It's been five years already!

It’s only been five years, but it seems like a lifetime ago that I started this blog.  Yep, this blog is now five years old and has gone beyond my wildest dreams, hopes, expectations.  Lil Sis is the one who is responsible for getting me started doing this blog in the first place.  She had to convince me that it would be a great way to further educate folks about life down here in the Louisiana wetlands and might eventually be good for business, too.

And she was right.  By way of confession, she and I both were fans of Pioneer Woman, and I felt somewhat sheepish launching this blog with the name Bayou Woman.  Doing so was more like a vote of self confidence, something I didn’t have in abundance having been a stay-at-home mom for so long.  Of course, by September 2007, I had a published a couple articles in two regional outdoor magazines, so I should have been confident in my writing abilities.

I’m glad Lil Sis found Pioneer Woman, who in turn introduced me to the world of blogging.  Amazingly, though, we had a couple important things in common:  We were both home-schooling moms, and we loved photography.  In the beginning, I was addicted to her blog.  I read it every morning with my coffee and was especially addicted when she started her “From High Heels to Tractor Wheels” story of how she left the big city, married, and lives on a cattle farm in Oklahoma.

Ooooooook-la-ho-ma, where the wind goes sweeping down the plain, and also where reader Mrs. Coach hails from.  And guess where she found me?  In the comments section of the Pioneer Woman blog, if memory serves.  And now, she has taken a trip down with her family, and we are like long-lost sisters or cousins or something kinful.  (I made that word up, but I like it.)

Pioneer Woman inspired me by showing me that every-day things can be appealing to others.  Granted, we don’t chop off calf nuts around here and brag about it or photograph them for the world to gag over, but we do our fair share of different and exciting things.  But, as human nature goes, we never think our lives are of interest to anyone else somewhere else in the world, do we?  Like reading the “Little House on the Prairie” series to my children years ago, I wondered more than once,

Who would ever want to read about my growing-up years in Bossier City, Louisiana where we played in the drainage ditch behind the house, catching tadpoles and rode our bikes as far as we wanted collecting Coke bottles to sell back to Pak-a-Sak for 5 cents each, buying candy with the proceeds?

I don’t know.  Maybe 100 years from now, someone might find those stories quaint, funny, interesting, thought provoking, drawing them back to a simpler time.  Compared to today’s technology, we were almost living in the Stone Age, it seems.

One of the reasons I stopped visiting Pioneer Woman was that her blog went from homey to commercial, which made it easy to focus my time here, on my own blog.  While it was my goal to eventually get paid for writing this blog, I’ve not yet made the jump to commercial.  IF and when I do, I hope that I don’t ever forget those of you who have stuck with me from the outset and have been very supportive of all my (sometimes feeble) endeavors and attempts at entertaining, informing, and rewarding you.

When I read comments from new visitors, (which you don’t always see because they are often on older posts), I always wonder how they ended up here.  Oh sure, I can read the daily list of what key search words were used that led someone here, but it’s not the same as having the whole story.  I already know how many of you came to be here, but you all don’t know this about each other.

So, here’s what I would like you to do.  If you can remember how you came to be here, would you take the time to share the story with all of us?  If you remember how long ago it was, etc.  Sometimes we just chase rabbits online and end up in the coolest places, and that matters, too.  And even though it seems very narcissistic, there are significant reasons this information is valuable to the future of this blog.  And if you don’t mind, please tell us why you return.  What keeps you coming back?  What kinds of stories would you like to see more of?  What intrigues you most about the life here?

These are the things I would like to know.  And yes, there might be some changes on the horizon; but rest assured, I never want to lose the feeling of community that we have nurtured here.  No matter how many new readers join us, I always want to remember with great appreciation those of you who visited and stayed in the first five years, encouraging me to keep this going.

I am going to be very busy this month with Bayou Woman Adventure fishing charters and running the film crew boat for another exciting project, which I’m under contract not to discuss until the time is right.  So, posts might be few and far between, but I will try to recount our fishing trips  to you, along with photos.  It’s taken me two years to get the BWA’s to catch on, and I’m so happy to say that through this blog, Facebook, and radio ads, all three of my charters this month are with women who love to fish.  I KNEW they were out there, it just took me a while to find them!

So, grab your coffee and get busy writing.  I can’t wait to read the story of how you came to be a BW follower, and I look forward to many years to come!

