Coronovirus and Toilet Paper: A Freudian Outlook Tuesday, Mar 24 2020 


Could Sigmund Freud explain why some people hoard toilet paper?

In January 2009, I posted a humorous blog on Freudian anal retentiveness.  Wikipedia explains that psychoanalytic term: “Freud theorized that children who experience conflicts during [a period of their development] may develop ‘anal’ personality traits, namely those associated with a child’s efforts at excretory control: orderliness, stubbornness, a compulsion for control,[1] as well as a generalized interest in collecting, possessing, and retaining objects.”

Hmmmmth, seems there’s a connection worth exploring here: Millions of our country-men and women are unexplainably hoarding toilet paper in the midst of this viral crisis, even though the virus isn’t intestinal, there’s no disruption to  supply or production of toilet paper, and no shortage of any sort—-in other words, this frenzy is totally irrational!

What would Dr. Freud suggest about this phenomenon?  Perhaps he would explain that these adults were anal retentive in their childhood and that they carried over that tendency into adulthood, which is now evident in the empty toilet paper shelves we observe at WalMarts, Targets, and super markets across the land.

Excretory control and collecting, possessing, and retaining objects all seem relevant to this analysis—-So now we understand!? Thanks, Dr. Freud.  Perhaps you’re still relevant.


Some keep the Sabbath staying at home Sunday, Mar 22 2020 

Coronaviris days grow long and weird, so we may as well smile when we can.

IMG_0627To that end, as we “attended” our church’s virtual service on the patio this morning, watching the Wisteria bloom and the critters that scampered, fluttered, and skittered among the branches and along the hedge, I remembered a poem Emily Dickinson wrote about [not] going to church:

“Some keep the sabbath going to church– / I keep it, staying at Home.”

Well, this day, owing to the marvels of technology, we did both!  And appearing among the congregants were Cardinals, Blue Jays, a Mourning Dove, several squirrels, and Marley the Dog.

I don’t think I’ll ever grow fonder of this arrangement than actually gathering with friends and loved ones for church, a habit I’ve practiced with regularity beginning about nine months before I was born, but this temporary normal will have to suffice in this season.  So we’re grateful for what we have, even as the creatures’ participation added a rare and entertaining dimension to the experience..

Patio Dwelling: Quarantine Quarters Wednesday, Mar 18 2020 

IMG_0625Our days are so different since just a few days ago.  No more restaurant dining, no more church meetings, no more leisure trips, no more social gatherings of any sort.  We’re practically prisoners in our home!

But we will make do!  In a sense, we don’t mind, because we have not just the inner comforts of our house, but also the outer comforts of the outdoor living area, the patio, and our cozy back yard happy place. In addition, the fullness of the season blesses our days with mild spring weather, the most fit days of the year, for time outdoors.

We may persist in this difficult era of Coronavirus perhaps more happily than others, simply because we are patio dwellers!

Coronavirus Daze: Comic Relief Saturday, Mar 14 2020 

May the chronicle reflect that in this season of 2020, our land was beset by the Coronavirus pandemic.  In the midst of such a dreadful season, laughter is useful from time to time, so I posted this amusing piece on Facebook a few days ago.  (The French word couillon is an unflattering label referring to a very foolish, maybe even a stupid, person.)

maxresdefaultRumor says that an epidemiology lab in Acadiana today discovered a unique manifestation of the Coronavirus that’s suspected of spreading throughout South Louisiana. The researchers dubbed this strain of the virus “couillon-avirus.” It’s not suspected to be as lethal as the Coronavirus, but those afflicted with couillon-avirus may suffer from acute bouts of rank stupidity, profound foolishness, and embarrassing public behavior. What’s most dreadful is that there’s no cure: Those afflicted will never get well, but there’s a silver lining–their malady is not fatal.

Country Roads, Acadiana: Best Gumbo Ever! Sunday, Mar 8 2020 

When I was growing up in the Greater New Orleans Area in the 1950s and 60s, gumbo was a thing Mama did.  It was excellent gumbo, too, and it was always seafood gumbo.  The saucy broth swam with oysters, shrimps, and crabs.  IMG_0624Good stuff!

