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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out
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A-a-a-choo! "Bless You" ---aka Atchafalaya or HODGEPODGE

Along the interstate...

Atchafalaya Basin is part of the great Mississippi River Delta ---rivers, bayous, swampland all extend into the Gulf of Mexico. It's pronounced: ah chaf -ə- LI-ah [with the long "i" as in LIE]. Driving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana from Lafayette across Interstate 10 you end up crossing the Basin -- a pillared bridge sitting above the basin -- the bridge is a little over 18 miles long, and once on there, there is no way of getting off. As we drove across, I noticed only TWO exits over the middle channel ---and both were blocked of entry. I read online that at times if there is an accident, be prepared to have a 3 hour delay. The name, being of American Indian origin, means "Long River". The bridge itself is the 14th longest in the world! For the entire eighteen miles of divided interstate highway, there is swamp on both sides and at times...a swampy channel right down between them! As you'll see in the first two photos - don't let the green fool you ---it's marshy...swampy. Nary dry land anywhere. The country, so very verdant and lush - it's beautiful. And the people along the bayous in Louisiana are so laid back and congenial....at least the ones we met along the way. It boggles the mind to actually know the 'non-big city' folk who don't get stressed so easily. They truly enjoy their lives.









View more info on the Basin HERE



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Along the Mississippi...

A large cruise ship was docked near the waterfront and riverwalk complex. The bridge you see, below, in the background [also in the 2nd photo] along the Mississippi River takes travelers to the West Bank of the river - to the section of Orleans Parish which is part of New Orleans now...it's named Algiers. You can arrive there by the bridge; driving, or take a ferry across to the other side from the East Bank. The Algiers Point Historic District is bounded by the curve of the Mississippi River on two sides. From Wikipedia this reads:
    The brothers Lafitte were known to have been in New Orleans as early as 1805 and were most likely French. The pirate’s base of operations was in Barataria Bay, near New Orleans [Algiers], and within striking distance of the Gulf of Mexico, where trading ships made their entrances and exits from the Mississippi River. By 1811, this was a thriving pirate community with 32 armed warships... more than the entire American navy at the start of the War of 1812! Andrew Jackson enlisted the aid of the pirates in fighting the British at the Battle of New Orleans, after which the men were pardoned of piracy charges. The Lafittes then went right back to piracy.










MISSISSIPPI
DELTA QUEEN
~LOL~
"Hootin' Anni"












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HODGEPODGE


1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not every room, what rooms do you decorate? Yeppers!! Even on the toilet tank top if that's not too much information. I love having a home filled with cheery. It keeps the spirits high.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why? Definitely it would be DENMARK. I have met online two wonderful ladies and have kept in touch with them through emails and at times exchanging gifts and birthday wishes...for over a decade!! And both ladies, Mutti [native Dane] and LadyLisa [American born -now Danish citizen] are living in Denmark. The three of us combined have so many similar interests and can converse easily. And I wish I could just travel there -- visit with them both and enjoy their company!!

3. What does the word faith mean to you? Faith can be one of many things and many meanings. I can have faith in this country, I can have faith in my family - it's more or less a trust in something unseen.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose? Are you kiddin' me? Nigh on to impossible. But, I'll give it a go... warning tho, I'm nearing the ancient mark here....to even remember what I did a week ago is pushing it. Now you ask me of a memory of my youth; just one day - out of the 22630+ days of my life? There are so many. How 'bout my first kiss?! Okay...that was fourth grade, in school, on the playground during recess. Yep, you're thinking I was a hussy, now, right? His name was Bob. And dark and handsome...he wasn't tall, so - two out of three isn't bad, is it? Oh and by the way...the kiss was electrifying. Like a lightning bolt...hot, and sizzling...and shocking, all at the same time. When our mouths touched...static electricity created the powerful 1st kiss!!!

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If it's not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe. Long long time ago...and my recipe would be --- Walmart, 7th aisle, on the left, two shelves up. Tropical Punch @ $2 a large bottle. Several flavors [and colors -red for Christmas - orange flavored for Halloween] to choose. And to make it all effervescent - next aisle on the right this time --a bottle of 7-up to add.

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?
Well...it's just the two of us y'know. I always put out the stockings. They're not filled, just for decoration now. And I also hang two really tiny ones for the fur babies...they have a toy in them each year.