Be back later,

BW

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Comments

It's been five years already! — 63 Comments

  1. I came to this blog through you! We met at the Back To The Bayou Paddle on Bayou Lafourche……I don’t know how many years ago. One thing led to another and we became friends. You’ve been an important part of my life. It was because of you that I got into my jewelry making business. I love reading your passionate posts on the LA wetlands. I look forward to how much more this blog and everything else you do will be growing in the coming years!

    • Kim, you have been a great inspiration to me since I first showed you the “galley proof” of my book back in November 2004. Yep, it’s been that long! I look forward to watching you sprout too!

  2. Has it only been five years? It seems longer ago than that, simply because so much has happened during that time in both our lives.

    I’m so proud of you for keeping at it, because it is work to be consistent and persistent, especially in the beginning when you wonder if anyone is reading besides your sisters and a few friends.

    Congratulations on your accomplishment!

    I love all of your posts, because I am either entertained, informed, or enlightened. Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the future of the blog. We’re all sure to love it!

  3. As I recall, I found yer blog while researching info about S. Louisiana, the Wetlands and Culture…been here ever since. Of course the real “treasure” was getting to know ye and inevitably meeting ye – and now yer part o’ the crew – and definitely “kinful”!

  4. I’m so pleased to say that we have been friends since the seventies when you lived in North La. Our lives changed and with that we were apart for many years. I thought about you so many times and wondered how to find you.

    In 2008 I googled Wendy Billiot and I found you again through this blog and the book that you wrote (Before the Saltwater Came). I wasn’t really sure it was you but I did a little more investigation and called you up. We talked and pretty soon I was on my way to Bayou Dularge to visit my friend and her family.

    I have watched as you transformed Camp Dularge into the place it is today with awe.

    I’m so thankful to have had you as a friend for all this time. You are truly an amazing woman.

    .

    • Well, I’ll just tell you again how glad I am that you Googled me and then called! It’s been great getting back in touch with you and getting to know Freddie. Heck, I’ve even been to YOUR house since we’ve gotten back in touch! That’s a miracle!!! And let’s not forget, the camp looks so good because of all the pecky cypress you and Freddie milled and brought down : ) I owe you more than a boat ride, honey!

  5. I wish I could remember how I found you, but the how doesn’t really matter as much as I’m glad you are still here. I’m sorry I don’t comment often, but I do read you every day and love your photos, your writings, and that you have helped me learn so much about your beloved wetlands. I am a northern girl who grew up hunting, fishing, and trapping and appreciate everything you do to educate and protect your environment. Keep at it, never surrender, and know that there is a silent following who support you and recommend your blog. You and your bayou are on my bucket list!! Congrats on 5 years and thanks!

    • Teresa, I’m glad to have you here, even as a silent, but faithful, guest. I’m glad you’ve learned something of value during your time here. I genuinely appreciate it when folks from other parts take the time to see what we have here, and that it’s worth saving and protecting! I can’t wait for you to come down, so move Camp Dularge up to the top of that list!

  6. I’m really a newbie here, just a few short months but very good few months. I was searching the internet for recipes of Mock Strawberry Jam. My Granddaughter cannot get enough of it, She was given some by her Aunt last year who in turn go it from her Mother in Law. I asked for the recipe but never got it and knowing the figs were coming in season, well I have to find one that I could use and make some for my Granddaughter who calls me her best friend.. That’s what best friends do isn’t it. make stuff for each other? Well I have to say that I was delighted to find your blog and the stories and information in each. I have laughed uncontrollably about the adventure you and your family took down Dirty Sally Rd. I so badly want to come and enjoy the Cabin at Bayou DeLarge (I probably didn’t spell that right either) and take one of your guided tours. I’m not from here but transplanted over 20 years ago to Venice/ Lower Plaquemines of all places) and that’s where I met and Married my second ex-husband and had 2 wonderful children. My daughter a victim of Charity hospital was laid to rest in St Patrick’s #3 in New Orleans but my son now 20, I say is more coon ass than those that claim to be coon ass (NO OFFENSE INTENDED TO ANYONE), you see my ancestors came from Nova Scotia and his dads side of the family are cajuns. Anyway, I’ve been trying to get a few of the women in my family together for a trip to your neck of the woods so we can show them why we choose to live here in the strange but great state and the wonderful things it has to offer. Looking forward to probably a spring trip. All My best.. Michelle

    • Michelle, I know you’e new and you are just as welcome as those who have been around from the start. Thanks for sharing the history of your connection to south Louisiana. We all have our stories, don’t we? Oh my goodness. Scary Sally Road was a hoot! I came across today where we ran over that gator. I was hauling my boat today, and I wondered to myself if my cousins car was permanently damaged. She never told me if it was!!! That poor gator. I wonder it IT was permanently damaged, too? Come when you can! It will be fun!

