Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A Bayou Thanksgiving---Part Three

And a very good time was had by all during our Thanksgiving at my uncle's place in the swamps of Louisiana.

Due to the lack of electricity and lights, we spent a lot of time on the house's porches. And due to the flood, my uncle and his brother-in-law had to don the heavy waders all too frequently in order to do some work down in the water, like tying down the butane tank-- or else to get into the boat in order to sail upriver for groceries. On Thanksgiving Day my uncle boated down the river to pick up a friend of his, a very nice Alabama boy who spent the day with us.

Knowing that these two bachelors (my uncle and his brother-in-law) don't make much fuss around the holiday season, Mother had brought with us a tabletop Christmas tree with lights---and so I put it up in the living room next to the canary cage. I decorated it with some old ornaments which had been found in Mamo's closet. Mom also found a lovely Mexican nativity scene in the back of another closet, where it had been lost for eons, and I reverently set it up at the foot of the Christmas tree.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the Baby Jesus figurine, which made for a terrible problem. I ended up making do by putting a little lamb figurine in Baby Jesus' place. (I figure Jesus won't mind because, afterall, Jesus is the Lamb of God.)

(Okay, okay, so the tree looks a little skinny and forlorn. But it was the best I could do considering the circumstances in the residence of two no-nonsense bachelors...)

As you can see, the deep-fried turkey was a total success. The boys were rightly proud of themselves-- and we all feasted like kings.

While I was there, my uncle told me to go through my late grandmother's (Mamo's) needlework to see if there was anything I wanted for a memento--- and what a joy that was! My mother squealed with delight when I pulled out several vintage lace doilies that she recognized as those which had been in her home during her childhood. As you can see, my late grandmother was an accomplished and artistic crocheter, and each of her works is a beauty to behold.

I especially liked the below piece, which Mother told me had been stiffly starched so that the ruffles would stand up and undulate beautifully around the center circle.

Don't know if the picture below is good enough, but the words "Staff of Life" are crocheted into the center of this doily, which is a term from the Bible referencing bread which sustains human life-- and is provided by God.

All too soon our bayou adventure was over, and so Mumsy and I got back into the boat to travel back up the river to town. This time my uncle's brother-in-law went with us. Here he is, pushing off with the oar.

I especially loved passing by this charming shack. Mother quipped: "That's where I want to retire."

The above family still proudly flies the colors of the good ole USA, exhibiting the tough and hardy spirit of never-say-die swamp dwellers, who never allow the flooding of the river to put a damper on their lives.

Back up the river we went....

And then.... we bid a fond farewell to the Ouachita, knowing that we will return soon, on the 2nd day after Christmas.




Mary said...

Thanks so much for sharing. What a special place and time.

Terri said...

It is a whole different way of life out there...not for the feint of heart!