Thursday, December 30, 2010

Life is more than pretty shoes

I was watching her walkin' down the street, and the poor child almost tripped and fell down, in those pretty shoes, as this old Granny wonders about those feet tomorrow and how they're gonna feel, just like what we stand on makes a difference in our lives.
pretty shoes - wikimedia commons

"Granny, wanna see my new shoes?" and Laurie held her feet up so I could see the shiny shoes.  The heel on those shoes looked like the end of my paring knife, with one exception, with that bit of rubber on the end. 

"They're pretty, for sure, but how bout those feet of yours?  Don't they hurt when you get tired?"  I ask my Laurie, but she's still admirin' her shoes and movin' her legs from side to side so I can see them again.

"Sure they hurt, but I gotta be fashionable after all.  This is what's in these days.  Besides they make me look glamorous too, don't you think?"

Laurie she don't listen much cause she's just feelin' much too happy bout those shoes to pay attention.  But those feet they tell the story bout much more than what she wears today and I tell her what I think and how life's much more than pretty shoes. 

"Shoes are made for walkin' good, and if you can't do that in those type shoes, than soon you'll start feelin bad when your feet are gettin' hurt.  That's how it works with shoes and feet and everything you do.

Pick the things that last awhile, that always will look good, that make you look and feel your best no matter where you are.  That makes you feel all good inside, and the rest of you will too.  Cause how you treat your body, what you eat and what you wear, will make a difference when you gets older.  You hurt your body now, and one day it might hurt you back.

That's the way it works with everything.  When you treat yourself and others as good, the good comes back to you.  You treat your body with respect, and it will honor you.  Your feet are like the foundation of anything that happens in your life.  What you stand for, how you stand, and walk as well can bring a life that's just the fit for you."

My Laurie pouts a little, then looks up at me and says, "That whole speech because I showed you my pretty shoes today?  That's weird, Granny, but know what?  My Mama said you'd say that, cause she said the same thing too.  I want to stand up straight and strong like you, but just today just let me dream about my pretty shoes."

Granny knows those dreams are something wonderful for my Laurie and that grandchild of my heart will never forget there's more to life than pretty shoes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Granny says don't get stuck in a moment

"I keep putting it off, Granny.  Don't know why I just can't get up the energy to get it done," and that's what means a person is stuck and Granny tells how to get out and avoid gettin' hurt and havin' nothin' down the road that means anything at all.
House in Arizona where a fellow attempted suicide - wikimedia commons

Gordie is one of my older grandchildren, livin' in Arizona,  with a mind of his own.  But he has to balance his checkbook because he is always getting overdrawn.   He doesn't keep a job and hasn't seen his kids in years.   "I have to sit down and do what I need to do, but then my mind wanders off, and I think about fishing or somethin' else that's fun and the next thing I know, I'm out the door.  I can't seem to get things done I need to do these days  What have I become?  I seem to want everything and don't feel like I have anything.  Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't even be around."

"Not everyone works the same way at the same things," I remind Gordie, "But we have to put things we value the most ahead of the things that are fun.  That doesn't mean the fun things aren't important.  It means that makin' sure your family has money and you have enough is an important thing.  It is a way of thanking yourself for the hard work you do.  Otherwise, you can lose money when you don't know how much is there.  You spend what you don't have, and that money adds up.  The bank makes you pay extra when you make a mistake, so it takes away all the good you did for yourself and keeps makin' trouble for you.  Then there's the hurt you get from doin' things just for pleasure and not thinkin' bout tomorrow."

Often the things we don't take care of has to do with the people we love that we hurt when we don't do what we supposed to," I tells him, but I sees he's thinkin' and understands what Granny says.

"It just is so hard," my Gordie argues with Granny, but I'm not hearin' that.  "Doin' what you need to do is one of life's great tests.  We got here cause the man upstairs wanted us to learn.  You learn the best from things you fail, the things you may not like.  Then when you do, reward yourself and do somethin' that's just fun.

The world gives back what you give in time.  Sometimes you wait.  That's the way life works for everyone, the great and small alike.  When you put somethin' off and don't get it done when you supposed to, you really are losin' what helps you down the road."

And my Gordie looks over at that fishin' pole and says, "Those fish can wait a little while cause they'll be there when I'm done doin' what I need to do.  Like the bayous of Louisiana, fishin' poles are here forever, but I won't be; and I want my children not to have to take care of me if I don't learn right now.  That way they can have time to fish someday and not have to work too hard doin' for me and themselves as well and not havin' time for fun."

Gordie is learnin' what old Granny knows here in Cloutierville after all these years of doin' for others, and thinkin' bout them,  and takin' care of things, even when they is hard.  And that's the good and the gold we find in the work we do for those we love and for ourselves that needs to get done that leads our children on the golden path and keeps them from gettin' hurt..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Granny's gift exchange for something really sexy

You didn't like your gifts this year?  Here's Granny's list she's ready to return cause Elmer and her ain't givin' up bein' sexy.
J'Adore by Christiane Dior - wikimedia commons

Old folks, like Granny, get body lotion every year or a handkerchief in a card.  It's a big reminder us gals is gettin' older.  Granny says next year get her sexy underwear from Victoria's secret or J'Adore  perfume  like advertised by Charlize Therizon, and let her dream of walkin' down the hall towards Grandpa with a sexy, sultry smile she knows her Elmer will just love.  

