Alligators, Snakes, and Spiders are what will forever be engrained in my memory about Louisiana. My wife has become the master spider assassin over the last few months, and I’ve become…well, honestly not much of anything. She tells me when I need to kill the bigger spiders, but she pretty much does it all. That’s the wonderful reward you get for living in Leesville, LA.
I can’t explain the charm this place brings, because I don’t feel like it has much. It’s major source of income are casinos and alcohol sales (that may not be totally fact based, but it’s what I have seemed to observe), and the string of seedy gentlemen’s clubs.
When Layla passed away we did not originally think about the idea of moving back home. It wasn’t even an option for us until someone brought up that we might be entitled to such a move. We looked into it and decided it was worth pursuing.
One thing I cannot leave out is that we will miss some really good people when we leave here. (If you are one of those people, and you are reading this article. Then you should leave a comment so everyone else who reads this will know how awesome you are. Don’t make me name names!) We’ve been blessed with incredible friends during our stay here. It’s not everywhere that you live next door to a man who offers to mow your one acre yard because he knows you don’t have a lawn mower and you’re leaving the next day.
It’s not every community where you have people who will pick up your son for you and drive him an hour to see you while you’re with your other child in the hospital. Or when they offer to keep your child over night because they know you are exhausted and need few hours to reset. Or when they bring you Texas Roadhouse into the family room of the hospital on Valentines day. Throwing decorations and sparkling grape-juice everywhere.
It will always be the place where our daughter was born, and a place where we saw her last. It’s something that brings such dramatically conflicting emotions I can’t even explain it to you.
When we leave this place with it’s terrible roads and run down buildings, I will think of a few things. I will think about the times where I laughed more than the times I cried. Because those times are plentiful. I will think about what a beautiful daughter we brought into this world in this town.
I will think about the first time our son, Corbin, learned to ride his bike in our driveway. And I will think about the people who have made a difference in my life since I arrived here.
Life is about people, it’s not about places. Places are simply a catalyst for people to do what they do best. And while I can think of many better catalysts in this country, I can think of few better people. They do just fine with what they have.
We are off on a new adventure to Fort Campbell, KY and I’m both nervous and really excited. I think there are great things in our near future and we are prepared to tackle them head on. Hopefully within the next year I will be able to say I’m a published author and can steer my professional ship in a new direction. But you know what they say about plans – they are wonderful until it’s time to execute.
I posted the featured picture above last night on Instagram, but I don’t think there is any picture that does this place justice any more than it does. The sunset was beautiful last night. It seemed fitting because it literally rained from noon until we went to bed last night and then that sky happened. There is a little charm to this state, but you have to look a little deeper than most.
If Louisiana has taught me only one thing, it’s to be open to what something has to offer. It won’t always be right there in the open, sometimes you have to be patient and observant. But everywhere you go there will be something new and interesting, and if your eyes are closed then you could totally miss it.
I’ve been bitter since the first day I stepped into this state, but the day that I leave it’s a tiny bit sad. We made a lot of good memories here (accompanied with some that sting) and it will forever leave a mark on our family.
Louisiana – if you can hear me, thanks for the lessons. I’ll see you on the flip side.