Oh, Bing. How did you know? There is nothing I would rather do.
Hopefully, chemo and radiation will be OVER.
Beignets and coffee with chicory from Lizette in the morning. Wearing clothes for 60 degree weather instead of 0 degrees....
Sitting on the porch in rockers or swaying in the porch swing while we chat lazily ("make the veiller")with Uncle Henri and Aunt Eugenie. Nephew Rene coming up to see if Liv wants to go fishing with him on Lake Borgne to go catch a mashwarohn (catfish...) Looking out over Lake Ponchartrain. Uncle Henri telling Liv to "Watch for the caimon, boo!" (Alligator....)
A fais do do. Doing the Lake Charles Slide. The Whiskey River Jitterbug.
Walking up St. Charles Street. Picking out our future residence.
Finding a little lagniappe in every day.
Wearing a big hat and walking around The French Quarter. Paying WAY too much for a po' boy and some beer. Going into all the funky little shops. Buying some new tarot cards. Having my tarot cards read by a not-so-great reader, but that's okay. Finding that perfect little dress.
Listening to Bing lapse into Cajun with her relatives:
Don't you be making a bahbin at me, pischouette! (Stop pouting...)
Cho! Co! (Said every time something is exciting or newsy...)
You and your Cunja eyes (A Cunja is a spell.)
Wanna be my gaienne? (girlfriend)
Why do ya wanna live so far up the bayou? (Anyplace north)
Liv speaks French, but Uncle Henri and Aunt Eugenie tell her it is fancy pantsie French and by the time we leave, Liv is spouting Cajun right along with Bing while I am just beginning to catch on.
The soft easy syllables of New Orleans flying all around me. The slower pace everywhere until it finally rubs off on me and I learn to meander around instead of walk briskly.
The indescribable smell of the old sugar cane plantation that Uncle Henri and Aunt Eugenie live on. The feeling that that old main house has seen SO much, good and bad. Walking at night, by myself, I go all shivery with it but I am totally beguiled by it at the same time. Pulled in, HARD.
The way Bing's eyes go all soft and tender as soon as she steps off the plane on to her home state, her home city, her family.
I can't think of a more wonderful place to spend Christmas.
YES! I say this to Bing. Tell her to write Aunt Eugenie right away. Does she have room for 3 Christmas guests?
Bing laughs. OF COURSE SHE DOES. She'll have that fais do do planned within days! Are you sure we want to skip Chicago or not have it here like we usually do?
My arms are around her neck. NO. I want to GO. I want to plan to GO. I want to dream about going. I want to think of a time when I don't have a port embedded in my skin, when I'm not weekly hooked up to one IV or another.
I want to wear a bright yellow dress on Christmas and go for a long walk where I do NOT get tired and there is NO snow.
I want to eat so much gumbo and etouffee and I'll even try blood sausage, I will. I want to be full of beignets and coffee.
I want to close my eyes and hear those soft trills of New Orleans and the gritty balloos in The French Quarter.
I want. I want. I want.
We text Liv to see if she is up for Christmas in New Orleans. She is.
I can't wait. Something to dream about.
Wrap me up and send me to New Orleans. Soon.