Ci et Ca Avec Belle

 

A NEW YEAR AND

NEW HOPES....

Here we are beginning another year.  It is said that “Time flies when you are having fun”.  Our question is, “are we having fun yet?”.  The answer to that is really complicated.  2013 was a year of mixed times, some really happy and fun and others not too happy nor too much fun.  However, in looking back we have some wonderful memories of the family and friends that were important to us in our lives.  We decided, yes, it was a good year!  We pray that this year, 2014,  will be the best ever for us all and for our loved ones too.  

 A new year brings new hopes, dreams and desires. May your hopes and dreams for you and your family be achieved and happiness, joy, love and good health to give you the happiness you all deserve. 

 

MOTHER NATURE CONFUSED....

What, all of the cold and wet weather we had recently was fall weather?  True, winter did not officially begin until December 21st, which saw the temperatures reach 81 degrees.  Freezing in the fall season and heat on the first day of winter.  However, that is ok with us.  Enough of the cold.  Many people in the mid-west and north have really been suffering from the early cold and heavy snow, so guess we should not complain.  But, that is the reason we live in the south, usually for better, warmer weather.  Our comments to friends in the snow covered states was simply to head down south to God’s country and enjoy better weather.  

Weather experts have predicted a cold winter this year.  We hope that they are confused as is Mother Nature and that they will be incorrect.  Remember the hurricanes forecasted for 2013, which was thought to be a bad year with many storms reaching the shores.  And, how many did we have hit the United States.  Hopefully, what they thought about a bad winter will be wrong also.  We hope. 

As we go through the cold months of January, February into March, think about the wonderful spring ahead and that will help to make the cold weather tolerable.  Many folks love the cold weather and will enjoy these coming months.  It’s great that we are different and have different preferences, since that makes everyone happy at some time, even in one week.

 

EXPERT HERE LONG AGO....

While watching the TV channel, Animal Planet, there was a popular show with an expert from Kentucky called the “Turtle Man”.  We did not get his name, but was interested to see that one of his many skills with wild life was to catch turtles.  We never understood what he did with them, but it reminded us of Rayne’s own “Turtle Man” many years ago that would go into the bayous around here and feel the banks under water with his hands until he found a turtle which he would bring up to the shore.  In the muddy waters of the bayous, he had to feel with his hands since he could not see anything or know where they were.  

Some might have known C. J. Meche who caught some huge turtles in the waters around here.  We have a picture of him with two friends and one very, very large turtle which he had caught, that our mom took and wrote a feature story about him long ago.  It was a dangerous activity since at times the turtles caught C. J. and as a result he was missing several finger tips.  He sold his turtles for food at restaurants and seafood suppliers, as well as to people in town who wanted the meat to cook for their families.  We know that C. J. deserves the title of “Turtle Man” and sorry that there was no television coverage at that time to share this interesting occupation.

 

WONDERFUL HONOR...

We were so proud and happy to learn that one of Rayne’s own received a top honor for work with his school football team.  John Craig Arceneaux was awarded the 3A Coach of the Year distinction for his great season with the Church Point High school football team.  He led the team to the games in the final competition for the state title.  Although they did not make it to the dome, the Bears lost to the team that did win the state championship in the dome.  The team, under the leadership of Coach Arceneaux, had an amazing season which had the support of the community and lots of friends here in his hometown.  We know that his mom and dad, Linda and John, share in this honor with their son.  He had their  encouragement and support while participating in sports in school and were huge fans at the games. This made this award a family victory!  Great job John Craig and look forward to next season with another great year for the Bears.

 

OUR SOAPBOX THEME ....

As we watched our beloved Saints play against Seattle in the cold and wet weather up there, we remembered that these important games played in terrible weather conditions, should be played on a neutral field with a covered stadium.  The playoff and final games, including the Superbowl, when played in the heavy snow, extreme cold, or heavy rain, do not show the talents of either team.  It becomes a free for all, with more luck than skill in playing the game.  It also results in some serious injuries with the players and sometimes the officials.  In addition, the fans stay home or leave long before the end of the game.  It seems that it would benefit everyone to have the games played in a covered stadium where weather, not skill, would be an advantage to the teams.  

