Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weeks of whirlwind fun...and work...

A week ago, I returned from my trip to Texas and Louisiana. I got home just in time to check out all the girls here who are headed home after winter semester. And our new batch arrives at the end of this week. Phew! That's the whirlwind of work, and it really isn't terribly exciting, as it is pretty much the same cycle that runs through here every three and a half months or so.

So how about the whirlwind of fun I had?
As I mentioned, I spent a week in Texas and Louisiana with my parents on a genealogical treasure hunt. It was incredibly enjoyable to spend time with them, learn about and get to know some of my mom's family (who we have never really known) and to experience the absolutely perfect southern weather (oh, how wonderful it was to feel the sun WARM my skin!).

The kiddos stayed with my fabulous sister-in-law, and though I was at first worried I would miss them terribly, I quickly realized they were having a blast (with barely any time or desire to take a goodnight phone call!) and I was enjoying the first really GOOD night's sleep I have enjoyed since Squirrel was born almost four years ago (no husband snoring, no little feet kicking me in the face, no punches in the face at six AM with demands to come to the "restaurant" my children have created). It was truly refreshing.

I think I took something like 300 photos over the week, so I certainly won't share them all, but here are a few from the trip.

Some Texas family:
Cousins John, Pat (my mom), Edwina, Sherri, and Sylvia, with my mom's Aunt Dorothy (Edwina's mother)

My lovely, peaceful room while staying at Edwina's

A remaining building of Mansfield Female College, where my great-grandmother attended school from her youth, after her mother was presumed dead. The main three story building no longer stands, but this building remains and a fledgling museum now commemorates the school, one of the first schools for women in the states, and the first in the Louisiana purchase.

My parents, in front of the newer building in front of the college, which houses the museum and artifacts. 

My mom, in front of the W.W. Page house in Robeline, LA. After hours looking up and examining old maps and land records of the area, we decided that if  this is not the house my great-grandmother was raised in, it was next door. At any rate, a great example of houses of the time and we were happy to see that it appears to be undergoing restoration currently. 

Street along the river in Natchidoches (pronounced Nakadish), Louisiana. It was so remarkably lovely here. I felt like I was walking along New Orleans Square in Disneyland, as the weather, the flowers, the streets, the river, all of it, was just too perfect. 
Enjoyed fried alligator, meat pies and gumbo! 

Dad, hauling record books to copy at the Natchidoches Paris courthouse in Louisiana. 

Mom, and cousin Edwina, trying to sort through the mind-boggling maze of records and names...

In St. Francisville, near Baton Rouge, we visited Butler-Greenwood, an estate started by Samuel Flower, who we are eight or nine generations removed from. The estate still sits in the same family down another line, and has since been turned to a bed and breakfast, where we spent two nights. 

(Warning: this estate is run by the meanest woman on the planet. And she apparently HATES "Flower Descendants" whatever you do, don't let her know if you happen to be one!) 

The first day there, we were lucky enough to be escorted to the original cemetery, (which sits on land owned by a cousin of the owner of the plantation home, who was VERY kind and let her husband hike us out there) to view the graves of the descendants whose line we come through. Mom also found a few unknown children who were not in any records. 

Here's Dad, and ahead of him are Sam, our escort, and his friend Jack, who was invited along, apparently, so he could watch for snakes and alligators, and if need-be, defend us with his sling-blade. :)

Crossing the worn out bridge. Sam told us it was a "bit of a walk"...but what it really was ended up being a little closer to a mile hike. And poor Edwina almost didn't make it. 

 The cemetery--though in disrepair, we were able to get some good information here.

The Butler-Greenwood plantation home. Though the plantation was established in 1790, the original home burned and this one was built in 1820. I just love the live oaks that dot the grounds.

  I'll post more pictures later, once I have made it through all of them. For now, we'll be spending time together, enjoying our two or three days off before the next round of girls arrive and Rob starts classes again!



  1. I loved this post. How fun and important this lovely trip was! A great way to have a small family reunion! I'm so glad you got to get away. I remember,as a young mother, you really do NOT realize how much you need a break until you actually get one.

  2. Jealous. Looks like a fun and beautiful trip.

  3. I LOVE the pictures! Sounds like a great adventure, especially sleeping through the night ;)

  4. I became very jealous during the part where you were describing your good night's sleep... I think I am in desperate need one of those! REALLY BAD.


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