Wool socks for my Elmer, he don't need.  He lives in Louisiana and would only wear them three days of every year, and now he has a drawer full of so many he can't get the darn thing closed.    Get him matching bikini underwear to Granny's, but put a picture of a lion smack dab in the middle of that underwear, so Elmer can growl and Granny can dream, or both do so much more.

Don't think cause we are older, we ain't sexy anymore, cause we are like  some folks know..

Fruit cakes.  Never again, please no.  Granny makes her kind of fruit cake the best and gives them to families in Cloutierville who like good eatin', and the fruit cakes she gets for gifts just end up stacking on the kitchen counter until next year's Christmas to give to people in Natchitoches who ain't smart enough to know the difference.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Granny tells Myrtle "just get over it" is really bad advice

"Granny, can I talk to you?  I just can't stop feeling sad, losing the house in the floods early this year, and my neighbors say I should just get over it" and I tells her how that's bad advice and why she is a hero.
Floods in Tennessee - wikimedia commons                     

Myrtle is Granny's friend in Tennessee, and she and Bud have been worryin' and feelin' bad since the floods their town had this year was a terrible thing.  Everyone was talkin' bout the oil spill, and nobody paid much attention to Myrtle and her friends, but it was hard, she said; and she lost most everything.

"Just get over it?  Myrtle you get all the time you need," I tells her.  There ain't no strict rules for when you're feelin' bad and everybody has a different way..    Buzz here in Cloutierville he was feelin' sad for years when his Martha died.  And he saw his doctor, and he got better soon; and now he's happy again and lookin' for a wife."

z"That's bad advice, just get over it, " I said to Myrtle, cause I hears it all the time. " It's like people judgin' other people and makin' them feel guilty when they feelin' sad when all they need is time to talk.  People thinkin' just get over it might think they is better and all, but everyone is different.  That's for sure.  I've lived a long time and sees some people need more time to feel sad than other people do."

Granny knows that Myrtle well cause that gal used to live in Cloutierville until she married Bud and moved away.  She's good and strong and always does her best, but sometimes when bad things happen to good people, it can get a body down.  She has all the love inside to be the hero she's always been.  Folks need to just let her talk and take her time to get over feelin' bad.

"Granny, can I talk to you," Myrtle asks again, but not so quiet as she did when she first called.  And I tells her, "Honey,  you take all the time you need."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holidays means bring a stranger home

"Where you goin', when we're havin' fun right here?" and I show them why Betty is Christmas lost and why Granny needs to bring her home and anyone else today.
Christus - Anton Lang Oberammergau - wikimedia commons - What would Jesus think?
It takes less than an hour for Elmer to get us to Alexandria, but we find Betty in her house, sittin' alone again.  It's different this year for my Betty than it was in Cloutierville.  Her Bill died last year, her son five years before.  Betty moved to Alexandria to be near where her son lived, and when he died she couldn't afford to move back to Cloutierville.

On Christmas there was Betty, sittin' and cryin' by her window, and Elmer said, "Come Betty now, it's holidays.  We're takin' you to our house.  We don't want you home alone." Betty is Elmer's third cousin, but we know her all her life.  And Betty tells us of someone she knows in Alexandria who's by hisself as well, so we go and get him too.

Granny's family knows what Christmas really means and why it is a symbol of what we ought to do.  When Granny hears that holidays are for families, she tells her folk it really means much more.  

"A baby was born in a manger because there was no room in the inn or anyone's house when his mama was givin' birth.  People was home with families just like they are today.  But the story of that baby means we take our strangers home, especially when they're lonely or lost with nowhere else to go."

And Granny wonders with an aching heart how many folks say holidays is family time and brought no stranger home.  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Message of Peace from the Heart of Cloutierville Where Everyone Belongs

Welcome to this home on Christmas where love resides and every soul belongs.
Where love resides and every soul belongs - PSG

It is this home in Cloutierville where Granny lives and where people need to be.  It is where families share and care above all else.  It is the place where all can learn and anyone can grow.  

The joy of sharing Christmas comes from this humble place to all the world, where the town always remembers those who live apart and those who moved away.  But every man in every land is part of Cloutierville right now because its simple ways are reminders of that humble beginning of a child born in a manger.

