Our first stop in Louisiana was Shreveport.
We tried parking at a rest stop for the night but the noise from the trucks was just too much. However, a little way down the road we found my old standby, Cracker Barrel, so Loretta's first night in the RV was quiet and peaceful--except for the noisy birds in the morning.
Brenda and Jo Beverly
Then came the chance to spend a little time with my recently found first cousin, Jo Beverly who will be 92 in July. Just look at that lovely lady and know--
--she lives alone, keeps a house and a beautiful garden, and goes to work every day at the Alliance for Aging offices! I so hope I share some of those good Lambert genes.
Loretta and the bottle tree--a fun southern tradition.
The lush green of Louisiana was on full display.
Brenda, Loretta and Jo B
Brenda is Jo B's daughter-in-law and has a home on the same street just a few blocks away. That wonderful red door is one of Brenda's creations. We parked in her driveway for the night and truly appreciate her hospitality.
Jo B shared the history of the clock....
--and the phone--both family treasures. I can remember (at about the age of 8) having a wall phone and sharing a party line. Funny how our ideas of 'phone security' have changed. I would listen to my neighbor's teenager and try not to giggle so loud he might hear me. (Oops, how many things have I just confessed to)
Onward to Natchitoches, established in 1714 as the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.
The river was once a major thoroughfare for moving cotton and tobacco to markets. Now is is a beautiful backdrop that borders one side of Front Street, the main shopping street in town.
I think Natchitoches is one of the loveliest towns in Louisiana--especially at Christmas time.
It is also famous for its meat pies. This is the restaurant to get the best and Loretta opted for the crawfish pie--another first for her.
We stopped this young fella on his way to church, just because he was so decked-out. He was also super friendly and Loretta was getting a taste of that famous 'Southern Charm'.
We were on the tail-end of the blooming season but the magnolias are still beautiful--and everywhere.
Lambert Town, 1875
The cemetery that carries my last name and where my father's family is buried.
(Utice Drew Lambert)
Well, he hasn't moved since my last visit.
Loretta and I discover our first differences. It is a southern tradition to spend many hours in cemeteries, visiting old friends and long-gone family or reading the history of the area through the gravestones. It's something I find relaxing and interesting, Loretta thinks that's weird. She's probably right.