Thankful for My Acadian Heritage
My favorite moments growing up was going to the camp, deep in bayou country.
Generators run to provide power to the floating camp on the bayou.
45 minute boat ride to paradise.
Visiting the most haunted plantation: The Myrtles in St. Francisville, Louisiana
This is where it began:
My mother's side of the family are of Acadian descent, shortened word is Cajun.
They left France for a better life to settle in Nova Scotia. It was a life of fishing, hunting and freedom of oppression.
Then came "The Deportment" by the British, as the Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance .
The Acadians were deported: some were killed, or placed on a boat. The currents transported the boats.
Some landed in Boston, North Carolina, Haiti and New Orleans.
My family was part of the second wave of the Expulsion, which sent them back to France in the middle 1700's.
Years later they learned the Spanish were recruiting the Acadians to inhabit present day south Louisiana. They were given land, a gun and seeds to begin their new life.
My family saved their money, and departed France once again for a new beginning.
They settled in southwestern Louisiana where they could hunt, fish and grow crops along the bayous.
The area is known as "Acadiana".
They thrived in the bayous with fresh fish, shrimp, crabs, crawfish and hunting.
The bayou soil is very fertile and their crops flourished in the rich black gumbo soil.
My grandparents went to college and became educators.
I remember my grandfather telling me he taught school in Pierre Part.
He used his boat to pick up the children on the bayou to go to school.
The children only knew French language so they taught them English at school.
They were concerned that French, as their only language, they wouldn't be able to communicate with English speaking people.
They hoped the children could then teach their parents how to speak English.
Of course French was their primary language.
My grandparents spoke French in the home, and I picked up a little along the way. When they wanted to speak about something in private, they spoke in French.
Food is always the centerpiece of the Cajun family gathering.
Jambalaya, Andouille gumbo, fried catfish, shrimp and whatever else they can think of, will be the menu.
Whether its cheering on the LSU Tigers or lighting the bonfires on the Mississippi River on Christmas Eve, everyone passes a good time down on the bayou Cher!
When I think of this heritage I think about what my people overcame to come to Louisiana for a new start in a strange land.
I may live in Missouri now, but I'm always a Cajun from Bayou Country.