Monday, February 18, 2008


Wednesday I returned to Louisiana. I'd been invited to speak at the Louisiana Teen Library Association in Alexandria. Since Alex(as we call it) is 18 miles from Forest Hill, I flew in a day early to visit with family.

The next afternoon my grandfather and I settled on a bench, overlooking his bulb garden, and continued our interview. Pa told me about his father's encounter with a pick-pocketing gypsy and pointed out trees that his father had given him. Until that afternoon, I'd never known the magnificent magnolia, planted outside the kitchen window, came from my great-grandfather. Some of Pa's camellias were from him also.

That evening Mom, Pa, and I joined cousins O.D. and Elizabeth Chamberlain and friends John and Jody Halbert at Carl's Catfish Kitchen. Carl fixes the best catfish in that neck of the woods. And there aren't many restaurants where pickled green tomatos are served on the salad bar.

O.D. took me on a tour of his nursery Friday morning. From his golfcart, I learned about the stages his beautiful plants go through before they're loaded on a truck and eventually planted in someone's yard.

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