The streets rejoice with joy of Jesus birth and from this town extends to all the world a message of peace on earth and the love of others that comes from the warm embrace of the heart and soul of Cloutierville today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

For unto you a child is born: Luke’s story to people of all faiths from Cloutierville tonight

It’s dark and quiet, as the goats have wandered to the back of the house, the horses lay down in the field by the levees, and the world longs for peace and goodwill.  From Granny’s dreams and God’s great love comes the story from Luke tonight.
Rapperwil - Christkinlimart - wood carvings of the Nativity scene
Ya que a usted un niño nace: la historia de Luke a la gente de toda la fe de Cloutierville esta noche

Car à vous un enfant est né : l'histoire de Luke aux gens de toutes les fois de Cloutierville ce soir

للكم ولادة الطفل : قصة لوقا للناس من جميع الأديان من Cloutierville الليلة

לקבלת לכם ילד נולד: הסיפור של לוק כדי לאנשים מכל הדתות מהלילה  Cloutierville


Поскольку к Вам ребенок рождается: история Льюк людям всех вер от Cloutierville сегодня вечером

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 
 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 
 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 
 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 
 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 
 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Betty Ford sends Lindsay Lohan to Cloutierville for rehab

"I just can't do it anymore," Betty told me, and I think if that lady is tearin' her hair, it's gonna take a good bit to settle Lindsay Lohan, and that's why Granny has that old woodshed.
Lindsay Lohan may be going to Cloutierville for rehabilitation
So I says to Ms. Ford, that some of you might call Ms. Betty, some might not know what to say, her once married to the President and all, and Granny just calls her sweet Betty, "We're busy down here in Cloutierville, but we always got room at our table for one of your folks, sure enough.  But that girl's gotta mind cause that wood shed's just waitin' on her if she gets out of hand in our town."

 I know my sweet Betty remembers that woodshed and what it means to the folks here.  "That woodshed don't mean beatin' our babies.   But they sure learn that daddy knows best..  It's the best rehab ways that we have, along with our cupcakes and all."

"You better watch out Granny, that child can be wild, and can fight when she's mad," Betty says. But this old heart don't worry bout none of that.  Cause the love and the hope in Cloutierville, and that woodshed, can make anyone want to behave.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Granny's Annie goes to California to rescue folks where rain is making bayous

This Granny sent her darlin' Annie out west cause she knows how to help folks in bayou country, and that's what California is turnin' into now with all that rain.
Pirogues ready to rescue California

My Annie calls me and tells me this morning, "Granny, I carved out a pirogue with some fellows here, but they needed so much help, I darn near lost my mind.  I had to take my rifle and put it away there was so much yellin', I didn't want anyone confusin' that with someone just gettin' drunk and tearin' up the place. 

The Cajuns are good on those pirogues but us Creoles, you know we are better; so if we can teach those folks from California to row that pirogue like Louisiana folks can, they might make it out of here soon. 

 So goodbye Granny, I'm movin' my fanny, me oh my oh 
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou. 
 That Yvonne, you thought was sweet, me oh my oh,
Son of a gun, she's takin' off with the pirogue!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mandy and Jack from Cloutierville arrange their royal wedding with Prince William and Kate

Mandy and Jack have announced their plans for a formal wedding next spring in Clouterville, and the china is being designed.  Granny would appreciate any suggestions, by showing a picture of this royal couple, who like Prince William and his Kate Middleton are fine looking and deserve the best.
Mandy and Jack--the cutest couple in Cloutierville                           

Now like other grannies, this one loves cats and talks to them like they are people.  It turns out I'm not alone in doing this, as most people treat their animals in close, personal ways.  So in announcing the formal engagement and the wedding in the offing, it is reasonable that they have their own set of engraved dishes, so folks can have souvenirs.  I wrote to my sweet Kate Middleton to get her suggestions on this since their official wedding china has just been announced.

"Kate, you are so darn clever, being a business woman and all.  I heard today on the news that you and Prince William were directly involved in the the official designs for your china for the royal wedding.  I was hoping you could help us here a little.

And you know Jack and Mandy split up too for a little while, like you and Prince William did, until Jack purred for her so good and she came back to his arms, and now they is just as happy as you and William. 

That girl was so darn nice when Kate sent me this email, I can see why Prince William loves her so much.

"Granny, I am just so glad you wrote.  Prince William and I talked about Cloutierville for our wedding or reception, and decided we should have it all right here in the United Kingdom, since our families are here after all.  Besides people are so excited, and we want to make sure that they get to see us where we're going to be living the most.

The honeymoon, however, is still not planned; and William and I talked about Cloutierville, of course.  With you there, and all the good food and sights to be seen, we know it would just be great fun.  And the jazz down there would be great, if you could arrange for Aaron Neville and some of the folks we know best.

As for that china, I'd just put the picture of Mandy and Jack on the cups, because that shows them off really well.

And Granny, if you could spare some of those cupcakes you're making, I wonder if you could ship some of them over, since I've been missing them for the holiday season.  With all the parties we have been going to, we like to take food when we go.

Tell the family, William and I said hello and look forward to any who visit here next year for our royal wedding.  Perhaps Mandy and Jack can come too, as two royal weddings would really be fun, and those cats are sure royalty too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bill Clinton tells Granny he’d rather eat pecan pie than talk about taxes

I hear this rattling around in the kitchen and fridge door openin’, so I go and check, and there’s Bill gettin’ pecan pie on the sly with Hillary nowhere around, and I shakes my head cause  at least it’s only pie he’s been sneakin’
Former President Bill Clinton - visiting folks in 2004 --wikimedia commons
“Granny, I just stopped by, going through Cloutierville, and found the door open, and you know I love your pie,” that boy Clinton said with a grin.  God love that grin; he melts a girl’s heart right there, even an old lady like Granny.  It’s that grin that gets him notice and gets him in trouble too, but right now he’s fixin’ on havin’ that pie straight away, and I wonder just what’s goin’ on.

