My cousin — first cousin once removed, in case you are Southern — got married this weekend in the small town my family comes from. It was exciting to see everyone and just to spend some family time.
It’s about an hour from our house to get to Amite City. My mother is buried there, so we make the trip a couple of times a year. See some family, stop in Independence on the way home and pick up some Italian sausage. If you like traditional Italian sausage, the Piggly Wiggly in Independence is important to know. Just a public service announcement.
The young lady getting married is my cousin Jerry’s daughter, and he and I are only four months apart in age. We have always been very close, and he and his wife Michelle have been together as long as Peggy and I, so we all know each other very well and love to see each other when we can.
I was surprised to see that the wedding was at the golf course where I learned to play as a small child. I did not know they had a facility for weddings, but the wedding was held outdoors (always an iffy proposition in Louisiana). All I can say is April 29 came through with a gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding. Jessica was beautiful and the party was a lot of fun.
My son and his wife joined us for the wedding. Since we always lived in Texas when he was growing up he has not spent nearly as much time with this part of the family as I did when I was growing up. It was fun to see him enjoying the family time as much as Peggy and I were. Our kids all like each other and seem to enjoy spending time together.
Every time we get together we always wonder why we don’t do it more often. I think that is the eternal lament — we spend so much time doing the things we have to do that we sometimes forget to do the things we want to do.
It was a wonderful day and I hope the rest of Jessica’s and Kris’ days together live up to the beginning!
Peggy and I ran over to Lake Charles for a quick getaway. With the lead-up to Easter we haven’t been able to go anywhere for several weeks, so I decided to take Friday off this week and we drove to L’Auberge for the weekend.
I like arriving on Thursday because the weekend crowd is not yet here. The casino is busy but not packed, and the restaurants are crowded but there is not usually a wait. More importantly, the pool is not full of drunk people. Yet.
April would normally be a little early for significant pool time, but the pool is heated. The temperature outside is not too hot this time of year, so April and May are two of our favorite times to visit.
If you are a people watcher it doesn’t get much better than this. Today was a perfect example. Peggy and I are out in the pool, having a conversation and minding our own business. There is a group of four women near us having a good time and several drinks. After a while, one of them comes over to us and says, pointing at me, “You might be from here. But you (pointing at Peggy) ain’t from here.” I laughed and told her we lived in Baton Rouge. She then asked Peggy where she is from. When Peggy told her Dallas, several “I knew its” were voiced.
Peggy was offended that we have lived in Louisiana for the past three years and she is not considered “from here”. I told her to consider the source — did she really want to seem to be from the same place as the lady asking the question? It was actually a compliment. Peggy hasn’t quite accepted my logic just yet.
We’ll get breakfast in the morning and then head back to Baton Rouge. This place is great when you just need to get away and relax a little.
I have a group of friends that I grew up with. Altogether there are ten of us who lived in the same small town in south Louisiana as kids. Some were there from birth, the rest of us moved in at different times.
What makes this group special is that we still get together every couple of years as a group. We are in the midst of planning the get-together for this summer in North Carolina (NC-17), so it was ironic that this picture popped up on my timeline this morning to remind me of our get-together five years ago.
They’ve held up pretty well for old dudes. When we went to New Orleans on this trip five years ago, half of the group had already turned fifty and the other half of the group was still forty-nine. This led to constant competitions between the two groups to prove the 49-year-olds were hardier than the old guys. It turned what is normally foolishness anyway up a few notches. Well, that and the fact that the wives were not along on this trip to keep us in line.
I have realized over time that the fact that we still get together and that our wives are all friends is really a special thing that doesn’t happen all the time. We rarely get all ten of us together but it happened in 2012 and it is looking like it will happen again this year. We all went to the same high school but we went to six different colleges (and seven different professional/graduate schools). We live in seven different states from California to North Carolina and Florida. I’m just saying it’s pretty special.
Several of our kids are married, and there’s even a grandfather in the group (soon to be two grandfathers). We all have obligations and responsibilities that could serve as excuses not to get together, but we always seem to find a way to make it happen.
I am really looking forward to the trip this summer, and so is Peggy. Looking back today was fun, too.