Sunday, February 1, 2009

We've been tucked in comfortably in Mobile Bay, Alabama for a couple of days. Wayne's nephew Mike gave us his shorefront cottage for as long as we liked. We stayed the weekend, two days, long enough to experience the somewhat watered down Dauphin Island version of Mardi Gras and then headed out this morning for points west. Presently we are hunkered down on the other side of the Mississippi in Morganza, Louisiana, having opted out of New Orleans this time around. We next to a railroad track. In the last two hours two trains haave gone by, leaning on the whistle and each hauling over a hundred cars. We love it.

These relatives of Wayne Cooper's couldn't be nicer but they are not as conveniently located as they might be or as we'd prefer. Two, after all, Mike and his aunt Sue, were right there in Alabama withing thirty miles of one another. Frankly, we don't need two in such proximity. If we are to drive all around the county for free it would be handier if they were spread out a little more. Sue, for instance, used to live in Savannah and it would have been bettter for us if she'd stayed there. As it was we had to pay our own way in Savannah simply because there was no one there we could sponge from. Now we discover, and it's no surprise to us; there are more of Wayne's relatives further west which, as it happens, is the direction we've chosen. But, again, this next relative is far away, in Alburqueque. There are none in between or at least none willing to be identified, which is where we need them. Where, for goodness sake, is the Texas connection?

Elaine was a major hit at the Mardi Gras parade in Dauphin Island. Imagine this if you can. Baubles, bangles and beads are the end all of everything that goes on at the Mardi Gras festivities. Every personage on every float flings bead necklaces left and right without ceasing; vendors sell the same thing plus outrageous feather boas and huge fur and feather hats. In spite of this having been going on for who knows how many years, Elaine was apparently the first person to concieve of tying her ten foot purple feather boa around her head so that, for all appearances, it was her hair. She was a big hit. Everyone, locals all, were crazy over her hair. On the road she is a different person, hamming it up, the center of attention. I am nothing, a wall flower.

Thyroughout the south today, Sunday, we are taking note of the church marquis'. In Mississippi there was, in some cases, literally, a church every few feet. Oddly there were very few in Louisanna. The marquis' though were compelling. One of the best was 'Life is full of choices; Eternity has only two. What have you chosen?' I naturally assumed the inquiry had to do with menu choices, perhaps broad categories of food and so settled on a category I created myself: 'Things With Gravy or Sauce' and hoped that would suffice. I've run it by KK for his approval.

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