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March 2, 2011

Louisiana Life.

Since I'm getting ready to leave for NOLA in two days.  Wooooo.  I thought I would dig deep into my memory banks and see if I can't dredge up some of Marisa's Louisiana Memories.  Bare with me though, it's been twenty-eight years since I lived there and twenty-four years since I've even been in the state.  But I do have memories of it.  I just wish they had digital cameras back then.  It would have sucked for me when I was sixteen, but would have been super cool from ages six to ten. I have plenty of pictures of me in Louisiana, but no real pictures of the state itself, with the giant cypress trees and the gator infested waters.  I would have taken pictures of the crawfish, oh the crawfish.  I remember them being HUGE, like small lobster huge.  Here in Washington we have them, but they're tiny little things, barely as long as your finger, nothing like southern ones. 

Rainstorms, flash floods, thunder and lightening.  OH MY!  Here at home, we have our fair share of rain.  In fact, we have so much rain, that a few people a year actually kill themselves because of it.  Not move, no no, the rain sucks all the motivation out of you, so that it's just easier to off yourself than move to say, well anywhere else I guess.  Anyways, we get a lot of rain, but it's nothing like the rainstorms down there.  I can remember a few times where it started raining and within an hour, the three foot ditches outside were full, and so was your front yard with another two feet of water.  Within two hours, you were hoping it wouldn't make it all the way up your front porch and into your house.  I remember that a lot of the houses we lived in were on a four foot cement foundations, now I understand why.  Now, the best thing about these storms, was the thunder and lightening.  Here in WA we get a good amount of it, but normally they're just flashes of lightening, Not there, there you get streaks and branches of light that stretch across the sky until they touch the ground.  I remember going out during the downpours and playing with the other kids in the hood, stomping in mud puddles or swimming in those three foot ditches, it was seventy five degrees out, life was good.

That is, until I witnessed a boy get bit by a Water Moccasin, while playing in one of those three foot ditches.  The little bugger traveled through the drainage systems and came face to face with that poor kid, whose name I can't remember.  I do remember, that there was an adult close by and young No-Name was back out playing in a week or so, but I don't remember swimming in any ditches after that day.

I do remember the bugs.  Giant, creepy bugs.  Cockroaches as long as a grown mans thumb.  They are so big, you can hear them scampering across the floor.  But, you get used to it, at least I did, because unless you put a fumigation tent over the entire south, they ain't going no where.  Fire Ants Suck!  And Hurt!  I Hate Them! Try, with all your might, to stay away from them.  Some of the other bugs that were around I loved.  Stick bugs were all over the place.  We used to capture a bunch of them and cover our legs in a camouflage type fashion.  Of course they never stayed put for very long.  I'm not sure which bug it is, but there is a bug down there, that anytime I hear the familiar 'wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisooooo wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssoooooo wiiiiissssssooo', it instantly takes me back to my nights, waiting to fall asleep listening to them 'wiiiisssooo' me into dreamland.  I miss that sound.  I'm going to make a recording of that sound and bring it back home with me, so that I can fall asleep to it every night.  Mosquito's suck here and they suck five times as bad, down there.  Mostly because they are five times the size. 

The trees, the swamps, the moss and the elephant ears.  No no, not the kind you get at the fair, the plant ones, silly.  Elephant ears were and still are my favorite plant.  Even at my tender young age of eight, I had a profound love of nature and botany.  This love runs deep in the blood of my whole family.  I remember loving how the water drops would just, bead up on the leaves of the elephant ear, and thinking, if I ever get stranded, I can just use these as a funnel for clean water.  I was a smart kid.  Resourceful too.  Oh and modest.

One of most vivid memory of Louisiana, not of the state itself, but what happened when I lived there.  I was electrocuted.  No, not just zapped, E-LEC-TRI-CUTED!!!  I pulled a plugged in hair dryer into the bath tub with me.  You see, I was eight, and my best friend Sissy and I were outside playing in the mud, because well, that's what we did.  We got into the house and my Mom ordered us straight into the tub.  We obeyed, bubble baths were almost as fun as mud puddles.  There we were playing and having fun, when bubbles invaded my eyes.  Behind me was a towel rack, with a towel hanging from it.  I gave the towel a tug and jarred loose the plugged in blow dryer.  Plop, right off my head, straight into the water.  Now, I don't know exactly how long we were in that electric filled bathtub before my mom came running in to yell at us for splashing too much, but I do know, that I was underneath Sissy, so not only was I being electrocuted, but I was drowning too.  Once my mom, who was pregnant with middle sister,  realized what was going on, her natural instinct was to save her kids from the water by reaching in and grabbing our arms to pull us out.
Luckily, her next instinct was to grab the towel, wrap it around her hand, and yank out the cord from the wall.  Sweet relief.  For the next few years, I had two blondish-white stripes that grew in the underneath of my hair.  To this day, I'm terrified of electricity, I have an irregular heartbeat and I'm prone to shocks, zaps and zingers.  My middle sister is kinda the same.  She was pushing a patient in a wheelchair, and flipped on a light switch with a wet hand and was in the hospital for the next day and a half from the jolt she took.  Just made our personalities more shocking I guess.  <---insert cheesy joke, there!

So there you have it, some memories I have from a life that seems so far away from me.  Maybe if I dig deeper, I'll find more.  If I find more, maybe I'll share.

Until then.  Keep Happy!


  1. I've been to Louisiana...the sun can be shining, nary a cloud in the sky and you still look and feel like you're standing in a rainstorm.

  2. Haha, that is a fact. But, I really do love that feeling. I'd be a good tropical greenhouse type girl. That's why I want a sweat lodge out on the back porch.

  3. I loved this long rambling steam of consciousness about Louisiana!
    I may never get to travel there but you had me standing right beside you in a puddle watching the streaks of lightning!

  4. Great memories, I loved reading. I went to Louisiana with college friends in the early 80's for the Mardi Gras. We had a blast.


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