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home : columnists : columnists August 27, 2015

10/25/2013 2:22:00 PM
View from the Valley

The view is a wet one today. We are promised a really nasty Sunday but nothing like the weather they are  getting up North.....SNOW. I will take a gloomy, rainy day any  time over an October snow storm. Some of my flowers are still blooming and I do not want them to die just yet. Of course the first frost will  wipe them out. Bought my pumpkins at the Farmers Market and the various gourds look great perched next to them. The fall weather always boosts my morale and the energy I feel is wonderful.  My energy level last week was at an all time low. Let me explain...

We ventured to New Iberia, Louisiana so John could attend a reunion of his flight class of 1961 at N.A.S. New Iberia. We spent 4 days at the reunion and a couple of days trying to get on an airplane with a pass. I won't even address that debacle. Anyway, the minute  I got off the airplane in New Orleans my beautiful  salon styled hairdo went completely limp. I looked like a drowned rat. The temperature was 95 and the humidity was 100 percent. These conditions lasted all four days. My clothes stuck to my body and the rivulets of perspiration covered me. What was I to do? I went out and purchased the strongest hair spray I could find made especially for the humid conditions. The rest of the stay found my hair in a state of complete stiffness. I looked like I had a helmut on my head. So much for impressing all of John's flying buddies. As we drove the two hours to New Iberia I made many notes. We rode on elevated freeways with swamp on each side of us.The concrete side barriers were black with mold as a result of all the humidity. We passed  by miles of sugar cane fields. Most were destined to be burned in a few weeks to make room for the next  crop of cane. We noted that at almost every gas station a casino was attached. They were not large, but seemed to be well attended. Gas was very cheap and we enjoyed that perk. Most family dwellings were built on stilts to be away from the floods. After a small rainstorm, folks were complaining about flooded roads. The water table is so high there that people are buried above ground or in crypts. I always think of the southern states as being covered with hanging moss and I was not disappointed. It was hanging from every tree and it was beautiful.  Living there is surely different than living in Minnesota. The beauty salons advertised Up Dos, a term I had never heard of so I guessed it meant having your  hair styled up on your head. The economy there is very stressed and income levels are very low. We visited the shrimp boats, a big industry along with working at the salt mines. All the Tabasco sauce is made in New Iberia where salt plays a huge part in the processing of it. I really do not know why anyone would want to live where the humidity is 100 percent and temperatures range from 90 to 99 degrees. But many lovely folks call  this place home.



While there I bought a book titled "Salt, A World History" by Mark Kurlansky. We take salt for granted. We go to the grocery and buy the round container of iodized salt and pay very little for it. Until about 100 years ago, when modern geology revealed its prevalence, salt was one of the world's most sought after commodities.  A substance so valuable it has served as currency, helped establish trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires and inspired revolutions. And did you realize that salt is the only rock we eat? This book is the Bible of salt and it is very enlightening.


We will soon be heading to Ferndale Market for our Thanksgiving bird. Where has the time gone? They say we have about 70 days to shop for Christmas gifts.I say stop the world, I want to get off. We need to slow down and smell the  hot chocolate. Take care. SHALOM

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