Archive for June, 2011

People who know me know that I love to travel. In the past six months I’ve logged lots of miles visiting my family in Louisiana and taking the long way back to Tennessee. I’ve met some pretty interesting people along the way. I don’t necessarily want to give them one of my business cards from work, since I’m not on the company’s dime when I’m traveling, so I came up with this idea and it only cost me $10.

VistaPrint, a low-cost printing company, will from time to time offer 250 cards for $10 with free shipping. There are several catches, primarily that you have to use one of their existing templates. And then you have to say “No” to dozens of other offers before you can check out for $10. But if you have patience, you can get some pretty nice travel cards.

This is the latest version of my travel card. An earlier version had my mailing address. But since that’s going to change at least once this year, I waited for another special and ordered this card, which has all of my contact info except for my mailing address.  Sure, it takes 3-4 weeks to get them, but it’s kind of neat to have a card to give to someone like I did earlier this month in my grandmother’s hometown in Mississippi.

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House boat

Katy Lucy

Keri Turner, a professor at Nicholls State University and someone I knew in my childhood, is living the dream today. She built a houseboat using a 47×22 foot aluminum barge and whatever materials she could find. Her goal was to own a “camp,” something a lot of folks have in the swamps and bayous of South Louisiana. (Our camp was on land next to a canal off Lac des Allemands in what was called Back Vacherie then and Pleasure Bend today.)

What she ended up with was a small house on the water. It’s 680 square-feet and has a kitchen, living area, bedroom and bathroom. You can read about her accomplishment in the Daily Comet. (You may need to register to see the story.) Sadly, the newspaper didn’t include pictures of the boat with its story. But you may be able to see some at Keri’s Facebook page.

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A famous small house

The cottage at Ivy Green

I was on vacation last week and stopped off at the childhood home of Helen Keller. It’s a modest home by today’s standards, but when it was built in 1820, I imagine it was huge. The house is filled with furniture, clothes, belongings and memorabilia collected during Ms. Keller’s remarkable life.

But what  caught my eye as I walked up to the house was the small cottage next to it. That’s the place where Anne Sullivan did her “miracle” work, teaching a young Helen Keller language and manners.

The cottage has just two rooms. I suspect the back room was actually a porch that got enclosed at some point. Though it is just a few feet from the main home, Miss Keller didn’t know she was that close to home because they loaded her up on a carriage then drove for several hours before returning to the home.

A cruel trick to play on a blind child, but in this case, the ends justified the means.

The front room

The back room

A side view

The well where she learned "water"

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