This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Good Parts

Our much-anticipated trip (ten days, beginning on Thursday, October 28th) is now a memory-- (no matter how hard we try to forget most of what transpired!)  Suffice it to say, there were unexpected, unwelcome, unpredictable twists and turns in our plans, and I'm not talking about the times that Garmin (possibly in league with the devil) led us astray.

Let me tell about the good parts! 

Lake Bruin is an ox-bow lake in Louisiana, formed by the Mississippi River's changing path.  The ancient bald cypress trees are draped with Spanish moss--spectacular scenery.

The cypress knees testify to the length of time that these trees have been growing and thriving along the margins of this body of water in Tensas Parish.  ('Tensas' is pronounced 'Ten-saw,' by the way.)  

Aside:  also in Tensas Parish:  St. Joseph, Louisiana.  A number of chamber music participants from Vicksburg (including our daughter, Laura, a violist) join the St. Joe group weekly for practice and preparation for concerts.  The surprise, for us, was finding out that it's a 50-mile plus drive one way to this tiny destination; (not even one stop-light.)   How does this remote, sparsely-populated spot attract all of these players?   

 Lake Bruin had *black* squirrels--which we've only seen in parts of Cleveland, Ohio. 

Fox squirrels are larger--and gentler-- than the ubiquitous gray squirrels.   The park denizens clearly feel they have nothing to fear.  I gathered about 2 lbs. of pecans--the squirrels couldn't get them all!  Small but delicious.

Huge swaths of the grounds were awash in bright pink, (and notice that the trees were all still wearing their leaves, not yet changing color.) 

Clouds of ephemera-- tiny swarming insects-- formed golden, mirage-like mists in the air.  (Does anyone else recall the Emerson essay from American literature?)

 The pink effect is from the thousands of oxalis plants growing along with the grass.

 Our trip was planned primarily because it meant we could once again see Laura in concert-- after her six-year hiatus from the viola while she completed graduate work.  Better yet, the trip meant that the following week we could celebrate her  birthday with her in person.  Here she is on the big day-- looking quite a bit happier than she did 30 years before when she first met us. 

Laura Elizabeth

She and her father were able to enjoy two Saturday afternoons of college football.  Instead of phoning back and forth as they usually do, they could carry on in person.  We had a lovely time visiting her.

Other parts of our trip......should this be an occasion for  'Don't ask; don't tell' ?  It was pretty rough.  We are deciding it might be best to follow through with our vague plan to sell the RV when Don reaches age 70.  (Anyone interested?  It's been given the best of care, stored under cover, and has low miles.....)


  1. Sorry to hear that your trip was not ideal. Sometimes surprises on the road can be fun, but I guess not in this case.

    So your daughter is a Scorpio like me! Hope she had a great birthday with you all.

  2. Aw....I too am sorry to read that your trip had its definite downs besides the ups. Glad you at least made it back home ok, whatever transpired... Lovely photo of your daughter. Nice to see you back at Wordplay!

  3. There was a "family" movie a few years ago called Runaway Vacation, starring Robin Williams, which centered on a family's RV trip. It had its moments, most of which I'm now imagining starring you. Sorry.

    I'm glad you got to share your Laura's birthday with her.

    We are awash with black squirrels in our neighborhood. I rarely see a gray one anymore.


Rose 'Crepuscular'

Asparagus bed--post harvest

Lake Conway Mutti und Kinder