“You down here in Cloutierville for somethin, Bill,” I said as he got a big scoop of some ice cream from the freezer to put on the top of that pie.  “Now what you been up to these days?”

“Well, I’ve been watching my waistline, “ he says,  "All I been eating these days are beans, fruits and vegetables.  And just when I thought people had stopped talking about my other affairs, now they're all talking about my diet. 

But that’s not all, Granny, you’re just so smart.  I’m watchin’ out for my people here too, me being part black and all..  That tax bill, well I didn’t like it; but I just didn’t get any choice, me wanting to do the right thing and all.  I figured I’d better get out of Washington fast, though, if I wanted to have any Christmas at all because I sure don’t want to do the rest of the business in Washington these days, especially those taxes..  It sure is a mess that those fellers done left when they wanted me out all the time. 

I’d just soon forget it and eat.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Annie Oakley of Cloutierville takes aim at Sarah Palin

Annie from Cloutierville (Annie Oakley - wikimedia commons)
"No, Sarah, you can't be Annie, cause there's only one gal like her and besides she not only can shoot straight, she thinks even straighter cause she got her sharp shooter training from us."

,Annie Oakley  we calls her, like that gal long ago, but our Annie's even better than her and you too.  Her Cloutierville training is much better than Alaska can do.

This Granny tells Palin that our Annie's sure got her beat, with a rifle and everything else.  Now Sarah Palin she's shown lots of times aiming her rifle at some animal somewhere.  But our Annie doesn't have to flaunt her favorite things.  She uses them instead to get our food in winter and is careful to keep it close and locked away so children don't get foolin' with it, like happens too these days.

Our gal is tough,  not just pretend to be. When my Annie takes aim, she hits right at the target, bags it and brings it on home.  We eat for months on that meat.  She doesn't make pictures or flaunt what she does, cause everyone knows she is good.

But I wanted the folks to know Annie, right here, cause that girl can lead, that's for sure, much better than Palin for sure.  Cause Annie's not only the sexiest gal in Cloutierville, she means what she says, does it all by herself, and doesn't gossip like other folks do.   Our Annie knows America too very well and can name the founding fathers just like the rest of us do.

But Palin ain't listenin' while I talk on this phone, and it's listenin' I say how we learn.  Cause my Annie she done learned so many things here, that we wants other people to know and maybe we'll run her for President too cause that Sarah just can't catch our gal who can not only run but think just as fast.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cloutierville has made me who I am

He’s back after drugs took him down a dark road years ago,  but Cloutierville brought him back to some good sense; and he wants you to know why.
the baby who grew up in a Cloutierville years ago and whose heart will always be there
I heard from that boy, and I knew some day he’d come back to here, cause I’ve been waitin’ like us old folks do when drugs take some of our children far away, they know they can come back to Granny’s town and heal.

“Granny, it was Cloutierville and you that brought me home,” he said.  And when I  saw him again, I ran and grabbed that feller, and he says, “It was those dreams, those memories, and the lonely days and nights of pain when I was takin those drugs, that I could finally escape because of love right here, in these simple ways I learned when growin up and I was just a boy.”

And  Granny looks through windows, thinkin’ bout her other sons and daughters far away.  Some might believe there’s no love for them, so this Granny hopes they might have somewhere in life a place like Cloutierville, that’s in the heart of every soul,  that’s waitin’ for lost folks everywhere, and maybe one of them right now is you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to turn blue days green again

"I'm so sad, and I don't know why," Alice said, "I've been moping around and can't seem to figure out what's going on, Granny, and I tells her how to turn blue into green once again.
happy boy - wikimedia commons

"Lots of people get sad on Christmas, for lots of reasons. "I tells her.  Sometimes it's missin' someone.  Sometimes it's because you think that Christmas you had as a child will come back like you remembered it.  Then there's wantin' more than you have cause you might think you don't have enough when you do."

Then Alice, she smiles just a little cause she's still worried about being sad and says, "Granny I try to feel happy and can't.  Those old traditions seem gone.  I didn't even get many Christmas cards this year and can't seem to write them myself."

"Old ways are good cause they're what we know best," I tells her.  "Lots of times I wish they'd come back.  We all have those feelins for sure.  But when they don't stay like we want them, we gotta make new ones instead.

Let's think of what we can do that is new, that is different this year and feel good about learning new things.  We can have Christmas at Granny's house in Cloutierville, like we always do, but instead of presents, we can all of us give gifts to the Boudreax family instead of each other since the daddy lost his job this year.

And I watch my Alice look up with a smile and I know she's feelin' better cause she says, "I'll find out what the Boudreaux family needs and lead the singin'' this year when we go to their house with their presents.  I feel better already just thinkin' bout what I can do."