Whatever, we will continue to watch the games wherever they are played and drink hot chocolate as we watch the players in 8 plus inches of snow and where it is snowing so hard we could not even see the yard lines.  However, with our soapbox... I’m just saying!

 IT’S ALL HERE.....

With all the cold and wet weather recently, we were unable to get out to try to get family gifts before Christmas.  Just the week before Christmas with warmer weather we began our search for gifts for our growing family including 12 great grandchildren.  We did not have to leave Rayne!  We found some great gifts for everyone including their parents right in town.  We were excited to find some fun and adorable things for them and none cost a lot of money!  We were very happy not to have to get on the road to go out of town and fight the traffic, the crowds and the high cost of things by having to shop out of town.  We hope that if you need gifts in the future, look around at the stores here!  We have more of a selection of gifts then you think.  We are certain of that as we wrap treasures we found and ready to put under the Christmas tree.  Thanks merchants here in Rayne!  Remember Shop at Home first!

 

THANKS FOR THE CHRISTMAS

CELEBRATION...

It was a great day for us to be a part of the United Methodist Women’s Christmas program and lunch.  The ladies are wonderful friends who are very supportive of us and our family and are an important part of our prayer angels.

Our thanks to Barbara Curtis for everything that she does for us, not just at Christmas, but all year.  She works long and hard for the church, Centenary United Methodist Church, and for the UMW organization there. The Christmas program was at her beautiful home and the lovely Christmas decorations added to the wonderful spirit of the season.  We enjoyed being with the group of ladies and being able to “catch up” on their news and their families.  Dot Jennings, another lady who gives much to the church and helps whenever and whatever is needed, was the program leader and presented a thoughtful program with memories and things to consider.  The food was plentiful and was completed with delicious desserts as guests were seated at a lovely decorated large table.  Barbara, we thank you for all that you did to make this occasion so special to all the members and especially to me. You are a blessing to all the members and to our church for all that you have done and continue to do.  Thank you sweet lady.

 

WELL DESERVED PLAN...

It was exciting to learn of the planning session underway by the city and the American Legion Post No.77 to design and create a park that would honor the service men and women of all our nations military branches.  It is something that needs to be done to create an awareness of the number of individuals here that have served bravely and given much to keep our country safe and FREE.  It is our duty to remember them for what they did for us!  “We can never repay them” for their sacrifices and service, but we can and must remember and honor them!  We hope that these plans and dreams can be a reality for our city!   I remember the large roll of honor during World War II in town that caused many to stop and read the names, say a prayer and shed a tear as they looked at it.  A Veteran’s Park will help us to remember and give cause to stop and honor them. We also hope that it will be an opportunity for parents, grandparents and other family members to bring their younger generations to learn and understand the meaning of the park and its significance to those who fought and died for our country. We hope that there will be a few benches for visitors to sit, reflect, remember and most of all to say a prayer and honor our vets!  Great plan and Great idea!  We will all look forward to seeing it from planning to reality.

 

CHRISTMAS MIRACLES...

Christmas is a time where many wonderful things happen and that bring out the best in people.  There have been many stories in the papers, on TV and on the internet about some of these “miracles” happening during this time of the year.  One that we love is the Secret Santa that goes around dressed in his best suit and hands out money to people he sees in the stores or on the street without anyone knowing who or why he does it.  We have also seen some people who have brought toys, Christmas trees, paid layaways or other things for people that they do not know when they see that a family cannot do them and the children would have to go without.  People are generous, even though they do not have that much, and are willing to help anyone in need as seen by the food drives, the toy drives and watching the children as they receive a wrapped gift from Santa which otherwise they would not have received anything on the special morning.  All of these and many more are heart warming and really say much about the big hearts that open up during this Christmas time.  It is our favorite time of the year to see the genuine caring and love displayed by many and so openly.  Good things can happen!  We pray that this caring and generosity of all of us will continue throughout the year.  There is much that we can do to help others who are in need. 

 

PAST MEMORIES.... 

