SHARE – Mothers Are Closer To God – Honor UR Mother While She Is With U – Worship Her When She Is Gone – Attend This Inspirational & Touching Service Honoring Mothers

“Men are what their mothers made them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hold mothers in the deepest regard. I believe that mothers are closer to heaven than any other humans.

For example, when I learned about the magnificence of the human body, it became undeniable that God is real. Man could never create such a magnificent creation as a human being. A mother can, though.

I give mothers spiritual reverence because of this. They make a covenant with the Universal Divine Mother (God) to create children. Childbirth is a partnership between Mothers & God.

My mother was incredibly special to me. She’s, my angel. I’ve said repeatedly that we should honor mothers while they are here. and worship them when are gone. I worship my mother today and honored her when she was with me, especially while in my care, in her later years.

Continue reading “SHARE – Mothers Are Closer To God – Honor UR Mother While She Is With U – Worship Her When She Is Gone – Attend This Inspirational & Touching Service Honoring Mothers”

Guest Blogger – Harry Cline – New Caregiver – The Best Advice for Seniors Considering Their Lifestyle Options

For the first-time caregiver, taking care of a loved one can be overwhelming so there is a bit of responsibility for seniors to plan for the day when they may need someone to care for them.  But they must also plan for having a sustainable lifestyle that makes their later years their finer years.

Though the experience of caregiving can get grueling, if plans are not in place, seasoned caregivers will tell you, with a little guidance, it can also be one of the most fulfilling experiences life has to offer.

Harry Cline has compiled some of the internet’s best resources to give you a head start on your caregiver’s journey by preparing seniors to someday be cared for by another while remaining comfortable until that time comes.


Harry Cline, of New Caregiver, submitted this post for seniors to select their ‘Senior Lifestyle Options’.  I appreciate him.  Thanks, Harry!

I have taken the audacity to interject in Harry’s content that senior lifestyle preparation is the precursor to senior caregiving.  In retrospect, I would advise seniors to plan their lives and lifestyle with this inevitability in mind. 

…Someone may have to care for you later in your life.  Be realistic about it.  Kevy


As having served as a sole caregiver for my mother as she approached 100 years old, I will not glamourize the journey of caregiving for an elder, especially when coming from a large family, and having a mother who made no concrete plans for her care.  It was a topic that she and the family avoided.

 Fortunately, my experience ended as one of the most profound in my life. 

But glamour came only after my work was done, and God took over.  Now, I smile every day that I think of my mother, knowing that I gave all that I could when she needed me, as she did when I was a child, and I needed her. 

I did not realize until years later, that it would be “the most fulfilling experiences life has to offer.”

But still, I must admit that it would have been a lot easier if she had laid out her wishes and plans as though that day would come because it did. Continue reading “Guest Blogger – Harry Cline – New Caregiver – The Best Advice for Seniors Considering Their Lifestyle Options”

Mothers Have A Special Connection With God – Honor Them While They Are With U – Worship Them When They Are Gone

Originally Published on Mother’s Day 2020; Updated May 2, 2021 for Mother’s Day 2021

2021

This is what I call a freehand post.

This is why I am posting it so late into the morning, for me. I generally wake up early in the morning with the spirits, good ones of course.

I am in Washington Park, Denver Colorado, USA. I’m about to ground, pray, and meditate.

Today is Mother’s Day. This is always an emotional time for me because I loved my mother intensely. We loved and trusted each other equally. You could say I was her Golden Child. I treated her like a queen. Caring for her in her final year near costed every thing I possessed, nearly my life. And, if I could have given, for her, I would have.

I travelled the world with her, Africa, Europe, The US, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Middle East, and more. She was “my favorite girl in the world”.

This was magical for her, She was a humble woman, born into servitude.

She lived through the Great Depression, the Spanish Influenza Pandemic, served as a maid for nearly 50 years, raising 5 children, and 9 of her own.

She was left to solely care for her mother and grandfather and forgave her high school education to serve, when called.

She was incredible, born on the Day of the Feast of the Guardian Angels!

She is now my Guardian Angel.

She taught me how to smile, through storms, and how to conquer them.

She placed fire in my heart to be passionate in Faith, Truth, Determination, and Serving, or not at all.

She is the foundation of who I am.

Continue reading “Mothers Have A Special Connection With God – Honor Them While They Are With U – Worship Them When They Are Gone”

Fighting Over Momma – But Fam – You Said You Loved Me…Yeah Right

Real Talk On Family Betrayal – Don’t Believe Those Closest To You Won’t Deceive You

This post is deeply personal.

It made me the convicted man that I am today. The experience of solely caring for my mother to the disdainful evil undermining of my siblings, extended family, friends and their cohorts molded me.

It spiritually transformed me.

It revealed to me the existence of fake-faithful and evil in my inner circle. It revealed who I am, and who I’m not.