Granny knows that talkin' bout feelings and makin' new ways to do things, if the old ways don't work anymore, can help make every day for us better by not always thinkin' just bout ourselves but thinkin' bout each other instead.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Make something of yourself for the holidays

"What do you want for Christmas?" Lily asked.  "Make me something," I said.  "But Granny you got everything so everyone needs to know what." Lily told me, and we talk about what old people like and what others do too that can make every day special each year.
optician's shop with display - wikimedia commons

"Make me something that you like," I said.  "It comes from you, it's part of you, it's who you are to me.  Look on the shelf right there and see, those things Granny loves so much.  There's Willy's wooden truck he carved with wheels out of the old wood piled in the back of the house.  There's Shirley's handprint on a piece of clay she made for me at school.  And over there is a birdhouse, Billy made for me years ago, that is hanging there outside my window, so I can see it each day."

"Make me something yourself that you create because that's what most folks like best.  When you are gone somewhere far away, that's how I will always remember, not just Christmas but everything you are to me.  Everyone, young and old, values those things that are made or picked out just for them.  Because Granny loves everyone so there's nothing that she wouldn't love."

"Or just make something of yourself, for that is enough as well, for I will remember who you are today and be happy with all you become."

Lily nodded, she knew; and the next day I see a package under my  tree that says, "Dear Granny, this is that something you'll always remember and you'll think of me when making your cupcakes each week" and like some small child, Granny dreams, waiting for Christmas, but knowing Lily was in the shop out back in her yard where she keeps her ceramic supplies and that package feels just like a plate for those cupcakes I was wishing somebody would make.

This note at the bottom continued as well, where Lily wrote, "I'm leaving Cloutierville to go to school in Shreveport because I decided I'd like to make something of myself and become an optician so I can help others see life the way my Granny does and pass along the gifts of learning and loving that I get from you."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Doctors and diabetes and Myrtle's sugar pills

"I don't trust them doctors," Myrtle tells me, so she says she's just going to watch what she eats a little bit and cut down on the food she eats at Christmas cause she says doctors don't know everything.
Insulin for diabetes that many have to take - wikimedia commons
Myrtle ha diabetes  Granny worries bout her, cause she has friends who hurt or even died when they didn't take care and didn't know much bout it.

"Doctors don't know everything," I agreed with Myrtle on the phone, cause there's no sense arguing when someone has their minds made up. "But they know something with all that schoolin', I think.  Now, they make mistakes too, I knows that; but I think sometimes we just gotta trust a bit, til we find out what's goin' on."

"Well, Granny, I got this pill some vitamin feller gave me who went to a class and said if you take it, it will help cure your diabetes and lots of other things too."  Myrtle sounded happy bout that, but I worry cause that's not enough.  "This feller he says you don't have to listen to doctors so much, just trust your body will heal."

Now Granny don't know everything either, but one thing she knows for sure, and that's a weekend of learning bout a pill someone made for diabetes that nobody knows bout much except those who done made it might be somethin' I'd worry bout, but even that's not the biggest worry after all.   There are things that just need checkin' out right away, and that's how we take care of ourselves, and that's how this Granny lives long and wants Myrtle to live long as well, cause listenin' to our bodies can help us, but listenin' to doctors can too.  Cause that's one of the reasons people live a long time in Cloutierville.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The story of the apples and what daddies mean to sons

"Billy, your sons is watchin', "I said, "and I worry bout what they will do, as I tells him the story of the apples and trees and how they show us bout raisin' our children.

Apples - image from wikimedia commons

 Billy he cheats on his taxes, goes to parties at night and lies to his wife all the time, and never has time for his kids.  He just keeps doin' what he says is right for himself, but he don't know what tomorrow will bring with those apples and how bad they turn out one day when they don't have the tendin' they need.

"Granny, I'm busy, I gotta go take care of business.  Thanks for the advice, but know what?  This is my time, and I live my life my way, not yours, so old-fashioned and all."  Billy says that and I hold the phone as his voice fades away, with my heart just breakin' bout those poor little apples and all.  They need that advice fathers can give their sons the best.

Joey and Peter are young 'uns right now, still close to their dear mother's arms.  But I knows that daddies stand tall for their babies. and that is what worries me most.  Cause these boys don't have somethin' to look up to and a daddy that gives them his love, and it will be hard in this world to know what to do  when there's no one to show them the way.

Now Billy, he lives in Wisconsin,  far away from Cloutierville.  But this Granny has eyes that can see far away and will help watch those boys from afar, because those apples that don't have a good tree, can be rotten when they fall off on the ground.  So folks have to pick them up right away and put them in baskets like mine.  That's what families and friends and people who love do for apples to keep them from bruisin' and for children who need us the most.  It is what we do until fathers really learn about how to treat apples and sons.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Follow Rule #1 for a life of success

"I won, Granny, I won.  Now I'm the top dog at school.  Everybody thinks I'm special and I can have anything I want now," and I tells little Mark winning isn't everything, but loving your brother is.
Janghir's dream - wikimedia commons- brothers who are different but care about each other

Mark is all happy because he got a brand new art kit and painted a picture and everyone thinks it's wonderful at school and he done won a prize in Cloutierville.  But he was braggin' for weeks now and can't settle down.  When Elmer showed him how to sharpen his pencils to make his lines sharper, he told his Grandpa he knew what he was doing all right and he was doin' the best.

