Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nola - Accent On Heritage

The older I become, the more that family history and culture soften my heart.  During my teens and early twenties, a constant dream was leaving Louisiana.  I just wanted out of that farm and oil way of life and to experience the world.  My dream can true.  I left Louisiana in the late 70s and have never looked back.  My Dave loves the world and has friends in far flung places.  So we travel, take a rest, and then plan the next outing.

Now, approaching yet another birthday, it seems that my thoughts and my heart long for a hefty dose of HOME once or twice a year.  We still love our dual homes in California - one on the west side of Los Angeles and one in the desert.  We just returned from Barcelona and will be headed to India at the end of the year.  And in between?  Yep, a trip back to the home of my youth for a hefty dose of family and real culture.

Meet Nola.  Nola is a narrow accent scarf with a hefty dose of Louisiana that gives her some character.  You might think that Nola is named for New Orleans, LA.  She sure looks like that could be the case.

But Nola is named for my youth.  Miss Nola did for our across the street neighbors.  She practically raised all the kids on the block.  Nola would make the best popcorn - huge bowls of the stuff.  And then fuss at us for eating too much and "ruining our dinner."  Nola would kick us outside when we made too much noise.  And then wonder where we were.  Oh, freedom.  Small town Louisiana in the 1960s was a time of open back doors, knowing not to ride your bike too far without telling someone and neighborhood kids who fought real fights and then stayed friends.

Some days I miss living immersed in my Louisiana heritage:
- where the term "double first cousin" is part of every family
- where home cooking means that your gumbo tastes different than your neighbor's gumbo
- where a well placed nap is a thing of value
- where going for a ride is a perfectly acceptable family activity
- where azaleas grow bigger than a man and so do the tomatoes
- where memories sustain your for a lifetime.

So, this little scarf is Nola.  Like so many residents of Louisiana, she is a blend of cultural backgrounds.  The yarn is Legong from Mango Moon.  It is hand spun in Indonesia. The metal fleur de lis was found at a bead show in Pasadena, CA.  And an aging Cajun from Eunice, LA combined the two to create a reminder of her foundation in family and culture. 

Life.  A strange and twisty journey.

1 comment:

  1. That's such a sweet and nostalgic post, Lenora! I'm from Southern California, but had a similar life as yours growing up. Everyone on the block knew everyone else. Simpler times. Beautiful scarf!