image of Mississippi River bending through New Orleans
We crossed that river a lot of times in 18 years. A lot. That Old Man river… Copyright by WyoJones. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

While the math is a bit sobering, I can’t make it add up any differently. It was—gulp—thirty years—and almost exactly two months ago—that we began our journey toward knowing what it means to miss New Orleans.

The hubs and I drove there from Texas with one daughter, a one-month-old baby and a six-weeks old, new hip (the hubs). We looked a bit like shell-shocked refugees from a war-torn country. Our realtor called us “you poor things” and offered to do our laundry.

It was an AD-venture (exciting) and a NUD-venture (painful, but spun as fun by the hubs) for our family. The hubs and I both grew up in Wyoming, which is, in so many ways, as opposite as you can get from New Orleans.

New Orleans is mostly hot and humid. (I think I grew gills living there.)

Wyoming is mostly cold and dry.

Even though I’ve lived in the South longer than I lived in Wyoming, I still stop and stare when the rain ramps up. We can get more rainfall in an hour here than they get during a whole year in Wyoming.

New Orleans is the Big Easy. Mardi Gras is a city-wide party that takes weeks.

Wyoming is not, well, easy. For example, when your truck passes the truck of an acquaintance, you wave your index finger without lifting it from the steering wheel. If they are family, they get two finger wave. If you wave your whole hand, then you stop to find out what’s wrong.

New Orleans is low, like, below sea level in places. Like, the sea is up there and New Orleans is down there. In the swamp.

Wyoming is high. I grew up 4,000 feet above sea level. I had no idea you could live below sea level and not have the sea in your house all the time, not just now and then.

So, yes, there was a period of adjustment. I chronicled some of my adjusting in a column I wrote for my hometown newspaper. In a funny twist, my sister still gets complimented for writing it. (We look alike and people see her more than they see me. She also gets asked when she’s going to release a new book. She used to tell them she wasn’t me. Now she just says she’s “working on it.” Then she tells me to get busy because I’m making her look bad.)

Anyway, we spent 18 years learning about New Orleans and falling in love (then falling out again during hurricane season). I know what it means to miss New Orleans. So when I was thinking about writing a series about a law enforcement family, well, I had to go “home,” if only in my imagination.

I had big plans for The Big Uneasy, but Life Happened. A lot.

I got Relatively Risky out in 2013 and then a short story called “Family Treed,” also released in 2013. Yeah. You’ve probably noticed that it’s 2015. And I did release a New Orleans book last year, but that was the Uneasy Future series, which is a spin-off, but yeah, different.

A lot of stuff happened in between 2013 and right now, but this isn’t a whine-one-one blog post. This is a celebration of New Orleans and my personal celebration about finally getting Dead Spaces on track to release in May.

Yes, May. I don’t have an exact day yet, but it will be out there by May 31st. Unless I die. That might slow it down. Otherwise, watch for it and please let my sister know you’re glad she finally got it done.

In the run up to the release of Dead Spaces, I’m going to be writing about what I miss the most about New Orleans. And I might share a few things I don’t miss as much. I hope you’ll join me in this trip down memory lane and maybe you’ll learn what it means to miss New Orleans, too.

Have you lived/visited New Orleans? What’s was your favorite thing? What do you miss the most? You know I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,

Pauline

 

Dead Spaces cover art
Be careful what you dig for…

While you’re waiting for May release of Dead Spaces, you can read Relatively Risky right now!

 

How I Came to Miss New Orleans
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4 thoughts on “How I Came to Miss New Orleans

  • April 27, 2015 at 11:45 am
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    Great post, Pauline! Of late, I have considered returning to the West (from N FL), although not Wyoming. The climate is too harsh, and I am too used to green in as many shades as possible. What keeps me here is much of what you said, although the panhandle of FL is not New Orleans. The series sounds interesting. Best of luck with it.
    Karen
    KM Huber recently posted…Stay Open to Life: It is RiggedMy Profile

    • April 27, 2015 at 3:58 pm
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      We are going to try to saddle the line, live part time here in South and part time in Wyoming. I’ll admit that Wyoming is calling me home. The hubs is more worried about the harsh climate. lol

      Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

  • April 27, 2015 at 10:37 am
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    I like New Orleans a lot. I might love it. I absolutely love the old houses in the Garden District, wandering through cemeteries, and dining at a hole in the wall place called Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar–best fish tacos in the world. And I have eaten fish tacos everywhere. Or tried them. I know a not-so-good fish taco in one bite.

    I haven’t lived in New Orleans. In fact, I refused to move there, which may or may not have truly ruined my husband’s career, as he used to complain. (He’s turned out to be fairly successful, despite me.) He stopped complaining about my NO New Orleans policy one hurricane season. The truth is I couldn’t figure out school systems. We had one in pre-school, one in elementary, one in middle and one in high school all at the same time and none of them had a driver’s license yet–not that I would have felt any better. Let’s just say life was difficult enough in Spring, Texas without moving to the Unknown that Be a. Swamp Below Sea Level. We lost a house in a flood in Houston once upon a time. Enough said.

    Anyhow, I love visiting New Orleans. Especially at the beginning of Spring when other places are still buried in snow and N.O. gardens are blooming. (There’s also Cafe Amelia, or something like that, that I love!) The photo ops are limitless and I

    I would adore a New Orleans trip… say, NOW, when the butt-ugly-dirty snow still hanging out in my backyard is merely inching away like an old glacier.

    GREAT blog post, Pauline! My very favourite. (Yes, I’m embracing Canadian spelling now and then–but NOT snow on the ground in last April or, for Pete’s sake, May!)

    • April 27, 2015 at 10:56 am
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      I wouldn’t have moved under those conditions either. Believe me, the schools are scattered in NO. You’d have lived in your car! But in the spring? NO is at its best for sure. Coming from Wyoming, I couldn’t believe the GREEN and so many shades of it.

      Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed the post. I’m loving the trip back, though when I write my food post, I might be dying a little. LOL

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