7. What takes your breath away? A cloud dappled sky at sunset...OR sunrise, with so many different shades of color [I never tire of this natural occurrence] Then, with traveling throughout the years...I remember Wiamea Falls in Hawaii - Old Faithful erupting in Yellowstone Park - The WALL [Viet Nam] in Washington D.C. - The Plantation in Chatham, VA - Gettysburg Cemetery in Pennsylvania - so, so many things. I once climbed to the top of Washington Monument ---the view from there is indescribable - The Alamo, the Grand Canyon, first time I saw the Pacific Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge...it was a toll bridge too, so had to stop in the middle of the blessed thing to pay the toll, Ocean City MD and the Atlantic Ocean; oh and the view from the plane over the big island of Hawaii --the lava flows at night with the red hot orange glow and the flowing motion as it all made its way to the sea [awesome!] - Family breathtaking moments: Bud waiting for me at the end of the aisle on our wedding day - My abandoned grandparents' home long after they were gone - my first born just minutes old - our first grandson in a life support machine after his open heart surgery- breathing!!! I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.

8. Insert your own random thought here. Don't you agree? This is so odd, but most always so true. After answering these questions above, I'm thinking how strange it is to remember so many things. And this is the time of year that nostalgia runs amok with your emotions and memories. Especially if you're of the age say....over 40, or all alone in a strange place for instance; overseas stationed at some military base? This is the part that seems odd --- During the holiday season, do you find yourself reminiscing and wishing for the days past? And longing to go back "home"? To those times when life was simple and you were surrounding by those you love; your family? And the youth and anticipation of the day of Christmas morning when you had to wait forever for everyone to wake up - trying to make as much noise, but subtly, to get some movement and action...all to open the gifts. Yet, when you sit around and shut out the sounds of the gift wrapping and the chatter and joyous yelps from your moment of those long ago memories ---there was LOVE?!! How I visualize those days this time of year; still any other day of the year, I don't feel this emotion? What is it about Christmas that makes anyone go back to childhood in dreams? I guess, in the long run, I believe in what my heart is saying...I hear the melody. I allow myself to go back in time...even for this one moment of the season.


32 comments :

  1. Such a jam packed, very interesting post.

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  2. The huge ship is beautiful and very modern looking. I can hardly believe that pirates helped fight that battle, what a hoot!! I don't think I would have been brave enough to drive on that bridge! I only decorate the living room and kitchen, no one else really sees the other rooms.

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  3. You asked: "During the holiday season, do you find yourself reminiscing and wishing for the days past?" Oh yes! It's funny but because I'm an only girl, its me who probaby carry on "our" family traditions more. Hubs is easy and goes along with whatever I have wanted to do. My brothers lives turned out so different from the life we were raised, so even though I know we can't go back, I long for those full house, happy singing family holidays in my parents home.

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  4. There is a saying, not sure who it is attributed to, but it goes, "At Christmas, all roads lead home." So very true.

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  5. Hallo Anny,

    gut schaust du aus und bei euch ist die Wärme, die hat sich bei uns versteckt.
    Großartige Strassenaufnahmen.

    GLG Marianne ♥

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  6. I love your breathtaking memories, and could relate to several so completely. And the last paragraph - just awesome thoughts, Anni. Almost had me in tears. So very true. Nostalgia has been a big part of my blog, since I don't write beautiful prose or poetry, or think deep thoughts. But I do have wonderful memories and, seemingly, the ability to translate them into stories others can enjoy. At least I think they do!

    Have a great day! I must get busy wrapping some things to get under the tree - Hayley is distressed that there's only one thing under there and it's for me!

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  7. Hey, me again - How did you meet your Danish friends? Have you been blogging for a decade? BTW, we would love to go to Sweden someday, the "motherland," as Dwight calls it!

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  8. Anni wow, we also go very happy with ships, with this yet, but if you're interested, then look at my blog for travel- http://gelisreisen.blogspot.com/ - , since all routes to see and much more ... Greetings from Geli

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  9. Beautiful post!
    Have a great day!

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  10. Heehee - your childhood memory made me giggle out loud! :-)

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  11. I laughed when I read that you put decorations even in the bathroom! It seems your trip to Louisiana was well worth it. And it's funny: I don't think I need to go back to an earlier time because I get to learn so much through my blogging friends about the entire world of their experiences! Bloggers are so much fun, Anni! You sure are enjoying life, and I appreciate you sharing it with me.

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  12. Dawn No, I haven't been blogging for that long...I met Mutti and Lisa through an online group called Random Acts of Kindness where we 'worked' to do acts of kindness randomly online. And we had a 'chat room' type thing...a message board if you will. When that group went 'belly up'...I had my own group called Sunshine Girls and we continued our friendship through that group for a couple of years.

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  13. das 6. Bild von den 7..da wirkt die Brücke wie bei uns in Rendsburg über den Nord-Ostsee Kanal..
    LG vom katerchen

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  14. Now that is some-long-bridge!!!