"I'm doing real good, I don't need my Grandpa to help me when everybody says I'm so great.  I'm the tops in art at my school, you know, doing it my way, that works."  Mark keeps talkin' bout himself like that and chatters so much about it, he is forgettin' what's really important.

"Mark, Granny loves you and thinks you are talented too, but let's talk bout what's really important and what makes a person do good and stay good as well." I tells him, cause he's very young and a good little boy, but I wants him to know Rule #1.

"When you think just bout you just winnin' and not thinkin' bout others folks too and givin' credit for where you get talent, you missin' what you need to know.  Because somebody said once that bein' too proud can bring a good feller down."

"There's this big rule you need to follow to always be lookin' front and movin' ahead.  Give thanks to the man upstairs, what he gave you and thanks to your brothers as well.  For without the love for your brothers, your sisters, the people round you wherever you go and the love of what's really important' you won't always be at the top.  Because bein' the top means able to be at the bottom as well, and losin', cause that's where we sometimes learn most.  And it's being able to be happy for others when they win what you want the most.  Lovin' means doin' that is important even when it seems hard at the time."

Now my Mark, he's just eleven, that wonderful child; and he looks at me with those big eyes, just thinkin', "I think I'll go down the street and see Paul and teach him to draw just like me.  Cause Paul he's five and I think I can teach him to win the first prize when he's little, then I can be happy for him and help him bout what I just learned."

And I smile cause Mark he done learned right away why Rule #1 really works for each person when you learn how to pass it along.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Granny tells French President 'let them eat cupcake.'

So I gets this letter and decides I better answer that Nicholas cause Lord knows he gets so sassy sometimes, and this time he tells me France is gettin' so poor they sure would like Cloutierville back, and I tells them people say America ought to get change for their Louisiana Purchase, except for our town right here
Street scene in Cloutierville

Dear President Sarkozy:

Granny got your letter and Christmas card in the mail today, but can't accept your check for Cloutierville.  The prices done gone up since you sold the Louisiana Purchase  You just can't afford us no more, no matter how much you might beg for us now.

Besides we got our gypsies back there in our swamps, only here they calls themselves Cajuns and we wouldn't want you sending them away.

And Granny here, she wears a head scarf, she won't be takin' it off when she needs it when Cloutierville rains, just cause of your silly old rules.  Lots of us older gals wear them round here, and that could cause quite a riot if you took them away and I think you done had enough of those already, don't you?

And that poke salad recipe you wantin'?  Well that's too big a present right now.  But I sent you and your missus a cupcake to share,  cause next year I hear will be trouble, and I want you to have somethin' in case, cause I heard tell one of your Queens said years ago to let them eat cake and maybe if you toss it to them this Christmas, they won't give you trouble after the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Poke Salad Granny

Now just so you don't have no excuses for not understandin' what I been sayin' let me put this in words I know you understand.

Le Cher Président Sarkozy :
 La mamie a reçu votre lettre et Carte de Noël dans le courrier aujourd'hui, mais ne peut pas accepter votre chèque pour Cloutierville. Les prix faits monté depuis que vous avez vendu l'Achat de Louisiane Vous ne peuvent pas juste se permettre nous pas plus, peu importe combien vous pourriez mendier pour nous maintenant.
 En plus nous avons renvoyé nos bohémiens là dans nos marais, seulement ici ils les appels eux-mêmes Cajuns et nous ne vous voudrions pas sendin' eux loin.
 Et la Mamie ici, elle porte une écharpe de tête, elle ne sera pas takin' cela de quand elle en a besoin quand les pluies Cloutierville, juste la cause de vos vieilles règles bêtes. Beaucoup d'entre nous les filles plus vieilles les portent autour ici et cela pourrait provoquer une émeute vraie si vous les avez emportés et je crois que vous fait aviez assez d'entre ceux déjà, n'est-ce pas ?
 Et cela pousse la recette de salade vous wantin' ? Bien c'est un trop grand présent en ce moment. Mais je vous ai envoyé et votre missus une petite génoise individuelle pour partager, pour provoquer l'année prochaine j'entends sera le problème et je veux que vous ayez somethin' dans le cas où, la cause que j'ai entendue dit qu'une de vos Reines a dit il y a les années pour leur permettre de manger le gâteau et peut-être si vous le leur lancez ce Noël, ils ne vous donneront pas de problème après le Nouvel an.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lesson from Cloutierville on how to have the best gumbo and the best world

"Granny, the newspaper wrote that if you add this new seasoning to gumbo it would taste better, and  and I don't believe it so I won't read that newspaper again" and Granny explains to Margaret how gumbo and learnin' can work.
The best gumbo in the world is in Cloutierville
 "I know you love Granny's gumbo, cause Granny has been cookin' for years.  But when I was a young girl, I met this old woman named Lena, and she taught me how to cook best.  She said she could always cook gumbo real good and  didn't need to learn anything else.  But one day in Lafayette, this lady invited her friends to a party, and the gumbo tasted so good, the people they just wanted more.

