by Christine Baker

As the years roll by, I’m often reminded to be observant of the past simply because I don’t want to forget it. What prompted this walk down memory lane? I was cruising down my tree-lined country lane road when my eyes caught the wave of the ever faithful Black-eyed Susans, little droplets of joy from above, littered on my roadside. Their vibrant color and nonchalant way of just “being who God created them to be” reminded me that beauty is truly in the eye of the one who beholds it and enjoys it.

It reminded me of years gone by when money was tight and my body was weak from subsequent bouts of bacteria and disease and my husband, the ever wise-one among us, gave me and my three boys exactly what we needed, a lifetime of Louisiana summer Saturday memories.

In my weakened and often confused state back then, unbeknownst to me, I started us on a healing path with a few simple words, “I want to go to the beach.” Little did I know, he started planning right away.

Our summer fun began the following Louisiana summer Saturday when we headed out in our “Barney-Mobile” as the boys called it back then, a purple Plymouth that was reminiscent of Barney the Dinosaur. Our destination was Avery Island, located in Iberia Parish, home to one of five salt domes on the Louisiana Gulf Coast. The other salt
dome islands are Jefferson Island, Weeks Island, Cote Blanche Island and Belle Isle.

We also visited the Tabasco store, the sauce that was my Dad’s favorite and never ceased to adorn my family’s kitchen table. After traipsing three little boys through the jungle gardens, eating a picnic lunch, and swatting many mosquitoes, we headed home, souvenirs in hand and hearts full of restored joy.

Our next summer Saturday adventure took us to Rockefeller Refuge down in Cameron and Vermilion parishes for a day of crabbing, fishing, and fun in the sun followed by a crab boil and fish fry in our backyard while the boys finished their day off in their big above ground “blue pool.”

Finally, our fearless, wise leader, saved the best for last. Our final Louisiana summer Saturday trip was to the beach, Holly Beach that is. This all occurred many years prior to the coming storms that have now decimated the area. I’m glad back then I had no way of knowing what was ahead. Our special day was unaffected by the devastating future.

As I sat on the beach soaking in the hot Louisiana summer sun, watching the murky gulf water wash over my toes, I knew this was a special time I must recognize and cherish. Just as the ebb and flow of the tide washes away things, so, too, as I watched my husband and boys splashing in the ocean water, I could sense God healing me, and I thought, “This was not what I had in mind, but I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else in the world.”

Those Louisiana summer Saturday adventures were a God-send, a cup of fresh water to my thirsty soul, but today they are grand memories that seal my little family, each one of us, to one another and to this great state we love and call home, Louisiana.

Take a summer Saturday Louisiana trip. Make a lifetime memory.

As always, Good eating! Good living! Good loving! Good memory making!

Au revoir mes amis!

Christine Baker

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