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Marigolds in Sunday column

Marigolds in Spring It seemed as though the air was so pure then. In early spring, my mom would open the windows and her little homemade muslin curtains would wave when the wind blew and the screens kept out the mosquitos and let the birdsong in, birdsong from the woods that surrounded us, us, our young family, in 1962. I was eight, my sister, Susan, was four and my baby brother, Dwayne, was only six weeks old when we moved to Little Woods. It was the beginning of a new neighborhood, a space to live, grow up in, carved from woods far away from town and near the Bayou Teche. We had a star route address, and our phone number was Emerson 40757. Mr. Curtis Oubre, bus 21, was our bus driver and the few children that lived in Little Woods had to walk to the main highway to catch the bus. He always wore a hat and had a friendly smile. It was a lovely time and place to be a child. In spring, my mom would scatter marigold seeds in the front of the house in a little flower bed my dad turned over with a shovel. She watered until the seeds sprouted and grew; I still remember the strong smell the tiny flowers made. I always include them in my garden, and I think of her. Honeysuckle grew wild on the broken barbed wire fence that separated our house from a thicket, a thicket that made way to a pasture where brown eyed cows grazed, and a garden grew. Trips to town were few in 1962. “Town” was far away, and we didn’t really need much. My mom cooked each day and she made brownies, jello and banana pudding for our snacks. Every weekday, after work, my dad would call her to ask if she needed anything from the grocery store. Usually, it was a loaf of Evangeline Maid bread or a gallon of milk. Shortly after we moved there, Pelican Creamery started delivering and life was easier, but my dad still called. The Pelican Creamery delivery man would come into our kitchen, open our refrigerator and fill it with Borden’s milk, ice cream, and eggs. Imagine. We lived through Hurricanes Hilda (1964) and Betsy (1965), in that house when all we had was a transistor radio and KANE AM. I can remember when the news announcer on KANE signed off during one of those storms right before “the eye” was expected to hit New Iberia, “This is KANE 1240 signing off, good night and good luck” …it was a moment of tremendous vulnerability. Anyway, I write this to remember but also to realize how much has changed since those seemingly simpler days. I suppose we all look back and label our youth as the “good ole days”, time has a way of softening the hardships and heartaches that occurred then. But as I try to be honest, I still think those days were good. Those days of the security of home where, no matter what happened during the day, home was a place to go to and your world would be put right-side up again. The world was big, and your imagination took you to places in the woods and places far far away. There was a tree to climb, supper at the table, and marigolds in the front yard. Easter Sunday is near, and as I have written before, Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) after the spring equinox. This year the Full Pink Moon will rise on the 16th and Easter Sunday will follow on the 17th. I wish all of you the opportunity and desire to create memories in spring that will reach far into the future and become someone’s “soft place to land”. Pam Shensky Berry Tales April 2022

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