The Louisiana Spirit in the Wake of the Flood

”He would give you the shirt off his back.” It was a phrase often used to describe my papaw. And indeed, it was true. I grew up watching his daily acts of kindness, tending a garden, fishing in the bayous, willingly giving away the bounty to strangers and friends alike. He worked hard all of his life, telling me that “if your boss pays you two dollars, you give him four dollars’ worth of effort.” He greeted the constant round of visitors who came to call, with his ready smile and quick wit as he entertained them under the shade of the pecan tree in the yard. And he never failed to make them laugh with his gift for storytelling, spinning tall tales he often made up on the spot. He was hones

Deadly Disasters

There have been many historical events which have changed us as a society, altered our perception of the world in which we live. Many of these are the result of man’s temporary insanity… wars, mass murders, hate crimes, genocides (not including zombie attacks here, although they seem to be all the rage these days . These are the product of evil-doers, whose uncontrolled rage result in tragic loss of life and alter our sense of security. But sometimes, they occur naturally. Volcanos, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes come to mind. And they too shake us to the core, rendering us helpless as Mother Nature releases her fury, leaving death and destruction in her wake. Today marks the 160th a

The Language Lesson

Since my muse is on extended vacation, I figure it might be a good idea to switch gears and post about something not writing-related. So in honor of the beginning of a new school year, I thought I would share one of my favorite memories of when I was in the classroom. It was the first day of a new school year, and I eagerly greeted my students. Instead of the usual roll call, I suggested self-introductions. After all, it was a course in communication, heavy on building interpersonal skills, with public speaking thrown in for good measure. One-by-one, the students tentatively gave their names, along with a bit of information about themselves. I saw the panic in her eyes as it got close to her

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