Tuesday, September 14, 2004

To the great city of New Orleans:

I raise my virtual Hurricane Glass to y'all. Be safe!

Louisiana is a state of contradiction, but I truly enjoyed every day that I lived there. It was, after all, the state in which this humble correspondent met her husband. It was also the first of these United States in which I lived. Yes, there was a little bit of culture shock for this babe out of the woods of Northern Ontario, but nothing that could not be soothed by sweet southern hospitality, the ability to sunbathe in February, and the close proximity of a Payless Shoe Store.

My friend, travelling companion, and partner in crime, Liz, described DeRidder, Louisiana, as "the buckle of the bible belt." This geographical fact made life, and my job as the charge nurse on nights, ever so much more interesting. Like the night that a confusted and agitated patient warned me that I would burn in the fires of hell, in a lake of fire in hell. Interesting, is all I'm saying.

Contrast Beauregard Parish - dry as a martini - with its northern neighbour, Vernon Parish. Try not to hurt your brain as you ponder drive-through liquor stores. Night and day, I tell you.

Night and some wild temporal anomaly describes the difference between DeRidder and New Orleans. DeRidder lives and breathes by the schedule of the First Baptist Church. New Orleans blew my mind. I had expected a raucous attitude - laissez les bon temps roulez - but the adult novelties that were sold in the souvenir shops, right next to the postcards and t-shirts, made this former Public Health Nurse and Sexual Health Educator blush.

So, N'Awlins, y'all take care now! I might be a Yankee now, but I'll always remember you fondly.

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