  7. Wow, 5 years in the computer age is middle aged.

    I came here looking for an authentic recipe for garfish balls, your Shrimp Boulette showed me what I had forgotten. Again, I thank your great Aunt.

    While here your photography completely overwhelmed me. It showed me memories, things buried in my mind from my childhood. I still think you should enter that foggy morning shot in a photography show. That is definitely a money maker. I still remember the accompanying story without going back to look. With your most excellent story telling abilities it seems almost a waste to also get such an eye with a camera.

    Then I became a proud spoon owner. I hold it in esteem right up there with my Dale Carnegie pencils (does that date me?). Seriously, I just never realized how easy some things are, LOL Who sayes you can’t teach and old redneck coonass new tricks!

    Add in a bit of environmental activist and I look forward to every new post, which I check daily.

    Congratulations of remaining an active site when I know oft times it would have been easier to sleep, and thank you for sharing.

    BTW is Termite getting ready for duck season?

    • Well, sir you have paid me quite the compliment, so I curtsy and say thank you, kind sir! I think of you every time I use my coffee spoon, Foamie. Aren’t they just grand? I know there are others out there who have won amazing things from this site who probably don’t follow any more. I would love to hear from them, though. Thanks for coming back and sharing your stories with us, too. OH, and YES, Termite built his blind last weekend in preparation for Teal Season coming up. He’s 16 and can do all this without me, now!

  8. I found your blog while looking for an old fashioned fig preserves recipe a few years ago. I enjoy your blog and the life in your part of Louisiana and the pictures. I did recommend you to my stepson when he went to New Orleans but he didn’t have enough time for a tour. Now I get updates through e-mail of your updates to the blog. Keep up the good work.

    • I’m sorry I didn’t get to take him on a tour! Thanks so much for coming back for more than the fig preserves! Those are the most viewed posts on this blog, did you know that? Seems like figs are a world-wide fruit!!! Thanks for sticking around, Judy!

  9. Hello Bayou Woman, I hardly comment but i follow you. Long time ago Rocky McKeon (French teacher and musician from Terrebonne) mentioned you on a forum and I started reading. I like all things Louisiana and you’re a good writer. You have good things to say and … you keep it real!
    –Mike from way up north (Evangeline Parish)

    • Ah, yes, I remember when you started visiting here! Rocky is a good friend of mine. What a hoot huh? I had the privilege of singing backup vocals on one of his songs in a demo DC last year! His band is great! Cajun Swamp Pop! Thanks for the kind words!

  10. I may have found you on Pioneer Woman. I no longer go there for the same reason you stated. I keep coming here because your life is so different from our here in the midwest. I love your stories too and hearing about your life.

    • Well, thank you Linda. That’s quite a compliment that you don’t read PW any more, but you do read BW. I’m flattered, really. I would like to make some money with this blog, but I just don’t want to lose the closeness that we have here! So, we shall see.

  11. You got a blog? I need to learn how to read…
    I drop in on PW once in awhile, you don’t like bloggers with budgets of a million dollars or more?

    blu is gonna blog as soon as someone comes up with cash.

    rock on.

    • Well, Blu, not really sure what to call it. More like a forum, I guess! I stop in on her once in a while to see how lost I can get on her multiple sites. Now, I’m just overwhelmed. She is certainly enterprising, but having a millionaire cattleman as a husband doesn’t hurt does it? Let me know when someone comes up with the cash, will ya? And what did YOU win from this blog, hm?

  12. These are great stories, and I want to reply to each one; however, I don’t have time tonight. I’m dog tired–on the water all day running a film crew around, and will be doing so again tomorrow and Wednesday. All-girl fishing charter Thursday, and filming again on Friday!! Baseball with Termite on Saturday. Hopefully, I will have some time to respond soon. But until then, keep those stories coming!!! You each made me smile for very different reasons!!! Thanks a bunch! I needed that! Heck I gotta take the time . . . .

  13. I found you because Shoreacres took my alter ego, Other Bug, with her to visit the LA wetlands and blogged about it on Wunderground.

    I’m not quite sure what you thought of a grown woman galivanting around with a life sized paperdoll but….it led me to you.

    BTW, Other Bug is on her way to the West Coast. Right now the RV she is traveling in has had some mechanical problems in Cheyenne, WY but they should be back on the road shortly. She travels more than I’ll ever expect to!