But after I married Cajun, I was introduced to the prairie Cajun traditional dish of chicken and sausage gumbo.  The roux is darker, and since shrimp, oysters and crabs don’t flourish in the freshwater inland bayous on the prairie, the local Cajuns adapted their gumbo to the produce of their land: chicken and sausage!

This weekend, Sarah made a batch, which she believes is the best gumbo she ever made.  (I won’t argue!).  She browned the roux low and slow, for at least an hour, until the color matched a Hershey’s bar.  A dark and sexy brew!

I’ve never had finer gumbo in all my days.  I believe this was the best ever.  Can’t wait for left-overs tomorrow!

To Walt Whitman: What joyous leaves? Wednesday, Mar 4 2020 


Joyous?  No!  Ugly!

During the Civil War, poet Walt Whitman visited Louisiana and “saw a Live Oak growing.”  He wrote a poem about it, describing the tree as “uttering joyous leaves.”

Well, all I can conclude is that Whitman never had to rake those “joyous leaves” or clean up the mess they make each year at the onset of spring.  They’re sure not joyous in my back yard this time of year as they flutter in copious, wind-driven droves to litter the yard and clog the gutters.

I don’t mean to ignore the grandeur and splendid dignity of our Gulf Coast Live Oak trees.  They are truly magnificent, and a Yankee like Whitman was understandably impressed at their beauty.  Their only flaw is that, unlike most trees that shed  leaves in fall, Live Oaks shed from late winter into early spring.

And worse, raking Live Oak leaves is far more irritating than raking the dried-out, well-behaved autumn leaves.  Live Oak leaves are petite, hard and waxy, skittering rebelliously in all directions as the tines of the rake attempts to herd them into a pile.   Raking them is comparable to raking ball bearings.

No, those leaves are not joyous.


Patio Dwelling: The Night Lights Saturday, Feb 29 2020 

Late winter and early spring is a favored season for patio dwIMG_0612elling.

As the weather grows temperate in late February and early March, we find ourselves outside more and more in the early evening, celebrating the seasonal liberation from winter’s short days and chilly nights.

I favor the image posted here because of the multi-colored layers of light and the cozy fire’s warmth.

And as an added bonus, no mosquitoes!

Country Roads, Acadiana: A late winter sunset poem Wednesday, Feb 26 2020 

Sarah took this photo yesterday afternoon (Mardi Gras 2020) on our way south from Eunice to Crowley on Highway 13.  This IMG_7237is an iconic prairie view: the expanse of flatness; tbe flooded fields ready for rice planting or crawfish production; the low sun’s reflection shimmering with the fading day; the lush winter grass flourishing along the ditches and levees.

None of those details are particularly sexy: the flatness may be perceived as boring, the flooded fields as muddy, the sun’s reflective rays as dull, the winter grass as weeds.

But they may also be perceived as poetry from Mother Earth.

Yes, poetry!

Country Roads, Acadiana: “Buy you by the bayou Thursday, Feb 20 2020 

86776541_10222793754571048_4787911739217805312_nAt a traffic light in Lafayette last week, I spotted this clever  sticker on the rear window of a pick-up truck promoting a local business in the tiny town of Sunset in rural St. Landry Parish.

I have no idea what the Bayou Thrift Shop sells, but next time I go to Sunset and have a few minutes of free tie, I’ll be sure to check it out.

The word bayou lends itself to such clever plays on words.  For example, consider this riddle: What’s the loneliest bayou in Louisiana?

Why, it’s “Bayou self!”  How lonely!

Moving Mama: The Last Move? Friday, Feb 14 2020 

IMG_1161I made jokes several years ago after helping one or the other of our kids to move.   The effect of the joking was that “Mom and Pop are done with moving assistance!”

How do those words taste, now that we’ve eaten them, more than once?

For today we helped 94-year old Mom settle in her new digs at Summerfield in Hammond.  The Two-Men-and-a-Truck crew did the heavy lifting, but there were boxes upon boxes to be unpacked and stowed in logical places.  Or as logical as Mama’s ancient mind can conceive.

The big question, of course, is “Was this the last move?”

Maybe not.  Time is exacting its corrosive work on Mama’s mind, so who knows when the memory curtain will fall?  We pray that she has lucid days ahead.

Meamwhile, for at least this day, we’re pleased that she’s settled where she is.  We’re honored to have had this small part in the proceedings of moving, whether we’ve attained the end, or not.

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