Thursday, August 12, 2010

Odette: Cousin, Aunt and Me

Oh no!  I didn't post anything on Wednesday.  Well, this is the Wednesday post on Thursday. 

I got a phone call on Monday that started out "Peggy, you don't know me but I'm your cousin."  For someone I don't know, I stayed on the phone for 3 hours.  Most of the 3 hours was consumed in me laughing and I mean belly laughing.  That laugh that comes from deep inside.  Of course, it was one of my cajun cousins (pronounced coo-za with the a sounding like the a in man); from that Landry side of the family. 
After I talked with my cousin, I called his mother.  His mother is another cousin that I had never known but we share the same name, Odette.  It's her first name and my middle name. 

We were both named after my aunt who passed away around 1930 or 1931.  Mama was the oldest of 8 children. Mama was born in 1918.  Around 1931 some sort of epidemic hit southwest Louisiana.  As far as I know, no one really knows exactly what kind of epidemic it was.  It was listed as influenza but could have been many things.  Mama said that the family gathered in 2 houses, next to each other.  One was my grandmother's home and the other belonged to an aunt.  Inside the houses were beds.  Everyone was sick.  Many of the family died during that period, including my great grandmother and Odette.  My precious Aunt Philo became deaf.  The best that I understood was that Philo had a high fever.  She went into a coma.  When she came out of the coma, she was deaf.  I believe the fever burned her eardrums.  During that period in those homes, and many homes in the area, you were either sick in bed, or caring for those sick in bed.

My Aunt Odette was only 9 years old when she died.  All of the little girls went to Catholic school at Mt. Carmel in Lafayette.  When Odette died, so Mama said, the nuns took over the funeral because my grandmother was so busy taking care of the sick.  The nuns did our family a great favor.  The funeral was a beautiful ceremony in all white.  Mama said that she heard (Mama also could not attend the funeral because of the ill people in the home) the funeral looked like a procession of angels going into St. John's Cathederal with the little casket.

I cannot even imagine such a thing happening today with modern medicine.  Those who lived through this epidemic were much stronger.  This type of life situation usually builds strong character and most cajuns have very strong character.

Enough of the old stories.  Let's get back to embroidery.  We finished all of the Nereid caps and visors.  There was some debate on how we sell them.  They are, of course, for sale at our Splash party on August 21st at Paradise Bar & Grill beginning at 3 p.m.  The Nereids will all be wearing the lovely pink visors.  However, there are a few of the pink visors extra that will be sold at the event, in addition to the other visors, ponytail caps and ballcaps.

Remember when I went to the photo shoot?  If you haven't already seen it, you need to see the latest edition of the Island Times.  Go to, then go to the news and open the latest edition.  Yep, that's us on the front cover.  Turn the page and Wow!  Look at that fabulous article about the Splash Party.  But what is this?  On the right hand side is one of our ponytail caps.  All I can say is "Thank you Shelley and Ms. Jane!"   So, the war is on.  George purchased brand new water artillery for us.  What are you bringing?

With all of these caps and visors, I have sorely neglected our Etsy shop.  I must fill the shop up again and take care of it.

I have to go clean the house and work on some projects.  We're having a dinner guest this evening.  I just love having company. 

Have a wonderful day.

C'est tout, mes amis

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