As of late I have become very sentimental about things in my childhood. You know as they say you never really appreciate your parents knowledge as a child. Well like just about everyone else that holds true to me as well. I sit here thinking of the special times that we shared as a family during my childhood. I would have to say that the summers that we spent camping on the bayou were the absolute best times that are near my heart. I remember Daddy working extra time on the boats so that he could take off an extra week to spend camping with us. We would pack up all our supplies and head out not just for a weekend camping trip but, for a couple of weeks. When we first started going we would put up the tents and over time we built a camp with my Nanny & her husband and kids. I can still smell the roux cooking as my Nanny was in the kitchen making a huge pot of chicken stew. Oh, how my Nanny can cook. Mmmmm……. She would bring enough groceries for a few days and then once we would go out frog hunting or fishing and get enough for a meal, we would have that. Awww….fresh caught fried catfish & frogs…..that is the best. There is nothing in the world like it. Simple stuff, ya know.
Oh my God, this is such a fond memory for me…..We built an outhouse and put a bathtub in it. Well my uncle ran a hose from the bayou with a pump on the end. Well he was the first one to take a shower and man when that water hit him he yelled, you probably could have heard him for a mile! The water was cold….we laughed so hard! Well when he came out he was laughing just as much! Ahh, the memories……
Well let me get to the meat and potatoes of this story…..I can see Daddy sitting on the bow of the boat, holding a line that he tied around my waist and he had me swimming across the bayou. I can’t remember all what we talked about but, it was the time that he was taking to teach me the danger of the water, the danger of the world. But, you know he taught me so much more than just the danger, he taught me simplicity. The simplicity of life. He taught me that you do not need diamonds and pearls, or a fine mansion. I mean they would be nice but, they are material things. He taught me to appreciate what I have, to work hard for what I want and to give it all I’ve got.
I remember the laughter, the nights that we all sat up playing cards or just talking. I remember us going out frog hunting and being out till almost dawn, we would come back so tired yet, happy and the peace that we had out there. Oh, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. I mean you have the gators, snakes, spiders and God only knows what else out there but, we were not afraid. We knew the dangers because Mom and Daddy taught us about the dangers and what to stay away from and what to look for.
I have been so blessed to have such caring parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to teach the dangers that I would face in this world today. They will never know just how precious those fragrant memories and those once in a lifetime lessons are to me & how they helped shape me into the woman that I am today. I am forever grateful.
I miss those simple times, those precious fragrant memories that sometimes seem so far away in this busy world that we have created for ourselves. I miss family time, I miss the closeness that we all shared, the quality of our relationships.
Dedicated to my wonderful Mom and Dad
Crystal Gilchrist Rodrigue Hoksbergen
March 11, 2015