Sunday, August 1, 2010

On the Last Week in Louisiana - Part One

It's odd to look around the house you've lived in for the longest in your life that you've ever really lived in just one place, and know that in a week it will be empty.  The furniture will be gone, my favorite comfy green sofa will be on a truck somewhere, and all of the books in my library will be boxed up.  That last bit almost makes me feel naked.  (ladies, control yourselves)

But we have to give up the life we've earned, to earn the life we want, so it's a price I have to be willing to pay.  As I head out to Atlanta, there are only three things I'll miss about Louisiana, and they all start with the letter F:  family, friends, and food (not necessarily in that order).  Wait, I take it back... I'll miss the football, too.  I guess that's okay, since it starts with an F as well.

There's really just not all that much else to care about in Louisiana.  I may be a Cajun farm boy, but my sense of southern romance doesn't drive me to look unrealistically at my home.  The weather is abominably hot, the politics are ludicrously corrupt (even relatively, I assure you), the education system is generally substandard, and between hurricanes, floods, and oil spills, this state is a basically expensive and unpleasant place to live.  Yes, the food is fantastic, and Louisiana is home to the Greatest NFL Team Ever In The History of Anything, but that's really all we have going for us down here.  To be honest, I'm very, very sick of hurricanes and oil spills.  I'm tired of putting tarps on my friends' and neighbors' roofs.  I don't like having my electricity out for weeks at a time in hot and humid weather.  I don't really appreciate the smell of crude oil when I step outside in the morning.  I weary of learning just how little the rest of the country in general, and the federal government in specific, cares about us.  It's all just getting really, really old.

And yet, I do still love the place.  I'll always think fondly of Louisiana, New Orleans, LSU, and especially my hometown of Loranger (the jewel of Tangipahoa Parish, easily!).  I guess that gets back to our own personal realities overriding actual reality, like I was talking about a couple of weeks ago.

With my priorities in mind, I've been trying to spend my last few days in Louisiana with the F's that I care about: friends, family, and food (sadly, it's not yet football season).  Debby's baby shower was yesterday, and I got to see a lot of all three there.  We received a multitude of cute outfits, diapers, and some inexplicable and mysterious devices like the "Diaper Genie," which I'm sorry to report does not, in fact, grant wishes.  Even if you rub it really hard and yell the wishes really loud.  People keep asking me if it seems real yet that we're having babies (yes), whether I've started freaking out with worry yet (no), and how prepared I am to have little monsters yelling and screaming and telling me no and keeping me up all night for the next few years (to which I reply that this will not happen, because I know the meaning of the word 'discipline').

This morning we headed out to Middendorf's... a quintessentially Cajun Louisiana restaurant named after a German.  Southern Living magazine boldly claims that Middendorf's has the best fried fish in the world, and I see no reason to argue the point.  It's worth a visit for anyone in Louisiana, nestled between Hammond and New Orleans in the tiny town of Manchac (the entirety of which consists of a few swamp camps, Middendorf's, and a really big bridge).  You haven't eaten catfish until you've had the catfish in Manchac.

Still on the agenda for the week:  see a few more people, eat the near-religious Italian cuisine at Agape Pizzaria, devour everything left in the freezer, continue packing, spend some more time with the godsons, buy some Saints stuff, and burn Kenny Chesney in effigy.  Anything I'm missing here?


  1. "...this will not happen, because I know the meaning of the word 'discipline'" Bwahahahaha! Let's compare notes on this in five years, yes?

    Oh, and I love Middendorf's, where your toilet is a throne, up on a pedestal.

    Safe journeys to you & the family tomorrow.


  2. I accept your five year challenge, madam.