Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Rainy, Reminiscent Christmas Eve in Louisiana

Since it had been dark when we arrived at Jim & Liz's place on December 23rd, Sam and I hadn't seen their yard yet. When I was finished with my shower on Christmas Eve morning, I noticed Cam, Sam and Jim were outside taking a walk around the pond. Before joining them, I snapped a quick picture of the view from their living room.

Then, as they rounded the bend and headed towards me, I decided to play paparazzi and see if I could get some natural photos of them together.

When I joined them outside, Jim said rain was imminent. He decided to go inside while Cam and Sam took me for a loop around the yard.

Cam shared with us his nostalgia about Spanish Moss.

Sam put on a fashion show.

Cam told Sam about how he liked to wear Spanish Moss as a wig.

Sam often learns from Cam's example.

He and I checked out the view of the pond from the gazebo.

This tree was my favorite of the trip. I was impressed with it in Eric & Sarah's photos and wondered where they had found such a cool looking tree. Who knew it was right in their Dad's back yard. It looks like it should be in a Dr. Seuss book to me.

This dog was the neighborhood welcoming committee.

Strangely, I prefer the Spanish Moss on a tree rather than my head.

Just thinking about it makes my scalp itch.

Sam wanted me to take his picture in front of "his favorite tree of all time."

It was impossible to get a decent shot of the boy and the tree in the same frame.

So, here is the boy in front of his favorite tree.

And a shot of the gazebo from across the pond.

Last summer? During Hurricane Katrina? Jim and Liz's pond flooded. Despite valiant efforts to save it, the ecology hasn't been the same since. Jim decided to give it a rest and see what nature could do to heal the damage. Algae covers most of the surface. It is lovely in its own way. He joked that he turned the pond red for Christmas.

It did look like it could start pouring any minute.

Soon after we made our escape into the warmth of the house, it did start to rain.

Sam used the indoor time to try out the treadmill.

On the wall behind him, you can see a photo of Jim with a bear he hunted.

The top picture is of Jim & Liz swimming with a dolphin.

Cam figured we could do our tour of Lafayette from the car in the rain. It was nice to see his childhood home. I have heard many happy stories about time spent here. He said his parents planted the trees in the front yard.

We stopped by a church that had been important to him. We sat in the sanctuary admiring the stained glass windows and listening to some guys practice their organ & trumpet duet in preparation for the evening's service.

After finding a couple of Cam's favorite places to eat closed, we decided to stop at Zeus Cafe, a Greek restaurant. One review says, "They mingle and move throughout the restaurant and dance right at your table. I am going to miss this place when I return to New York." There were no belly dancers at lunchtime but the food was fabulous. (link to Zeus image)

After lunch, we drove out to see where Cam went to school. I can't remember the name of the place right now but I know the time he spent there was very important to him.

That afternoon, Jim suggested he, Sam & Cam go shopping for some bait in hopes of doing some fishing on Christmas day. The container Sam is holding would house crickets.

Alas, the bait shop was closed. Sam & Cam scoured the yard, driveway and sidewalks for worms. It was either too cold or the robins beat them to most of the big, juicy ones.

I joined them for a walk around the neighborhood.

When we returned, Jim had hot chocolate waiting for us and Liz had made a wonderful crab and corn bisque for dinner.

After dinner, Jim showed us the pictures of their recent trip to China. I was most impressed by the landscape.

Sam build domino structures. Liz was an enthusiastic audience for his, "Watch me knock this one down."

Despite the rain, it was a worthwhile, meaningful, enjoyable day. Time with family, going home. Made me nostalgic for mine.

1 comment:

Eric Maddux said...

TO enjoy Louisiana you certainly have to learn to do it in the rain. Glad you enjoyed the time there.