One day Lena invited her friends to her house for a big gumbo dinner, and she waited and nobody came.  Those folks had learned that Lena's gumbo was good, but the other lady's gumbo was better and that's where they now went for dinner.

So Lena told me that after that she started tastin' everybody's gumbo, wherever she went, and she took back to her kitchen all those good things she found.  Then she invited her friends back to dinner, and you know what?  Those folks they all came to Lena's house, cause that's where the best gumbo was.  That's how Lena learned to cook the best gumbo and that's how folks can learn anything, when they open their minds, like we do here in Cloutierville, to learn from everyone else, even when we may not agree at first.

Cause that's how to make the best gumbo and that's how to have the best world."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Donald Trump trumped in Cloutierville

"Hey Granny  I was hoping to get you on the phone.  I will be down there to Louisiana in January and looking for property for a big resort and gambling casino and people told me you were the one I should contact first because we can make a lot of money there," and I tells that Trump feller why this town ain't for sale.
Donald Trump - 2009 - Wikimedia commons

"Donald, I know you want it all, but sometimes you just shouldn't have it.  That's what lots of folks want these days, to have it all or want it all, and I guess that's how some people were brought up.  But around here we worked hard for our homes and our money and I think lots of people here already believe they have it all, just because they live in the best town in the world.

Now Donald, he listens and says, "Someone told me I could have it all if I went to Cloutierville, and I thought that meant buying some property and building another Trump Tower or resort" and I tells him, "We got all the best that we need in this town.  You see, you think you got it all and want more.  Like I said, that's what I hear about how people in other places live.  When you get old, like Granny, you'll learn what that means,or you can come here and find out yourself about good neighbors and friends and the love of the common people.

 So come on down and just be like family, cause you'll never have more of it all than right here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Granny takes on the Internet cheater

"George, you know what I see, you writin' nasty letters to people in Cloutierville and even tellin' Molly you was gettin' another girlfriend and not sayin' it to Molly's face, " and all.  Maybe livin' in California you learned those dirty tricks, but folks in Cloutierville they don't like messin' with cheaters, and you are gonna get caught."
Swamp where the boys of Cloutierville will take George for hurtin' Molly
George was walkin' into his friend's house next door just whistlin' all friendly like he never did nothin', but when he was usin' this Granny's computer, he did some very bad things.  His mother, Bess and my friend, God rest her soul, would be angry with that boy since he done forgot Cloutierville ways.  He said he left his computer in California and needed to borrow Granny's just for some personal things.

"But Granny," he hollers at me loud so all the neighbors can hear, "You're getting old, and you don't understand.  That's the way things are these days.  You got to get with the program.  If you want to say something or do something, you can.  That's because we got freedoms to do what we want.  We can say what we want and who cares.  And know what?  It's anonymous on the Internet, and nobody knows it's me, so I won't ever be caught.  Besides I want my space and that's something Molly better accept."

"The man upstairs don't like that, and neither would your mama, hidin' your face to do bad, but someday folks will find you out, then you'll know just what hurtin' can be.  If our boys  in Cloutierville finds out that a feller done bad to one of our Creole gals, they take care of that feller right quick."

 George he don't listen and just walks away and don't pay no attention to what an old lady thinks cause he don't know what everyone here does bout that computer.

You see, all the folks in Cloutierville will know George has been cheatin' and what he's been sayin' bout them, cause lots of them use Granny's computer to find recipes and look things up that they need. George left all his mess on it, so people see for themselves what he's been doin',  and he won't need to hide his face anymore when Molly's brothers put George back there in the swamp where he belongs with all those other snakes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Everybody carries trouble but how you lug it is what counts

 My Annie called this morning and said, "I gotta get out of that ranch cause the boss is real bad, and my teeth needs fixin' and my rifle's gettin' old, and Harry ran off with my best friend, and why do I have all this trouble, and I tells her everyone carries some, but what you do with it is what counts so you can soar wisely on eagle's wings.
Indian eagle owl - wikimedia commons

There's lots of trouble in this world, even some in Cloutierville, and more comin' every day so what we do about them is what we're all about.  When you carry it well, you can be a channel of peace for yourself and everyone.

Now Ted told me his last night, he's got dandruff, ingrown toenails, and a cold sore comin' up on his lip and he's complainin' about all that pain and problems cause the girls notice and he can't get a date.  And I says, "You're complainin' doesn't do all that good.  Now I told you before there's others worse off than you, but that's not the end of the story.  Each person has problems for sure, and some of the small ones seem like they hurt just as much.  And all of us is different in what we got and how we handle, so we can't compare.  But it's you, you gotta worry bout, not those other folks.  How you handle yours, helps you the one to grow.

Ted and Alice, they got trouble, like they see it so.  Granny says it's everyone these days.  Still when you think that life has boxed you down and you can't get up to fight no more, then there's always that Big Hand to pick you up and that's all you need to carry your trouble and lug it anywhere and with it you can soar on eagle's wings with wisdom.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Modern boom box music ain't the food of love

"What did you say? " I can't hear Myrtle with the noise going by in the car and I asks what's all that, and someone says it's a boom car, and I wonder if it bothers these old ears, what is it doin' to that poor child inside.
Shakespeare - the bard that says "if music be the food of love, play on--"

"Boom cars?"  I asks Myrtle.  She tells me that's right.  They're in her neighborhood too. But she says when you listen real close, those words aren't real nice anyway.