It was just a television show.  However, it transported us to another time although the same place.  It’s amazing how some things can make you relive those moments and feeling from long ago.  That happened to us recently while watching the Best of Andy Williams Christmas shows on PBS.  Every year that was one show our family always made sure we would watch with our mom.  Andy’s wonderful voice, the lovely music, the sets and decorations and most of all his entire family celebrating together combined to bring the Christmas cheer to us every year.  As we sat and watched and listened, the memories flooded back in our mind and heart and the tears flowed as we thought about the happiness we felt when we watched the shows each year with mom and our families as they grew up.  It was strange to feel happy but sad in remembering. Watching the show reminded us of the importance of Christmas music, carols and religious anthems and the love of family celebrating together.  We miss that in the modern day Christmas programs.  The children enjoy the Christmas cartoons, ours did also.  But, they need to learn about the Christmas story, learn some of the carols that we learned in school, at church and at home. The schools do not teach the carols or other things about the meaning of Christmas.  It is up to us as parents to ensure that they DO learn so they can pass these things to their next generation.  It is sad to think that many of our young people do not know these important things. 

The TV shows of the day just don’t have Christmas programs  like that the Andy Williams, Perry Como and other popular singers of the day had each year. Our young people are the losers in not having them to watch with their families!  RIP Andy and thanks for the memory and thanks to PBS for compiling and showing these wonderful programs of the not too long ago. 

 We were so delighted that we had an opportunity to see and hear him in person in Branson, MO  at the Moon River Theater. And now, without him, we enjoy the many albums that he made during his lifetime.  We hope that PBS will continue to compile shows from him and other great artists for their special shows.  We all need to be able to hear the music of our generation.

 

SAD LOSSES.....

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones recently.  It is so difficult to give them up at any time, however, to lose them at the Christmas season makes it even more difficult. What an important part of the family is missing as those remaining try to celebrate the birth of Jesus and yet the familiar seasonal traditions are difficult to continue.  The loss of a loved one is never easy, and even after years, the Christmas time always brings back the void in the family without them. 

We grieve with the family on the loss of a long time friend, Nettie Chiasson Faulk.  She was a very brave lady who did not let her health issues stop her working or caring for her family.  It was always nice to visit with her at the store where she spent much of her time and energy, and her sweet smile and caring nature always welcomed any and all who came in.

Our families had been friends through the years and her dear husband, Norman, was also a special young man whose love and support enabled Nettie to continue to do many things even though her health was failing.  A real love story.  

You all know dear Nettie since the store, Worthmores, was where she worked with Norman for many years after Miss Effie passed away.  We know that most of you have shopped there and visited with her at some time.  She had many various successful careers during her life time as well as being active in church and community activities.  Her heart and love was Worthmores, and because of that and with Norman, it has been a popular “tourist” attraction as well as much needed hometown store.  Our prayers go out to Norman and all of the family as they face Christmas without her. 

We also send condolences to everyone who lost someone recently.  This time of the year makes the loss even harder.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and for you.  Know that you will receive the support and love you need during this usually happy time. 

This was sent to me in a Christmas card by a dear friend who had lost her husband after 70 plus years of marriage.  Please read it, not in sadness, but in celebration.  

 

“Around the Christmas table there’s an empty chair this year....The precious smile is missing of someone we still hold  dear.  And yet our hearts are hopeful, though the season’s 

bittersweet, because we know the one we love has filled another seat.  For another banquet table abounds with joy 

and love for those who’ve made the journey to be with 

our Lord above.”  Unknown 

 

They will be there waiting for you and for all.    

 

 In Closing..... 

Christmas is over and the time to remove the trees and decorations will soon be here, if not already gone.  The remembrances of this holy time are now a part of our treasured past and join with the thoughts of long ago Christmases with family and loved friends who are no longer with us, but will always be an important part of us. 

As we begin an exciting new year, we would like to wish you joy with loved family and friends; a year of hope and cheer, gladness and peace in your hearts and minds; a time of good health and all that will make this year the best for you  and your loved ones filled with God’s blessings always.  There is so much that we would wish for you in this new year, but all we can give you is the sincere heart, love and appreciation of a friend!  Love to all and Happy New Year!

 

Until next time........... Until we meet again, Adios,

au revoir,

and auf wiedersehen

Acadia Parish Today

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