Tag Archives: Arnaudville

Christmas on the Bayou

It’s only May, but I’ve already jumped the gun and wrote about Christmas, so I’m in the mood to talk about Christmas at my house. There is, of course, plenty of food for everyone, turkey (fried and baked), ham, casseroles, rice dressing, cornbread dressing, etc. However, the only thing that I enjoy more than the food is the craziness of all my family being together.

About two years ago Edmund decided to show up for Christmas. I’m not entirely sure how Edmund is related to us, but he’s older and I think he may have been related to my grandfather. Everybody just rolls their eyes when Edmund shows up because they know he’s going to ask them for something, usually money. Edmund wears blue jeans, a denim shirt, and a cowboy hat. He drives an old Ford F-150 and is the kind of man who probably has a bunch of money stuffed in a mattress somewhere yet acts like he’s poor.

He’ll say, “Mais, you got any money to help the pauvre misérable?”

Do you have any money to help the poor miserable?

So he’s at my house for Christmas, and he’s standing in the kitchen. He starts talking to my Aunt, Bernadette, and he says “Mais Bernadette, you need to go a diet and lose some weight.”

She turned around, face hot with anger and said, “Edmund! I may be fat, but you’re ugly and you’re gonna die ugly!”

And that was the end of that. Christmas at my house isn’t usually that dramatic, but that particular time was a bit crazy because of Edmund and his mouth. It’s usually just a food filled festivity, and there are always leftovers for days afterwards. The story about Edmund coming over for Christmas will remain one of my favorite stories about the holiday.

My dad is really good at carving a turkey


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There are two stoplights in my hometown. Both are for the same intersection next to the local grocery store, Russell’s. Arnaudville is made up of an elementary school, a Catholic church, a cemetery, and, of course, Russell’s.

The cemetery is one of the most notable parts of the whole town. It’s right across the street from St. Francis Regis Catholic Church, and there are probably more people in the cemetery than in the town. Almost all of the graves are above ground except for the ones in the mausoleum. My grandparents and a few of my relatives are buried there.

Russell’s is the town’s small talk and gossip hub. You go in there thinking that you’ll just go in there to get milk and eggs and leave, but you actually end up running into at bunch of people that you know and leaving an hour later than you wanted. It usually goes something like this:

“Mais, cher, how you doin’? Ça va?”

“Ça va bien, et tu?”

“Good, good.”

“Well I haven’t seen you in so long I almost didn’t recognize you. How are the kids?”

The conversation goes on an on about family happenings and how busy they’ve been. Sometimes the conversation turns:

“You heard who died the other day?”

Everybody knows everybody in a small town.

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