Saturday, March 5, 2011

Family Traditions

My Aunt Lena was a pistol.  She was a little sprite of a person.  She looked like a little elf.  She was about 4 feet 10 inches tall (that's a guess) and she weighed about 90 pounds dripping wet.  She used to always tell me she was fat.

When Lena met me she was not very friendly.  It took about a year for her to warm up to me, and accept me into the family.  Her sister Lil told me it was because Lena was mad at my mother for not telling her about her secret (me).

From 2003 until 2008 I received an almost weekly newsletter from Lena. She would send them out to the whole family.  I kept 147 of them.  She would tell wonderful stories in them from when she was young and newly married.  Or she would reminisce about being a child in Southwest Louisiana.  She would always end the newsletter with a Cajun joke.

Today I read my cousin Peggy's blog for the first time.  Peggy is Lena's daughter.  Peggy's blog is about her embroidery business Cajun Stitchery.  In it she tells about her life in Florida, her garden, her work, and right now she talks a lot about her Krewe and Mardi Gras.  At the end of her blog I found a Cajun joke.  Just like her mother used to include in her newsletters.  I think that's neat. It brought back so many memories.  Just this one little tradition being carried forth.

It got me thinking about other family traditions.  My family had all the usual traditions, like cooking a turkey at Thanksgiving and putting up a Christmas tree.   We did not have too many traditions that were special just to our family.  The only one I can think of right now was that my mother always had a oil portrait made of the children (my sister and myself and then the grandchildren) when they were two years old and again when they turned 21.

My dad and I did start another one when I turned 21.  Every year at Christmas time he and I would pick a date to go shopping for my mother together.  We would end the evening by going out to dinner and having a drink together.  It was a very special time with my dad.

My husband's family have a tradition at Christmas time.  It has gone on as long as my husband can remember.  Every Christmas Eve his family gathers for Oyster Stew.

My husband and I have quite a few traditions we do.  For example each year at Christmas we buy a "special" ornament; and every year (for the last 13 years) we go to Mardi Gras.

How about you?  Do you have any special traditions?  I know this is not a unique question but I want to know the non-holiday ones.  Traditions like my cousin Peggy's Cajun jokes.

I'll leave you today with one of the Cajun jokes my cousin had on her blog:

Louisiana Declares War on the USA . ONLY IN LOUISIANA !!!!!!! 

President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office when his telephone rang. 

"Hello, Mr.President Obama," in a heavily accented Cajun voice said.
"Dis' is Boudreaux, down here at Slim's in Kinder, I am callin' to tell
y'all that we declaring war on ya!" 

"Well Boudreaux," Barack replied, "This is indeed important news! How
big is your army?" 

"Right now," said Boud, "dere's myself, my brother-in-law Thib, my
next-door-neighbor Bubba, and a few other gator huntn' buddies. Dat
makes eight!" 

Barack paused. "I must tell you Boudreaux that I have one million men
in my army waiting to move on my command." 

"Wow," said Boudreaux. " call ya back!" 

Sure enough, the next day, Boud called again. 

"Mr Obama, de war is on! We got us some infantry equipment!" 

"And what equipment would that be Boudreaux?" Barack asked. 

"We got us two combines, couple of 4 wheelers, a piroque, and Thib's
John Deere.

President Obama sighed. "I must tell you Boudreaux, that I have 16,000
tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also I've increased my army
to one and a half million since we last spoke."
 "Lord above", said Boud, "be getting back to ya."
Sure enough, Boudreaux rang again the next day.

"President Obama, de war is still on! We got ourselves airborne!  Bubba fixed
his ultra-lite wit couple of shotguns in de cockpit, and four vets from the 
VFW signed up!" 

Barack was silent for a minute then cleared his throat. "I must tell
you Boudreaux that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My
military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites.  And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!"

"Oh Lord," said Boud, "Call you back." 

Sure enough, Boudreaux called again the next day.
 "President Obama,  sorry to tell you dat we have called off de war."
 "I'm sorry to hear that"  said Barack. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

Well, sir," said Boudreaux, "we all sat down and had a long chat over a
few beers, and come to think that there's just no way our wives can make
enough gumbo to feed two million prisoners.." 


Happy Mardi Gras Y'all

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