  14. I think I have beenn reading your site almost daily for about 3-4 yrs now. I am ot sure why I came to find it but, I believe it was while searching for a recipe for gumbo. I keep returning because I enjoy your stories, the photos, the lessons on ecology, your recipes, love of family and reading the comments of others. I would love to stay a few days also and take one of your tours but, too many things going on now. I won a few things here also. The seeds for the tulip magnolia, a gorgeous set of cups thru Community coffee (that my grand daughter pilfered):) and my grandson won Before The Salt Water Came with his explanation of how your dog launched the boat.

    I’ll continue to enjoy your site as long as my spare computer works. One went belly up yesterday and I am fighting the keyboard on this one. Keep the interesting stories, facts, photos and recipes coming. We enjoy them.

    • I remember your grandson’s brilliant ending to the story. It was fantastic! I’m glad he got the book, too. It’s great having you here, even through surgery, etc. and feeling like we can visit any time! I wish I still had that Community Coffee sponsorship so I could let them give away a bunch more cool stuff! That was just the coolest thing ever! I didn’t have to ship it, just hold the contests. So much fun!

  15. I grew up in Vidalia, LA, part of which almost sank during the 2011 Mississippi River flood. I was on the computer constantly during the days leading up to the river’s crest there. I found you on a website tracking the flood. It might have been a government site of some sort. I was attracted by the name Bayou Woman at first, then your writing won me over.

    If I have any hope of finding the series of books about a little Cajun girl that I read and loved in the late 1950s/early 1960s, it will likely come from someone here. Those books are etched in my brain as indelibly as Heidi and Pippi Longstockings, I would so much love to see them again because they hold my earliest memory of reading books. Heidi and Pippi were big girl books, but the Cajun girl books were for little girls. She was so brave and adventurous, and probably would have grown up to be someone like you, Wendy, only with dark hair.

    Sounds like things are about to get really exciting over there. I wish you all the best with your new ventures.

  16. Ahhhhh the french press… I am currently as we type. LOL. Researching a hand crank burr grinder. Trying to decide why I am enamored with The Fresh Market’s Cafe Noir coffee. Probably back to Dunkin Dark.

    Tearing into the grass infested gardens today after the dew drys up. Couple of warm days coming too.

    Might have to chase gar with rope lures again.

    Got to get boxing up the junk mail.

    • French press sounds like a weight lifting move. But for those of you who don’t know better, it’s a way to make delicious coffee without electricity! (Unless you course grind your beans with an electric grinder first). Yes, there was a time when BW could give away such luxurious items—when Community Coffee was sponsoring this blog. As we say down south, Cool beans, man!!!

      • But BW always investigates and reports on all the hard scientific questions we all need to know about, can you grate cheese in a coffee grinder?

          • Reresh my memory. Didn’t one of your boys use yours for something unconventional a few years ago? LOL
            I posted(?) 2 days ago, but something happened…it’s not here. Anyway, I think we kind of found each other while posting on a La. Ladies Fishing website. You invited me to visit your blog which was in its’ infancy. I’ve enjoyed the recipes, the things you’ve shared about your family, the fishing, the pets (the racoon was the best) the give aways(COME BACK COMMUNITY COFFEE) etc. Hey, I never did collect on my Wetland tour I won. I’m here for the long haul. BTW, I’m still waiting on another installment on your book. (Not the wetland book, the “My Life Story” one!)
            I’ve been here so long, I remember when you were SO excited about reaching 10,000 hits. How do do feel now having OVER a HALF MILLION !?!

            • Yes, it was a blog post!!! I think Termite used to crush Cheese Nip Crackers. He needed some grated cheese for something, but we didn’t have any, so he was very inventive using cheese nips and coffee grinder. Yep. That’s my boy! I never saw your post from two days ago. I have no clue what happened to it. Hey, you never did collect on that tour! I”m waiting for me to write another chapter, too!!! Yes, I was so excited about 10K hits, and now I’m just shocked at half a million. That’s just so hard to fathom. (and famous bloggers are snickering behind my back because they get half a mil per month : ) But if I ever get that big, it won’t be fun any more, right? We met on Louisiana Lady Anglers, and Dularge.com and I invited you to the blog and whatever else. We emailed back and forth a little bit, and the rest is history!!! Thanks for sticking with me, Steffi. I hope we catch some trout in Decade soon, don’t you? (Fished reds today with 3 ladies. Caught 4 reds, one channel cat, and a black-tip shark!)

