Sunday, August 21, 2005

Life Seasoned With Spice

I'm a Southern girl by birth. That's pretty cool right there. Yeah, it is. I am from Louisiana but originally from "the North." Anything north of Alexandria is considered "the North." Shoot, I didn't taste gumbo til I moved down south. So it's really cool when a Cajun boy asks a Northern girl on a date. Yeah, it is. When I was young and looking to get hitched, I just thought a Cajun name would sound exotic. You know, Jeansonne (Jau-sawnh), Dubois (Do-boys or Do-bwauh), Tauzin (Toes-zanh). Yeah, it did. But once you meet a Cajun, you learn there's more to them than just a cool sounding French name.

The first time a Cajun boy takes you on a date, it's very likely that you just might go to a pig roast. The experience is amazing. It's a buffet for the senses. I, you've got a pig cooking over an open fire. You talk about smelling good! You got the tunes of Rockin'Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters, Wayne Toups, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Doug Kershaw. If you can stand it (and I can't), you can sit back and watch everybody get out there under the porch lights and jitterbug the night away...or like my Daddy says doing the "Cajun Stomp." The cool night air, the laughing, the talking partly in English and partly in French, dancing to Zydeco music, and smelling the best food on Earth cooking only prepares you for what is yet to come. If you think you've had fun so far, just wait til the food is served. You'll think you just died and went to heaven. They pull that pig off the fire and serve it up piping hot. My favorite part is the cracklins or the skin with the white meat attached. Yeee-Yummmm! And you can't miss the dirty rice, crawfish taters, and tater salad.

Once your tummy is full and your feet can't hold you up, it's time to head on home. Now from my own personal experience, I was secretly hoping that my Cajun boy would let me do this again 'cause I had the time of my life. These people had something that as much as I love my North Louisiana family I'd never experienced before. A flair for life? A built-in party gene? I wasn't sure at the time. But thankfully, my Cajun boy liked me enough to hang around and I soon learned what that special spice was. It was something sweet, salty with a little heat. What a combination!

Passion. Everything they did was done with spicey passion. Whether they were partying or selling a car or teaching a classroom of pre-schoolers, they were passionate about what they were doing. I married my Cajun boy and I've tried to live my life with the special spice that made his people so special to me. Now whether I'm riding my horse or organizing my closet, I do it with the zest that I learned from the Cajun people I love so dearly.