Zwolle Tamale or Natchitoches Meat Pie….

Article and Photos by Reba

Everyone has that dreaded question that absolutely sounds like nails on a chalkboard when they hear it.

When are you getting married?

When are you having children?

Why don’t you have children?

How much do you weigh?

Seriously, no one really asks that last one but I’m thinking it may not be a very welcomed question. Everyone has that trigger.

Mine is much worse than that. It’s much deeper. It’s a question I cannot even answer for myself. While it may seem simple to some it causes me loads of anxiety. With meeting so many different people it comes up quite often. Like, with every single conversation.

It would be easy to lie about it. I think people are too busy to become fact checkers. Hopefully they are, but if they were to casually look at my Facebook there is always a discrepancy on this subject.

Where are you from? Seems easy enough. But oh you have no idea how this makes me want to hibernate in a fetal position and cry, “I don’t know, for God’s sake leave me alone!”

While not that dramatic of a trigger you must understand it is distressing.

Most of the time your birth certificate will indicate where your mother gave birth. In my case it only means you lived in the sticks and there was no birthing facility in that town. From birth until Kindergarten Zwolle was my home. Weekends and holidays were spent on either end of Toledo Bend depending on which side of the family we were visiting.

Ebarb or Zwolle is where I spent most of my days (insert Fresh Prince background music).

My first grade year we left the Zwolle Tamales behind for greener pastures and Natchitoches Meat Pies. We enjoyed the last few years of the Don Theater, the Amphitheater and the glory days of the Natchitoches Skating Rink. The summer that Hollywood came to town my father decided it was a good time to accept his calling to become a Pastor.

Just so happens that this call was coming from Goldonna. So we traded the Natchitoches Meat Pies and Hollywood for summers at Salt Works and kicking a can to and from Mr. Pete’s store for entertainment. Mind you these were the days before “circle calling” and it was long distance to phone my friends “back in town.” My parents guarded that South Central Bell phone bill like their life depended on it.

After my high school years in Goldonna I found my way to the Piney Woods of Winn Parish for marriage and the birth of two beautiful daughters. The next 13 years we witnessed the birth of the Hog Dog Trials and the growth of the amazing Krewe of Kingfish Mardi Gras celebrations. Through career blessings we decided to relocate to Natchitoches to be closer to my job, also making it an easier commute for my spouse at the time.

Meat pies here we come again.

Being back in Natchitoches since 2007 has been like coming home in many ways but not everyone in the house felt the same at the time. Insert a short lived hunger strike so boldly executed by my oldest child. Her pediatrician assured me she would eat again when she was hungry and she did. Other than that it was a seamless transition. Reconnecting with old elementary and junior high school friends and making many new friends was a huge blessing to our family.

Zwolle Tamale or Natchitoches Meat Pie….

You see the amazing places I have to choose from and this is not even taking into account my deep love and affection for the Creole Cane River area. As much as David Stamey and I self-identify as being Creole… this is simply not the case. He and I will have to settle for being a mere guest at the world famous Cloutierville Mardi Gras Parade.

There are many old sayings about home.

“Home is where the heart is.”

“Home is not a place its a feeling.”

And maybe Dorothy was on to something when she said, “There’s no place like home.”

Sometimes when it’s easy to let my anxiety have this part of my history, I have to remind myself what 2 Corinthians 5:1 says.

“For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”

Zwolle or Natchitooches

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