  17. Being a “Bayou Belle” myself, meeting “Bayou Woman” and becoming friends was a given! We first met when I bought your book “Before the Saltwater Came” at a gathering of wetland/environmentalist under the twin bridges in Houma back about 4 or 5 years ago (I can’t remember the name of the function). Then we became friends on Facebook and I read your blog from time to time… We met again when you attended my solo art exhibit “A Song of Silence” about the oil disaster in July of 2011 here in Houma. You fell in love with one of my pelican prints and we bartered for the exchange of the print with a boat trip. The rest is history my friend; including the “salty seahorse” ride of a lifetime in your boat, Capt’n Wendy! Yeehaw! A trip to Raccoon Point that I’ll never forget and will be forever grateful to you for! ;-)))

    • Yes, yes, all recent history that I recall quite well. The function was “Take a Stand” with America’s WETLAND. And don’t forget you coming to Camp Dularge for the firs time last spring to see the Who Dats!!! I’m so glad we made that trip to Raccoon Island, and I hope we haven’t scarred Christy for life, lol!

      • Nah….I don’t think Christy was scarred away…lol… She was happy too that three pelicans were rescued due to our trip out there. One thing that I wish I would have got when we were done was one of your Bayou Woman shirts! Did Christy get one??? I’d wear it with so much pride! Is it too late to get one??? 🙂

  18. It has been so much fun reading all the responses. You are impacting a lot of people in a good way, my dear sister. Wish I could be down there “helping” you.

    You’re right. Reading about the Cajun girl books has whetted my appetite for a little research. And I think you should give Community coffee a holler about sponsoring you again. Maybe the powers that be have changed… You never know!

    • Hey LilSis, I’m sponsoring a monetary prize to whoever can find those Cajun girl books. Don’t know when they were published or by whom, but I read them in 4th grade, 1959-60. They may have been picture books, I’m not sure. They were hardbacks though, and one of the covers pictured her standing on a wood-plank deck about the width of a sidewalk with an alligator in the water below. I’m telling you, the writer and illustrator of those books did everything right, or how else would I remember them so well fifty years later? Anyone interested in writing children’s books could learn a lot from the Cajun girl books.

  19. I’ve been trying to remember how I found you. I think I’d already been to Louisiana once, to Breaux Bridge, and when I began poking around for more information, I found your blog on someone’s sidebar. It wasn’t long after that I commented, then emailed, then made plans to come down to Camp Dularge. It was one of the best trips of my life.

    Ironically, it was while we were touring the area that the Deepwater Horizon exploded. We heard about it on the news, but didn’t really think much of it. Rig fires and such aren’t common around here, but they happen, and we thought it was garden-variety until we got home and saw the news.

    I keep mumbling about getting back over there, and I fully intend to do it. I’d better get myself going or you’ll be so busy you won’t have time for “just folks”! Part of the reason for that is that you have a gift for making your area come alive – every time I read a new post, I want to get over there RIGHT NOW! Sure do wish I was closer!

    Congrats on your five years. And trust me – you’re much better than Pioneer Woman. She’s not Pioneer Woman any more. She’s Pioneer Woman Enterprises, LLC. 😉

    • Somehow I keep thinking our connection came through someone on Wunderground? Maybe not. I am so flattered by your words, Linda, that has taken me a while to gather my thoughts to reply. (Well, that and the fact I’ve been on the water for days on end.) I’m so glad you made the trip down with your friend and Other Bug. You are an amazing woman with an inspiring outlook on life, and I’m proud to call you friend. Besides all that, how cool is it that you varnish boats for a living?

  20. Congratulations on 5 years, wow! This is my first visit all I remember is someone mentioned you on Twitter but I cant remember who as I only made a note of your blog!

    • Well, I’m glad you made a note of the blog and visited us here on the bayou. I don’t do twitter, so I don’t know who it was–maybe Capt. Swallow? Anyway, welcome here and I hope you come back often!

  21. I did find your blog by way of Pioneer Woman (who I no longer read because she is too commercial). I am so glad that I did! Not only have I gained an education on the bayou life, I have gained an extended family. My family thought I was nuts to suggest we load up two cars and head to Bayou Dularge, a place none of them had ever heard of before, on our family vacation. They wouldn’t go anywhere else now, given the chance. I felt like I had known you for years when I got out of the truck and stepped into the drive at Camp Dularge and we had only spoken by phone, email and the blog. I hope the newbies to this blog take the journey to be welcomed into the bayou way of life and go back home with a love for the area as we did, if not physically then at least through reading and absorbing the material you provide here.

