grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Saturday, February 28, 2009

14JAN-27FEB09 - Houma, LA via Biloxi (throw me something mister!!!)

On Wednesday, 14JAN, we had a late cup of coffee with the Guldenschuhs, said our alohas, and then started our two day drive back to our daughter and son-in-law’s, Rebecca & Raymond, house in Houma, LA. If you have read this BLOG for any length of time, you know that means we probably stopped and visited a casino (or two) in Biloxi, MS, enroute. Of course we did, dry camping in our favorite dirt parking lot just across the street from two of Biloxi’s finest gaming establishments. Thursday we returned once again to our “old” home of Houma, and remained parked in the kid’s driveway (Rebecca & Raymond’s) until after Mardi Gras.

During this time we continued to contribute to the improvement their first homestead. Like we said in previous BLOGs Corrie was working on a “faux” finish for the kitchen cabinets, with new hardware for the cabinets. As we also stated in previous BLOGs, this was not simple or straight forward and required hand made modifications to the cabinets to fit the hinges by Dan. Anyway it was finally done; check out the before and after pictures. During this time Dan was also asked to follow up on a project he hadn’t worked on in over a year; it entailed many hours in the RV by himself, but the added income will be nice.

The next project was the removal of two water oaks in the back yard. When the house was purchased everyone agreed that the trees were a danger to the house and needed to be removed soon! Water oaks only live about 75 years and these appeared to be 50 years old. Then during hurricane Gustav several limbs snapped. Dan eventually got a bid for their removal, and a time was agreed upon to do the job. Meanwhile, Raymond contacted a “bud” and got a better price. Using Raymond’s connection we got both trees removed, including the stumps, for the much less money than Dan had found. Luckily OHSA was not around to enforce site safety, and none of the debris dropped on the neighbor’s roof. The only problem is the entire backyard is a dust bowl with two large dogs continually tearing it up.

During this time we had a couple of get togethers with our son, Joe. On one occasion Joe even came over for Dan’s world famous BBQ pulled pork. During this visit Joe brought over his part Jack Russell mix terrier. Gumbo was besides himself trying to impress this cute female his own size. We had a good laugh at all the “courtship” antics.

Toward the end of our stay Mardi Gras kicked into high gear. Although we had lived in Houma for close to ten years, we had missed last year’s celebration. Maybe because of this we paid a little more attention to what Mardi Gras means to south Louisiana. If you think Mardi Gras is just a bunch of drunks on Bourbon St, with inebriated females flashing their privates; then you have only a small part and mistaken picture of Mardi Gras!

First Mardi Gras is intertwined with business, politics, social life, religion, etc, continuously throughout the year. Mardi Gras kicks into high gear after the Feast of the Epiphany continuing until Ash Wednesday, with many businesses even decorating their establishments with Mardi Gras colors – purple, gold and green. In fact, we even used to leave up our artificial Xmas tree, remove the Xmas ornaments, and decorate it with Mardi Gras items.

The Krewes that put on the actual parades, raise money all year long; then have special parties including Tableaus and Formal Balls, some time after the Feast of the Epiphany. Then on the day of “their” parade have a special breakfast; ride around town in recycled, modified, open buses; board the floats for the parade; and then proceed to their final party of the season. To start all over again after Lent. Entire families are involved in the Krewes, with younger children introduced as Pages, older females as Maids, and a select few individuals as Dukes & Duchesses, and the ultimate – as Kings as Queens. For those that attain any of these positions, they will proudly display their Mardi Gras flags of their positions and year, every year on their front porch for all to see. In addition, many families stake out the same spot on the parade route year after year. Some even go to the time and expense of having purpose built trailers/reviewing platforms built that they station along the road for the entire two weeks of Mardi Gras parades!

Houma is home to the second largest Mardi Gras in Louisiana, which is to say second largest in the USA. But to be honest the difference between number one (New Orleans) and number two, is not even close. But in our opinion the smaller scale of Houma’s Mardi Gras is a good thing! For example we hang out at Re-Max Reality, who we bought our house from way back in 1997. Sharin & Cindy (Re-Max brokers) every Mardi Gras season host an open invitation to stop by and enjoy their hospitality for every Houma Mardi Gras parade (ten total). They provide food and drink, and most importantly – restrooms! You are always welcome and not expected to bring anything, other than yourselves. Dan does make his world famous chili; and Dan brings his oyster shucking knife, because Billy (Sharin’s husband) usually buys two bags of fresh oysters. But our small contribution is miniscule compared to what Sharin and Cindy provide each and every year. And even though it may have been years since our last visit, it is just like yesterday and we immediately catch-up on the latest and greatest. In fact the visiting and socializing are the most important thing and we don’t even bother to “beg for beads” when the parades come by!!!

For a more info on Mardi Gras and a little feel how important it is to all facets of life in South Louisiana check out: