I was born and raised in south Louisiana, in a little town called Forked Island. My childhood was similar to those that are raised in these parts, and to those that aren't, coming here and experiencing the Cajun way of life would be
like going to a foreign country and suffering the worse "culture shock" could imagine. As soon as I was out of diapers, I was on the back of a horse, being taught the "way of the land." Raising cattle, hunting nutria rat, breaking
horses, hunting, fishing, crabbing, was the life I knew. Life was good in the south. I learned a lot and I grew up right... I think.
After graduating high school, I joined the United States Navy and served 4 years defending this great country. The opportunities the Navy gave me were plenty and I was able to travel and see parts of the world I never thought I
would. I fell in love with lots of places, cultures, and people during those 4 years, and looking back, I met some of the best people I have ever known. After leaving the military, I ventured out west in 2003 and worked on a horse ranch in
Montana for a season. Moved to Jackson Hole Wyoming for a year before heading on back to my roots.
There is certainly something about "home" and being "home" and I believe everyone can relate to that expression one way or another. But, when you are from the south, the deep deep south, there's something more. After spending the
years away, it was when I came back home that I had a new found respect and appreciation for where I came from and how I was raised. My best friend has always told me that out of all the countries we have visited in the world combined, South Louisiana is like no place she had ever been to in the entire world... and I think she's right.
One thing I remember very clearly in my childhood is when my dad decided to put me on an old mule named Jenny. I hated riding Jenny. She was old, stubborn and just plain difficult. It would take her 2 acres before she would follow a
command and turn, and it would take her another 4 acres before she would stop.
She was hands down, the toughest ride I have ever had. I remember getting so mad and would ask my dad, "Why do I have to ride Jenny?" He would laugh and tell me that if I can learn to control that stubborn mule, I would be able to control any horse that he would put me on. I didn't understand what he meant until I was much older, but now I know that that was some of the best southern advice a Louisiana girl could ever get.