Category Archives: Ville Platte

knowing my mother

  

painting easter blocks

painting easter blocks

  Sunday morning is here. I have a bit of a “to do” list – a fun one – try out green smoothie recipes and paint a couple of Easter Blocks, but it seems I am drawn here to this page. I think of different things on Sunday than I do during the other days of the week. I suppose my “system” has throttled down a bit by now and I am in this more tranquil zone and I suppose that is exactly why I find myself here writing/posting.

 

I posted a picture of my dad and me from the 50s yesterday. It came from an old family album and this morning I went to put the album away and found another picture, one of my grandmother, my mother and me. I suppose, like many things, I have seen this photo many times, but today it was as though it were the first time. At three – which is how old I was in the picture, you are not really aware of your mother’s life, you are still very narcissistic and your mother is just the person who sees about you, you don’t see her as really having a life; she is just there for you, right? Well, I look at this picture of my mother and realize she was just 25 years old, still so young and so beautiful and I wonder now what was her life like then, what were her dreams, who were her friends, where did she go, what were her and her mother talking about and I bet they were speaking in French?

 

111 beech st., ville platte, la 1957

111 beech st., ville platte, la 1957

 

I only know her in relationship to “me”. I suppose that is the miracle, the beauty of motherhood; mothers are custom made for their children and each child builds that unique relationship with their mother. I have talked to my brother and sister a lot about “our” mother and we each have a “different” mother even though she is one in the same. Anyway, just a narcissistic post I suppose but I felt like asking myself a few questions and then thinking a bit about that day 55 years ago while still trying to know her.

 

On a side note and one of humor, I posted the back of the photograph – it was developed in New Orleans Louisiana in 1597! Oops I think they meant 1957 – gotta love life before digital huh?

1597?

1597?

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Mardi Gras

There is a Mardi Gras “incident” I remember from years back that I “get” now. It involved my mom and a pot of gumbo. There is a tradition here in south Louisiana that every house should have a pot of Mardi Gras gumbo simmering on the stove on Fat Tuesday. It goes back to the tradition of the Le courir de Mardi Gras that came from the back country – something totally unlike the pageantry and parades seen in the cities. This maintains its French pronunciation because of its place of origin, the French countryside. This is the Mardi Gras my mom grew up knowing – chasing chickens on horseback and in costume that would end up in a communal pot of gumbo. Well, that tradition, as are many, was buried deep within her but it was not passed on, so, how was I to know it was important? Anyway, one Mardi Gras she made a pot of gumbo and we, her adult children, did not show up – we had made other plans – parades. She was very disappointed, perhaps even offended?? I didn’t really understand the dramatic response then, but I do now. I understand the wanting to share your past with your future, wanting your children to know where you came from. Life is funny though because all of those opportunities to share and connect tend to happen when your children need to be so in the moment – their lives are busy with their children, careers, houses, etc. It is all so upside down and regretful. Today, this time in my life, would be a great Mardi Gras day to hear of Le Courir de Mardi Gras that ran through the countryside around Ville Platte and Mamou and to hear her describe the details of the riders and the ingredients of that gumbo and the foundations of her life – How I would love to hear all of that…now.
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