The weather was perfect. Sunshine, clear skies and the roadster and I hit the road. Of course the rag top was down.
I spent Saturday visiting friends, alone while driving, the stereo blaring.
The afternoon was spent watching the LSU game. I made it to the neighbors at halftime so I only saw the last half. Screaming, cussing and dancing around, the people next door were having a blast. I like to wander over and crash their party. They are most welcoming, offering food and drink from their party trays. Much laughter and much fun at Kathy's house on a Saturday LSU game day.
Today I collected Carrie from her house. Strapped into the seat beside me, we hit the road. Our plans were to visit the great grandmothers so our first stop was in New Iberia where one of her great grands was enjoying a Sunday lunch after church. She was thrilled to see Carrie. We circled through Jenerette, following the grand back to her house where Carrie spent some time with Ma.
Our next stop was to the swamp camp where grandmother Cathy and Pa Jerry live. We drove in the on the back road and followed cane carts most of the way. The pavement had a layer of mud mixed with cane stalks. Some of the fields where being burned off. As the smoke drifted heavily across the roads,we would roar into that smoke. I would look toward where Carrie should be seated and her face would float into and out of view,shrouded by clouds of blue/gray. She explained to me the burning of the fields and I nodded at her wiseness.
Along the way, I realized I had no clue where we were and surrounded by cane fields and 3 different gins belching forth steam which I had never seen before, I decided some directions might be wise. I could be lost in the cane fields till the rest of it was harvested. Can you see the headlines?
Small red roadster, old woman and child discovered with cane stalks gnawed on attempting to survive after being lost and reported missing for weeks in the cane fields of Lydia.
It was time to seek directions. I spied a family gathering on this Sunday at a home nestled between two fields of cane. Cars were scattered around this small house; people lounged in groups in the yard, one standing apart beneath a tree talking on a cell phone, I whipped over to the wrong side of the road to talk.
"Straight ahead" they answered in reply to my "Where's Lydia?" and with those directions, Carrie and I headed into the smoke once again.
I had never been lost in the cane fields coming from this direction. Oh, yeah..I have been lost in them a few times since I've lived here. It's an ocean of cane. Tall, when full grown and right before harvest, the fields stretch for miles and miles. Landmarks are scarce; the land is flat with no mountains to depend on for direction.
Eventually we came to a curve in the road but it was opposite from my usual approach so I almost missed it.
At the last minute, I stepped on the brake, reached across to press Carrie back into her seat with one hand and left the paved road for a path through the cane. Grabbing Carrie wasn't necessary. She was buckled in but it's an old habit hard to break and it's an automatic reaction to protect her. She peeled my hand off her chest and give me that look she reserves for people that she considers stupid. I let it slide.
I was in "creep" gear now. The road was going to get rough or I thought it would based on my last visit. This visit, I had to put a tire high center in the middle of the road to keep the undercarriage of my low riding go cart looking Solstice from dragging. Gravel had been applied liberally. Oh hell, it looked as though the gravel truck had had an accident and dumped all his load onto this lane. It was thick and I drove carefully.
I almost missed the next turn. I slowed at the fork in the road and slowly drove on. Carrie said "No Nana, back up. It's right there".
I stopped and looked to the right. A set of tire tracks worn into the grassy path was where she was pointing. I recognized it then and I reversed and then pulled forward to creep down yet another path and move into the swamp. The roadster, Carrie and I entered a tunnel of vines and trees on each side of the road. They met and embraced with their branches and leaves overhead. The daylight filtered through and we were dappled in sunlight. It was gorgeous. The enforcement by the road to drive slowly, we made benefit of this and enjoyed the scenery. Soon we got to tall black iron double door gates that was swung wide open and secured. Ma Kathy had driven down to the gate and unlocked it knowing from my phone call that we were on our way.
Carrie and I looked for deer on this lane. The swamp butts up against one side of this pathway to her house and our slow creep and crawl had her standing in her seat looking for creatures in the lagoon. I thought about licking my finger and dragging it across her bare leg but I was afraid she might leap out of the car. Bad Nana. I don't do everything that crosses my brain cells. Sometimes I'm able to restraint myself.
Eventually we rounded a curve and "Boom, you're there!" and thats exactly how it happened. Our path ended into a clearing of beautiful manicured lawn, flowers in pots scattered around and a cypress house on stilts in the swamp. The house sits about 15 ft in the air. A concrete pad has been poured beneath it where the automobiles are parked. The house is surrounded by swamp on three sides and from 15 ft in the air, the view is stupendous.
Don't think for a minute I would ever live out there. It's a beautiful place to visit, but get me out of there before night fall please! It's eerie after dark with the steam rising off the swamp and engulfing the house. Quiet. No 7-11 on the corner. No all night Walmart within in a mile and I question how people can live like that?
Ok, I'm assuming that's exactly why these people built this cypress home in the swamps. It was to exit the world I know and love. My world of street lights, paved roads and no alligators to creep out of the swamp while I'm sunbathing on the lawn and drag me back into the water for a BIG lunch.
Different strokes for different folks huh? Oh, did I mention "no internet"? Nope, it's just another reason for me to keep my house in the city.
Carrie and I visited for a few hours. She used my camera and got some candid shots around the room. I haven't
deleted all of them looked at all of them yet. I'll do that some time today.
On our return trip out of the swamp, I stopped and locked the gate for them and returned to the car where Carrie waits. Gun fire. I hear gunfire and being a city girl, I figure it's a drug deal gone bad. I scrinch down in my seat, swiveling my head from right to left to see if I can spot the shooters. I didn't plan a confrontation so I eased the car forward and behind a clump of tall weeds and trees, across the field were two guys crouched down on the ground. They turned to look at us as we whizzed by and I saw one throw up his hand in greeting.
Hunting. I'm in the country and it's open season on anything that can walk or crawl with the exception of humans and dogs. This is normal. Gunfire in the country alarms no one but this city gal. I expel a nervous laugh and move out. Carrie and I head back to our jungle which is more comfortable for us. At least gunfire brings the black and white vehicles with the blue lights flashing and some how that is more comforting then this country stuff.
We had a good Sunday. A family type Sunday. I enjoyed the visits with Carries' paternal side. Good people and it was time for me to see them too.
I'm slacking on my bike rides. I'm still riding but not as far as I am accustomed so today I'll kick it up a notch and get back to my routine. It is now Monday morning and I'm gone.