Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Ode to Louisiana

Ma chère Louisiane,

Though I have hated you at times when my life was crumbling, I now cannot seem to get you out of my skin.  You are permanently engrained in me.  Your culture, your accents, your ways.  My two years spent amidst your bayous and swamplands have put a little cajun in my soul.  The start of October will always have a certain ring with the voices of my first students excited for the opening of squirrel season.
Spring Bayou at Twilight
Summer 2011
Louisiane, your food has taught me that I must have been a cajun in a past life.  Cracklin's, etouffees, gumbos, and understanding that rice and gravy is not as literal as it sounds.  Your beer has been good to me, and your seasonal Abita Strawberry makes me as excited as Texas' Shiner Cheer at Christmas time.   Your love for a good time has given new meaning to parades and festivals, for you like to throw one for any and EVERY occasion.

I will miss the ability to purchase hard liquor at my local convenience store, though I never found the need for it, I liked knowing it was a possibility.  Or purchasing an adult slushy (aka: daiquiri) after a hard day, and never being carded at bars though we both know I look twelve.

The love obsession for college football, like I've never seen before.  The start of Mardi Gras season and days off from work to assure a time well spent.  I will miss these things.  Zydeco, and it's reminders of home with the accordion and traditional dance.

The cajun french, I fell in love, mostly because I could understand.  Maybe it was my background in Spanish, or my background in French, either way I was connected.  From catin (not a prostitute in Louisiane), to couillon for fools, or referring to kitty cats as minou minou's.  Fais do do to bed, canaille,   de's instead of the's and ax instead of ask, chiren for the kids, coo! when excited, IF! to affirm something,

Louisiane, I will miss your lack of prepositions, your questions sounding like statements, and as many Brouillettes, Couvillions, Gauthiers, Gaspards, Thibodeauxs, Lemoines, DeSotos, Dauzats, Dauzarts as there are Smiths, Jacksons, Johnsons, Garcias, or Rodriguez.

But most of all I am going to miss the people who have touched my soul.  To every student I had the honor of teaching, I am sorry I was not always the best, but I am grateful for the opportunity to teach you.  I am thankful for the opportunity to help shape you into a better version of yourself.  I am sorry if I you caught me in a frustrated state or if you were never told how much I cared.  I am going to miss those who made Louisiana welcoming, perfect, and a place I will always call my home.
Let the good times roll, but do it slowly.
This is not auvoir it is à plus tard.  You are my second home, you have a piece of my heart, and I'll be seeing you.
Cheers to good things that are going to happen...

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