11.10.2005

Cappy Was Home and We Gave Thanks Early


It was another two weeks of rushing around as soon as Cappy's feet 'hit da banks' (got off da boat). We had a lot planned, and got a lot accomplished, including this new computer, which is installed, but all the buzzers and whistles aren't buzzing and whistling just yet. Our old one was like someone in the desert,crawling on it's belly, panting, tongue hanging out, desperately trying to get to a watering hole, all the while not able to fend off buzzards. In this case, spybots. Cappy was going to Blog using this new computer, but didn't get the chance and had to get back on the boat for another four weeks, so now ya stuck with me again for awhile.
The first thing on our agenda was to help out with the Gospel Choir director's 50th anniversary party for her parents. We only did menial things, cuz she had it going on, with all kinds of people helping. The next day I sang with the group at Church, then the "ParTay"!! I play Christian Rock Accordian with the Contemporary group at Church, then off times, I sing with the Gospel Group. Cappy likes to brag that I look like a white marshmallow floating in a sea of sweet warm cocoa in the Gospel Group. Well, at the anniversary party, even with Cappy's tan, we both looked like marshmallows. We had so much fun! There were about two hundred people there. Talk about Classy people. I've always thought that when African American's are all decked out...NObody can outclass them for classiness. We took a lot of pictures, but they are stuck in the old computer picture files for now. We'll get 'em out eventually, and show you. And then, of course, there will be the pictures of just ol' "us" at the party, too.
A couple of days ago, one of Cappy's crew, who 'shrimps and fishes' to suppliment his income; what with his wife and FIVE kids, and all...sold us 50 lbs. of 'fresh out da wadder' shrimp. Here's a picture of Cappy "poppin' da heads off da shramps", with his side-kick SparkyBear slurping up any extras that happened to find their way into the mix, while they were catching the shrimp, like small minnows or tiny soft crabs. I bagged them in zip-lock bags and stowed them in the freezer.
We managed to go out fishing a couple of times on our own motor boat. It hadn't rained, not really, since Katrina waayyyy back in early September. It's been so dry, that the water level in the bayous have gotten very low. It took us a matter of time figuring out where the fish were hiding....DEEP along pilons. We caught this bass and three 'sac a lait' ("bag of milk" in French) on the second day. The first day was not a waste. Actually, thinking back now, we didn't fish the first time...we rode all around investigating bayous where we'd never been before, looking for perspective fishing places. We took the dogs and had a fun time. I really admire women who have grown up around boats and fishing, who know how to hunker down in the boat and 'potty' in cans way out in the woods in a boat during hunting season,without emptying their entire bladder into their downed overalls, and all over the deck of said boat to the horror of their two dawgs and husband, then having to pull up the warm, dripping overalls, strap them back on and ride in the wind. A technique I swore through gritted teeth on the way back across the open lake, that I would master.

The next day, we headed out for the Achafalaya Basin, putting in at Belle River. We drove in some of the most beautiful country God has ever made. The last time we took the boat out in that region for my very first time, I fell in love with Bayou Pigeon and actually wept, being so privileged to see such beauty that not many people get to see. Well, last week, this new-to-me territory, took me by surprise again, just as Cappy predicted. We rounded this one corner in our boat, and slid into an area where this world meets Heaven...all open area, and is pushed right up into Heaven. You can feel it, not just see it. It went on for miles before it all passed. On the way back through, it was all there again. Nobody was there. Few people ever go there...only those who work out there in the hidden away oil fields, or a few people who go to fish. Curious. It was so devoid of humans, yet somehow 'busy'...teeming with life. And as I had mentioned...there was Heaven...I could feel it. It defied all my Bible larnin'. Maybe there's a 'portal' to Heaven right there or something. I kept thinking, "THIS is the 'place'...how come everybody isn't out here? They think big cities has it all, but if they could come here and see this place...". Cappy baked these fish to perfection. I swear, if New York State, where I grew up had fish that tasted so fresh, I would have loved fish. Most everyone I know up there says they don't like fish. Fish should not smell 'fishy'. Cappy doesn't understand it. It confuses him. I told him about popular fish stores in western NY where you about get knocked over with the smell, about fifteen feet from their front door...and going INto the store about makes ones eyes water and sets off the gag-reflex. He asks why anyone would buy anything there. On numerous occasions, including the ice-chest full of shrimp you see above, he has told me "go ahead...put your nose right down almost ON the fish...what do you smell??" I always tell him, "Uh...nothing....water??" He says if you can smell it...don't eat it...it's spoiled. The first time Cappy stopped with me at a fish store down here in South Louisiana, I can't tell you how much I dreaded the trudge the few feet to the door of the place. When we got inside, I was shocked to only be smelling 'sea air'. I had to look around to be sure there were fish anywhere in the place. There were. Everywhere. Fresh fish and seafood of all kinds.
These fish were so delicate in flavor and texture. They were wonderful.
The freezer, small as it is, is now full of fresh shrimp on the bottom shelf. Because we had to celebrate Thanksgiving two weeks early, Cappy made 'dirty rice mix' to go with the turkey. He makes a big batch, then freezes the mix so that most anytime, we can just make some rice and stir an unthawed bag of the mix into it. It's Goooood stuff, Yankees. He also made some oyster/cornbread stuffing. Omigosh. That was "to dah fo" good. Of course he's never alone in his cooking ventures...I always peel and chop TONS of onions, bell peppers, garlic,"seller-eller-ellery",green onions (just the greens) two or three different kinds of Cajun sausages, and anything else that comes to Cappy's mind that might need chopping. Then I'm there to 'round up the usual suspects', like our spices or pots 'n' pans, clean up behind us, as best as I can,(he tries too) and just generally be his (how d'ya spell "Soo-Chef"??) and accomplice, working on my own projects, as well.
There were just the two of us this year for our Thanksgiving, but it was so much fun, and we were very Thankful to have two weeks and two dogs to spend it with, and end up with full hearts and full tummies..all four of us. Now when the 'real' one this year, rolls around, I can spend the time enjoying our family up north, on this new computer watching them celebrate, and maybe eating some leftover Thanksgiving stuff in that freezer.


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