In Cloutierville, we don't have that nonsense cause that car that drove by was from Alexandria, one of those big cities where folks do most anything.  But Granny here wonders why people like music that ain't and noise that just hurts their ears.

"That's the way things is goin." says Myrtle, and she has to repeat it again, cause that car drove by with that noise just thumpin' so I couldn't hear what she had to say.

When I gets off the phone, I turns to my Elmer and cuddles him close and whispers real soft, cause he hears every word that I say, just like he hears them on our radio too.  "That feller Shakespeare that said music was the food of love, would sure shake his head if he heard what was happenin' today.  And maybe if folks knew that music makes love like it does, they wouldn't be so angry with each other all the time tryin' to get the noise turned down so they could talk."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Things get done when Granny and Nancy pick up the trash in Cloutierville

"We gotta stop there and pick up that trash."  So we stood on the side of the road and put some papers and cans in a big sack, my 12-year-old granddaughter Nancy and me, as she asked, "Granny you didn't throw it, so why pick it up" I tells her cooperation, that's how things should get done in life and politics.
No trash on this road in Cloutierville like there is other places where people don't cooperate
 "Oh, my dear Nancy, the work ain't so hard for us in Cloutierville, and we sees this trash needs pickin' up.  But some folks they don't see and others just wait for someone else to do something so the rubbish sits there and waits." I tells her, but she's shakin' her head and says, "But we got better things we should do."

Now I hears that excuse all the time, I tells Nancy, I got better things I should do.  I explains to her, "When that is the reason we don't clean up a mess, then problems they grow on and on.   As one feller said once you gotta try to cooperate with other people, but you need to act to get things done.

"We do what we can when we sees it and don't worry bout anyone else.  We just keep doin' what we got to do, and soon other folks see and start helpin' and that's how things get done best.

Each of us sees somethin' different.  Each of us does what we can.   Some of us feed folks when they're hungry.  Some people help folks that is sick.  You and me we can pick up the trash' cause that's what's for us here to do."

Then Nancy she looks down the road just a bit and she says, all excited, "Look Granny, there's more over there" and I can't even run fast enough to catch that child who understood just what I said and can't wait to go do her share.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Granny asks China not to take Cloutierville to pay the U.S. debt

" 温家宝首相は、これはおばあちゃんです。 Oh, that's right, that was Japanese, sorry, I'll speak Chinese.  國務院總理溫家寶,這是老太 You can?  Okay,Premier Wen Jiabao, this is Granny, and I'm asking you not to take Cloutierville to pay the U.S. debt"
Premier Wen Jiabao of China - wikimedia commons
"Now I heard on t.v. we owe you a lot of money, almost half of what we got.  I just want to make sure we keep Cloutierville in Louisiana.  I know you will want the best for yourself, and you were thinkin' first bout our town here; but I think we can make a good trade.

Let's say we give you Natchitoches, but after the Christmas festival, since us folks in Cloutierville make a little money from the extra visitors we get in these parts.

You can have Lafayette too, and you know those oil executives they is worth a lot of good money.

Of course, you want New Orleans because they've got that Mardi Gras parade every year and they're right near that oil business too.  But you gotta worry bout all that when all hell breaks loose with that weather done here, cause everyone worries bout that.

Baton Rouge?  Sure just take it.  It's just got politicians, and everyone knows they is worthless.

Cloutierville I think we should keep because, well its off the track just a bit and you don't need that bother right now.  I think we should keep the small towns and you take the big ones for now."

Sure that's an idea.  Yes, I'll tell them.  I'm lettin' them know you agree."

Friday, December 3, 2010

Louise took the wrong time to leave Cloutierville

" I got the dishes piled up in the sink, I'm running out of cat food and my clothes are a mess, since she left. "  Ted told Granny, and I'm thinkin'  Louise picked the wrong time to leave that poor feller, she did.
Ted's house with his truck outside and Louise gone - DF photo

Ted and Louise they been livin' together for years, and then suddenly she takes off, and there he is with the goldfish to take care of, three birds that are always trying to get those fish, a cat that looks hungry at those birds all the time, and a dog that runs after the cat.

It was a bad time to leave that poor boy.

Here in Cloutierville, it's really tough for Ted without Louise around.  With the single ladies lookin'  for some young feller on the loose, he can't decide which casserole to eat every night when they come.

Besides all the gals that are fussin', there are old ladies like me who dote too.  Ted's too busy visitin' and eatin' and sashayin' with women, he has no time to get his work done.

That Louise, she went to Lafayette, some folks say, to hook up with a Cajun feller and is there in the back swamps with him.  Some of us folks, knowin' what she done to Ted, are wonderin' if some gator won't catch her when she ain't lookin' and then she'll really be gone cause you don't mess with a Creole feller and expect the gaters don't care.