    • I know it’s a long a trip and gas is higher than a cat’s back, but I sure miss seeing y’all. I was hoping Bryce could have sneaked down here for a bit this summer. Termite was tied up with his summer job and baseball, though. I’m so glad you found me in the PW comments section. I have to admit, I was using her comment section hoping to stir up some interest down here on this lowly bayou! And IT WORKED! If all I got from that dedication was to meet YOU and your family, then it was well worth the hanging out as long as I did! Thanks for coming down and being such a great friend, Tara!

  22. My friend that walked in our old store years ago—you are just a couple “Bayous” away from me as they say. I love when you bring your friends to see our place and I love reading everything you write. It is an honor to know someone that knows so much about our culture and is not afraid to voice her opinion. Keep up the blogging because it helps me start off my day in Cocodrie. PW has nothing on you!!!

    • We are only a couple bayous apart, but we certainly don’t get to see each other nearly enough, what with raising families and running businesses. We must take time for ourselves, though, my friend. I wish I could write a new post every morning, but sometimes I just don’t have that luxury! And please don’t let me forget to take you to see the “Vegetable Patch” later this fall when all their greens crop up! Oh, and by the way, I think you have sold more of my book than any other store! Thank you for that. (I hated seeing that other book up on the stand the other day when I was there!)

    • Etta, I always try to make time for a trip to your store to see you and your ever changing garden! I was privileged to share lunch with you and your family in your back room which is so full of treasures! I hope to see you in October when I’m down there again.

  23. Winner’s Choice: So, I am leaving this comment section open longer, even though I have to move on to your new promised post. When the comments cease, everyone will be entered in a random drawing for your choice of either a signed copy of my book (which is now out of print), a photo from my collection, or a bottle of my Blackberry Cordial!

  24. I have had this written for some time but thought it too long to send,and have been trying to decide the best way, also I finally got the pictures last night but don’t know how to send them.

    In August of 2011, I was asked to give a demonstration to a group of ladies in our church on making cake balls. I had made them before but was looking for new flavors. I thought of chocolate and peanut butter, so went online and was led to your site. Once here I went to your Blog and was immediately “hooked”. Soon after I came across the word DULAC in your blog and had not heard that community mentioned since I had taught 1st grade at the Dulac school in 1959/60. My husband, Gary Slack, went there to work for Welex. In Sept.’60 my second child was born there and soon after we moved. Although La. is my home state, I have not lived there since. My family is located in the western part of the state,so visiting from Alabama, I always took a different route.

    Once I read your Blog, I was anxious to take your tour and stay at Camp Dularge. It was a wonderful experience, we were there a year ago this week. I know this is getting long, but the story would not be complete if I didn’t mention the couple (Shirlie and Chuck) who went with us. The 4 of us have been on many trips together to foreign countries as well as the states. Shirlie had traveled more than the rest, to some 42 countries plus all the states several times. On this trip Shirlie noticed her leg bothering her some, but Hey! we are 77 years old, aches and pains are normal. A month after our return, Shirlie was diagnosed with a soft tissue Sarcoma in her leg, which was finally amputated in Feb. On August 6 she went to be with our Lord, a trip she had prepared for all her life. Before she passed away, we had opportunity to recall our trip to La. and said it was on of her best, her last trip on earth. Thanks again from me and from Shirlie. She read your blog as long as she could. I must add that Chuck went to an assisted living facility for persons with dementia. Pictures will be sent as soon as someone shows me how.

    • Hi Mrs. Billie – I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond, but I’ve been a little under the weather for the past week. Thanks so much for sharing this comment with me and all the readers. Y’all were so full of life at the time–such adventurous spirits–who would have thought Mrs. Shirlie would be gone less than a year later? She was a very neat lady, and as you say, well traveled. I’m honored that a world traveler like herself would take the time to come down here with you, share some of your past history, and see the beauty of the swamp. Heck, she even grabbed the push pole and helped get us out of a tight spot in the swamp when the engine ran hot. What a gal! I’m so glad to have met all of you, and I hope I am so full of life at the fantastic age of 77! Y’all were an inspiration to me, and I just want to add to my readers that my husband attended the Dulac school in the fifties, which was a school for the Houma Indian children, many of whom could not even speak English when they attended Mrs. Billie’s class. Thanks again for taking the time to write and sharing your story with us. BW

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