Fortunately, I've discovered Lake Charles boasts more than just smelly unsightly industrial plants. The lake itself is lovely. The cypress swamps are dark and mysterious, carpeted with pine needles and dripping with spanish moss. Head south and see mile after mile of marsh grass and water. Truly a bird-lovers' paradise.
Finding a house in one week over the kids' Easter break proved to be a frustrating task. We exhausted and exasperated our real estate agent, dear Mary Ann Booth, but finally had an offer accepted on a new home in Moss Bluff, ten miles north of Lake Charles. We had prayed that God would lead us to where He wanted us to be. And the decision has proven to be a good choice in many ways.
One day during that stressful week, we diverted our attention and did some sightseeing. We drove down the Creole Nature Trail, which is LA-27 south to Holly Beach, across the Cameron Ferry, and returning north on LA-14. We oohed and aahed over alligators lounging roadside. And our hearts broke to discover there were still so many signs, even (then) two years later, of the devastation after hurricane Rita; blue-tarped roofs, blown-out business signs, vehicles and even houses tilted askew in the middle of marsh grass. Cameron Parish lies south of Calcasieu (Lake Charles) Parish along the coast. Many of its residents only recently completed their recovery efforts when, a week and a half ago, Hurricane Ike roared and rolled ashore, flooding the low-lying wetlands once more.
So, knowing that we'd found a new home, the boys and I left Bob and returned to Pittsburgh so they could finish 6th grade with their friends at Ross Elementary. And say goodbye.