on the planet.

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Endless Gloom, the Winter 2019 Friday, Feb 22 2019 

FogEach winter has its own personality . . . or winterality . . . so this one will be remembered as the winter of  endless gloom.

Cold hasn’t been extreme, nor have the rain totals.  But chilly, gray, and rainy daze have ruled.   In fact, the TV weatherman noted this afternoon said we’ve had only one mostly-sunny day out of the past 19.  The long range forecast promises no better for the next 10 days.

We hope that spring just around the calendar  will brighten the clime.

The 10 day forecast is still discouraging, though, with over half of the days showing chances of rain.

Country Roads, Acadiana: Kumquats Monday, Feb 18 2019 

We spent part of the afternoon at Zach’s in-laws in the country south of Crowley.  In the yard, a kumquat bush!

satsumas   I cannot consider kumquats without remembering my PaPaw.  My grandfather had a kumquat bush in his back yard in Arabi, St. Bernard Parish suburb of New Orleans, when I was very small.  We would break the ripe fruit from the bush and eat the kumquats whole, peeling and all, save for spitting out the seeds.  The fruit wasn’t particularly sweet, not particularly tasty, not particularly citrus—–but we consumed our fill from the bush’s abundance anyway, just because the fruit was abundant.

I cannot think of kumquats today without remembering PaPaw.  How amazing those  memories of childhood experience that transport us to our most vital past!

 

 

Happy Valentines Day! Thursday, Feb 14 2019 

51775677_10219512918232190_159114931860406272_nWe enjoyed a splendid Valentines Day repast.  This is Chef Sarah’s menu: Surf and Turf rib eye with Cajun shrimp sauce, orzo salad, air fried okra and creme brûlée for dessert. ❤️❤️  (and some bubbly Rose’!)

I feel a little guilty because I had little to do with the preparation–the Valentine’s gift was a little one-sided, I’m afraid.

I helped load the dishwasher when it was over, if that counts.

Anyway, my Valentine is the best.

Country Roads, Acadiana: Horns of Happiness Saturday, Feb 9 2019 

IMG_0276Helping Sarah’s Nonc Roger and Tante Nettie movie from country to town last week, we came across this this relic in their possession from bygone days on the Cajun prairie: cow horns hollowed out for use as boudin funnels.  The pointed end would be inserted into the prepared sausage casing (made from the hog’s intestines), and the boudin dressing was spooned and pushed through the wide end of the horn to stuff the casing.

The horns now serve as kitchen ornaments, culinary curios.  But they’re also reminders of the resourcefulness of those hardy subsistence farmers of past generations who had to, of necessity, raise, farm, create, or construct just about everything they consumed.  These horns were not horns of plenty: they were, in fact, horns of little.

But the testimony I’ve heard from the surviving members who grew up as children in this generation, now in their 80s and 90s, is summed up in a testimony like this: “We were poor, but we didn’t know it.  All of our neighbors were poor!  We had plenty to eat, we had family, we worked hard, but we were happy.”

Daddy’s 80th: Message to the Family Tuesday, Feb 5 2019 

Maybe I should have waited to post this piece until Daddy’s birthday in July, but why wait?  My niece had saved this treasure and shared it with family.  Here are Daddy’s words, on the eve of his 80th birthday.

Daddy’s Email to Family on the Eve of His 80th Birthday

July 2002

IMG_1323By Nathan H. Pulling, Sr.

It was that July 2nd, 1922 when my mother began to experience the first inkling of my desire to get out of the crampted quarters that had been my dwelling place for the last nine months, and I was ready to get out of the crampted quarters, I wanted to stretch my legs and my arms, etc. About three that afternoon we made our way to the hospital, and by midnight I was out to receive the first slap on that tender place of the body. Here it is now, almost eighty years later.

Books could be written about the ups and downs of these last eighty years. The single most important event took place in Franklin Ave Baptist Church when the Spirit of God moved upon me and lifted me from my place in the congregation, to the aisle and the front of the church where the pastor put his arms around me

and asked, “Nathan, why do you come tonight?” I said, “Because I am lost and bound for hell, and I want Jesus to save me.” After talking with Bro. Hoyle Hair, the Pastor, the church received me as a candidate for Baptism. The church then extended the “Hand Of Fellowship”.

As the congregation came to shake my hand and offer words of encouragement, it was my Daddy’s time in line, and I remember that moment as though it was yesterday. Dad put his arms around me and said, “Son, tonight you have become God’s boy.”

The next big event was that Sunday night when I attended Grace Baptist Church and got up enough courage to ask that good-looking girl to let me drive her home. She accepted my invitation on the condition that her big brother ride with us. That was the first night and she still wants someone else to go with us on those night time rides.

Well there were bad times along the way, which I weill not weigh you down with, because there has been many good times.

These days I cherish my five children. They make the bad times look good. Everyone of you is precious jewel to me, and I love you.

I guess there is more that could be said, but there is no sense in taking up your time now. Over the years I have shared some things with you, and I understand David has made a collection of some of my stories. So there is no sense in my writing it again at this time.

I don’t know how Mama and I will celebrate my birthday tomorrow. You will just have to wait till tomorrow.

Geaux, LSU Ladies’ Gymnastics! Saturday, Feb 2 2019 

gymnasticsHad someone have asked me 20 (or 30 or 40 or 50) years ago if I’d be interested in going to a collegiate gymnastics meet, I’d have said, “No, thank you.”  And then only to be polite, because my innate reaction would have been, sarcastically, “I don’t think so!” (which is a polite manner of saying, “Hell, no!”).

Anyway, we went last night to the PMac (LSU Maravich Assembly Center) in Baton Rouge with our kids and our granddaughter and our son’s in-laws.  The LSU gymnasts are highly ranked, and their acclaim showed in their performance as they rocked NC State in a one-sided contest.

Truly, I wasn’t bored for a minute.  The LSU ladies’ athletic display was brash, aggressive–I was impressed that they won not just by their athletic superiority, but as much by their audacity and in-the-competiton’s-face daring-do.  Those girls showed some high-powered  kick-ass!

And the brilliant athletic display was punctuated by the LSU  band and cheerleaders, whose spirited performances highlighted the evening in the best spirit of the proud LSU athletic tradition.  The feeling was as good as Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night.

I was proud to wear purple and gold.