A few weeks ago when the civil unrest began in our country, I remained silent. I didn’t want to take sides. I didn’t want to pretend that I knew enough on a subject to write coherently about a situation that in reality, I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to say something ill advised, stupid or inconsiderate in an already tense situation. I thought that keeping quiet would be my best choice.
After nearly 2 weeks of continually violent episodes all around the world – many in my home state of Louisiana, I’ve decided to break my silence. My heart is broken, y’all. How much more are we going to hurt one another before this awful behavior stops? I feel like we’re at war with ourselves. There’s no other way to describe how heartbreaking this is to watch unfold.
Reflections on hurt, fear and love
I’m not one of these people who overdoses on news. I actually make a conscious effort NOT to watch the news. I do this for my own peace of mind. I find that my experience is that news outlets generate drama and hook me into their stories, which just generates more anxiety and strife. I’ve decided that it’s before for me to not allow myself to get sucked into the media black hole.
However, I’ve done a great deal of thinking over these past few weeks and I wanted to offer a few insights about what I see happening from my viewpoint. Throughout these scenarios, I see 2 things coming up again + again: fear and hurt. Continue reading
We had a couple of nasty storms move through our area today. As I sat on the 2nd floor of a building in an all day workshop and watched the rain move in, I had some thoughts about the vantage point from which I was watching the rain and from my reactions to the rain in the past few years. I didn’t get upset or afraid – a reaction I might have had as a child. I knew it was only a matter of time before the storm passed and the beautiful, sunny sky would re-appear. Perhaps with the blessing of a rainbow, too.
No Rain….No Rainbows
As I’ve aged, my perspective on rain and thunderstorms that we experience during our lives has changed. What I define as a crisis has changed. My father had a saying, when something wasn’t that big of a deal, he’d remark “That’s small potatoes.” The point was that whatever he was referring to was small stuff – and we’ve all heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” This was his version of saying the same thing. I’m starting to realize that most of what I once worried over is indeed “small potatoes”. Continue reading
As I outlined in yesterday’s post, I’m heading to Louisiana to hang out with friends + family for a week. Frequent driving between Atlanta and various destinations across the US, including a few trips to Montana and beyond have yielded me a true road warrior. It occurred to me that a few of my road trip tips might come in handy for y’all, so I’m sharing them below. I hope you find them useful.
Road trips make great memories
1. Avoid “Sleepy” food + beverages:
I changed my diet a few years ago and I noticed how much energy I had once I removed sugar, processed foods and junk beverages from my daily diet. In order to stay as alert as possible, I have a no junk food rule when I’m driving.
There are days when I think about how my life would be different had I never left “home” (Louisiana). Then, I sit back and realize how much my life has changed because I left Louisiana.
Roots of an old oak tree in Arnaudville, LA
I made the decision to move away from Baton Rouge during my last semester at LSU. I’d accepted a job with a big computer company for the sole reason that I would be allowed to live in Baton Rouge. My new job would require nearly 100% travel each week. It was the perfect arrangement: I had the option to live near my family, but it was a great job and I’d get to travel the world. I was going to set the world on fire.
Then as it always does – life happens.
In my previous post, I blogged about my sister who lives in Kansas City. Like me, she is very proud of her Cajun roots and both she & her husband are making sure that her kids grow up with knowledge of the traditions of our culture. The boys are also attending a French immersion school near their home and the eldest is already fluent in the language. This was something my sister really wanted for them so they could further appreciate the history of the Cajun culture. They also host an annual Mardi Gras party each year, the kids know how to paque eggs at Easter and I’ve demonstrated the joys of popping fireworks with them (yes, there’s a funny story there, too….subject for another post).
I suppose you can say the trouble began about a week prior to my visit when my brother in law posted the following on his Facebook page: “My boys want to catch a squirrel and eat it.” I replied “That’s their Cajun heritage coming out” and we all got a good laugh out of the whole idea. Little did we know how serious they were about this…
The squirrel hunters
As mentioned in previous posts, I recently attended a soaper’s conference in Kansas City. The bonus for me was that my sister lives in Kansas City and generously offered me a place to crash + the use of her car during the weekend to get to and from the conference. I gladly took her up on her offer, registered for the conference and booked my flight. Little did I know what fun we had in store during that week.
Oh, the thrift stores!
She picked me up at the airport and immediately handed me her phone and said “I found a thrift store. Navigate me there” and within 15 minutes we were perusing treasures in a thrift shop right off I-29. We found a few treasures – too bad I couldn’t fit this recliner in the overhead bin or I’d have purchased it!
Testing out the leather recliner at the thrift store.