Last week it rained. The week before that it rained. And the week before that. It’s soggy. None of my family in the Baton Rouge area were personally affected, but they are helping with the clean up and tearing out. Brings back childhood memories- sad, scary ones. This flooding in Louisiana is worse than what we experienced in 1983. My heart goes out to my native city. Our church collected needed items last Monday. I gave what I could.
My youngest went back to school Saturday afternoon. All day he kept asking if I was going to miss him.
“I already do and you’re not even gone yet,” was my answer.
He threw open his big arms and said like he did when he was little: “Hug?”
I hugged. He packed. Getting into his truck, he hesitated, jingled the keys.
“You know, if you need anything, just call me.”
“I know I can,” was my answer. “Now get on up to school. Be careful on Spring Ridge Rd. Wear your seatbelt. Message me when you get there, please.”
“Yes, ma’am. Love you.”
“Love you, too.” One last, “Be careful.”
I drove to my 1902 farm house.
Primer, paint rollers, brushes and a radio were unloaded from the trunk of the car. A box fan was positioned to blow into the parlor, windows raised. Big windows, wavy glass symmetrically placed in ten foot high walls.
I listened to the news. They gave reports about the flooding in Louisiana. Interviews of Baton Rouge residents, their distress and plight clear in their tired voices, had me teary eyed. Bad memories.
I rolled primer over antique green paint. The walls are tall, but as the green disappeared a brightness rose. A message from George meep-meeped from my phone. He had arrived at school and was lugging his stuff up to his dorm. As I text him back, movement in the front yard caught my attention. A doe and her spotted fawn cautiously picked their way through the overgrown front yard. Beautiful.
I changed the radio station and found a rebroadcast of the Prairie Home Companion. I laughed and primed. When there was no more primer in the two gallon bucket, I washed out my roller and brush. The new well has water that comes out cold and sweet.
Sunday morning: prayers for Georgie at 7 a.m. Dressed for church, I rummaged through a drawer for something to tie back my unruly head of hair. I found one of my grandmother’s scarves. The red was a little darker than the pants I wore (reds are hard to match perfectly), but wearing it today brought back good memories of Grandma. Strong lady. Maker of chicken pie. Eyes the color of dark blue marbles and a bright intelligent smile.
Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.