    Yes, how do such people manage to stay slow and enjoy life, hu? :-)

    Love these Local Tales you are telling!!! "And they went back to piracy" ,-)

    1) Not in every room
    2) Can I switch from Nordic, to Switzerland? :-)


    Skipping here... Christmas Stockings, no more. I used to dislike trying to find little *junk* to stuff them with, and then, throwing it away.

    Yes, this time of year is very much dipped in nostalgia. :-) Which can be lovely. Or can be sad. -sigh-

    "Chill December brings the sleet,
    Blazing fire and Christmas treat."

    ~~Mother Goose

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  15. Enjoyed your reminiscing! I hope you get to go to Denmark someday!

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  16. You are so right about this time of year and sentimentality. Hubs and I have been reminiscing for weeks now. I love your response to #7- I love how you take the time to really see and appreciate the world around you. We should all do that!

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  17. Morning Anni
    I do so enjoy your hodgepodge Q&A and 100% agree with your ans. to #8.
    You all saw a lot of beautiful things in Louisana.
    Madi says 'ah shucks' Ms. Anni you say the nicest things to me. I appreciate each one.
    As for my secret I positively love (beg) to be brushed. Mom keeps my brush in the table by the couch. Nearly everynight about the same time I sand by the table and meow until I get brushed.
    Hugs Madi

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  18. And loved ones seem so much closer this time of year....I can see their faces in my mind and hear their words and feel the love....
    Happy Wednesday, Anni

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  19. Me AGAIN! Yes, embroidery and cross stitching and sewing are my only artistic abilities - well, used to be. I don't know if they're still there or not!

    As for Shakespeare and bawdiness - based on what you said, maybe his wife was a Dirty Old Woman! Hmmm.

    I'm wearing a boot right now because of the complications from my broken toe - tendon problems - it is not fun and will really not be fun during the upcoming rehearsals and performances this week!

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  20. I really enjoyed your answers. That static electric kiss--wow! My first kiss WOULD have been on the 4th grade playground as well, except that I was screaming, "help, help'!" to the teacher because the class gigalo was nearly assaulting me in the sandbox which was really a big tractor tire.

    I can't imagine seeing a grandchild on a life support machine. It took my breath away reading that!
    Thanks for stopping by and reading my HP today.

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  21. I love your random thought today! I find myself "remembering when" a lot lately. I'm beginning to sound a lot like an old person. LOL

    Love your punch recipe! It's hard to beat :)

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  22. Loved your answers. Love the Lonestar cut topaz....loved the story of the delta. I am your newest follower.

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  23. Let me tell you that you made me tear up with #8.
    Yes, I agree at my age I do a lot of going back to the memories of the past.
    I want to thank you for this beautifully written post.
    Hugs

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  24. Looks like it's a long bridge. And it is kind of very unfair you are wearing capris while I am bundle up hehehe. ^_^ Enjoy the weekend!

    Watery Wednesday

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  25. Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon Pennsylvania. I'm just stopping at Radom blogs and checking them out, and wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and New years. Richard from Amish Stories.

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  26. That's quite a cruise ship. Nice post.

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  27. Oh - first kisses! I love first kiss stories!!!

    I still remember running away from my first kiss - I was so scared and embarrassed :)

    Thanks for stopping by The Fridge Door Blog xo

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  28. I-10 does cross a lot of waterway - still imagine taking the old US-90 in the same direction with two lanes of slow. Like when we were kids (and told ours) be sure to GO before we start driving. You never know if a wreck will delay the next bathroom break :)

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  29. I think our senses go on overload during this time of the year. The colors, smells, and sounds bring back powerful memories...some good and some bad. And I do think that most of us long for the anticipation that we had when we were children. That's the magic of Christmas, and I don't think that any of us are immune to it. It catches us sooner or later.

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  30. Wow, that is indeed a long bridge and I guess one can only hope never to get in an accident while on it! It was so interesting to read about the Basin as well.

    Wonder what the Lafitte brothers would think of that cruise ship! lol I had heard of them but didn't really know the history behind their piracy days. Awwww, what a beautiful Mississippi Delta Queen you make, my friend:-) hehe

    I also decorate my washroom for Christmas! lol As you say, why not make every room cheery!! I agree with you, this time of year always makes me remember Christmases of years gone by when we were children and the excitement was almost too much to bear:-) I'd love to be sitting in front of the tree again, with my parents and my brothers, all oohing and aahing over our gifts, then getting ready to go to church before having a delicious brunch made by my mom. Those were the days!! xoxo

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  31. I want to drive through the Interstate someday. The photos are great!
    YOu're right about non-city folks, they live simply and peacefully :)

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