Monday afternoon I headed to my old neighborhood to pick up dinner. It’s been at least 12 years since I lived there and I still miss it. Mostly for the peace and quiet, but also because of the quirks my neighbors had.
It’s a little community called Chacahoula, which means “beloved home” in Choctaw. Located in the Atchafalaya Basin, it’s not much of a community. There’s no post office and only one convenience store. The fire department is shared with three other little communities in the area.
Growing up out there, it was nothing to see Copperheads, cottonmouths, water moccasins, deer, raccoons, and even a cougar. I didn’t actually see the cougar, my brother did, but I heard it one morning. Yup. I used to have to catch the bus before the break of dawn to get to school on time and let me tell you, it was dark out there. Sixteen years old, waiting for the bus, I heard what sounded like a woman scream along the deer trail that ran beside our house. It was only later that we found out about the cougar. My vivid imagination had a field day with that, I tell you.
It wasn’t just the wildlife and quiet I enjoyed. There’s something about little communities like this that bring out the strangeness in people. It was nothing to see someone driving their tractor or lawnmower down the road to the convenience store for a beer. Yes, apparently these are perfectly normal modes of transportation.
When I went to this same store (because they make wicked good po-boys) on Monday, I saw a man get on his lawnmower and head down the street. I sat for a minute thinking about how much I kind of miss seeing the regulars puttering up the street every day.
I’m sure it isn’t something reserved for Chacahoula. My friend lived in another community called Gheens and people rarely used their cars to visit each other. Instead, they relied on golf carts to go up and down the street. When I say “street” I mean a road. Both Chacahoula and Gheens are situated on roads several miles long.
I’ve been living in a subdivision so long, I forgot those little country quirks. I just hadn’t realized how much I would miss them.
Is there something in your neck of the woods that makes you chuckle? What weird quirks do you see people in your neighborhood/community do?