It taught me that race doesn’t really matter though we’ve built our civilization around this man-made invention.
“Only spirit matters.” ~ Kevy

Caring for my mother in the latter years of her 96 years on earth broke me, then rebuilt me.

Though it nearly killed me, and caused me to lose nearly everything I’d owned, I never relented in my obligation to my mother, and to God.

I created the Seasons As My Teacher blog after years of grieving and regaining my health. In response, I was led to write about how this experience changed me.
Betrayal and deception ultimately became wisdom and discernment. ~ Kevy
“It was like poison that turned to medicine.” – Tina Turner

To exemplify further that I give equal time to the races, I am open to say that the terror that I and my mother experienced was done by Black people.
There is plenty of evil in the Black race, and in my family. …In all races, though perhaps not institutionalized.
Ironically, nearly everyone who came to our aid during my mother and my trials wasn’t Black or family.
Repeatedly, God sent angels to us who were often White or Latino, some that we did not know.

This is a kick-start to old and new posts on Terror on the Caregiver, to be ultimately be retitled to Fighting Over Momma.
It will be presented in a series of posts over time, just as is 7 Days 7+ Quotes, Devirusize, Seven Spiritual Laws, and Poetrimony series.
“Lil Eunice, I still love you….even more.” ~ Kevy

Original Post – July 2018

I was raised Catholic. My mother was devout. As a result, I know a whole lot about the importance of prayer and faith, but not much about the bible.

I can’t recite stories or verses off of the top of my head, like holy rollers.

But that doesn’t bother me. I don’t need a facade of ‘the word‘ to deflect from my true spirit, my true essence.

My sincerity exudes on its own. My spirituality is more organic, gained through life’s trials.

I follow no rules because rules are written in a book. Those rules are written on my heart.

I simply follow the spirit of God within me, and later find that there was a spiritual law for that.

“We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.” – Tennessee Williams

Continue reading “Fighting Over Momma – But Fam – You Said You Loved Me…Yeah Right”

7 Days 7+ Quotes – Integrity – A Value We Impose On Ourselves – It Says Everything About Who We Are – 9 Tips to Help You Strengthen Your Integrity

“Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.” – Proverbs 12:22

Integrity is one of my most valuable virtues.

Now that I am well on my spiritual journey, maintaining Integrity has become of greater importance in every choice that I make or action I take.

The reason I give Integrity such importance has to do partly with my age and experience.  And, having had many people in my life who were not “of their word”.  …Friends, Family, and Colleagues.

The choices and challenges that I face today are generally not new ones. As they say, ‘This is not my first rodeo’. It seems that most of the choices I face today are ones in which I am already well-experienced. On most challenges to my Integrity, I have made incorrect choices in the past, and am well aware of the consequences of not being true. So, I ensure that I am, no matter what the truth may bear.

It may not be easy for others to make the correct choices, and to be regarded as men or women of their my word.  …Not I!

Aging has also caused me to focus more on a legacy. My legacy is important to me. The reason it is of such importance is that when God comes for me, I want to be able to leave a message, purpose, and inspiration behind for others.

I am very serious about leaving a legacy. My tombstone is already engraved with: ‘His mission on Earth is complete’.

I simply do not see my life today as exclusively dedicated to myself. I do for others in daily deeds, but also for my best virtues to be reflected upon and be useful to others.

My poetry, stories, social media content, and blog posts reflect the legacy that I am creating. I practice what I preach, believe the things I write, eat the foods I recommend, and follow the health regimens that I write about. Continue reading “7 Days 7+ Quotes – Integrity – A Value We Impose On Ourselves – It Says Everything About Who We Are – 9 Tips to Help You Strengthen Your Integrity”

I Enjoy Being In Solitude More Than Being With People – Maybe I Love Myself Too Much? – It May Be Just For A Season – But I Prefer To Be By Myself Right Now

If ever there was a time to enjoy Solitude, now is that time.  Let me give you a few reasons:  Truth Decay, Racism, Hate, The Lobster, Riots, COVID19, Uncertainty, etc.  This post reveals that I am spending most of my free time alone.  …And I am joyous!  God is there with me showing me how beautiful I am, and where I may have gone wrong.  …Or did I?  Was it all for my greater good?  Kevy

I was speaking to a friend the other day and I was telling her that I am not sure if I could ever be in a close relationship, live with another person or even engage with my family.  She agreed with me for much the same reasons.

I know it sounds a little strange but it’s not at all.  I’m in spirit now more than into people.  I enjoy Being alone.  I have so many rituals that I follow which keeps me at a higher vibration.  …Rituals such as grounding on a regular basis, meditation, and prayer daily.  I have a lot of health rituals such as juicing, also do mineral baths, with salt and oils.  I have a creative side where I’m writing, making videos, as well as putting content out on the blog.

It’s almost impossible for me to do these things and not leave another person or make them feel ignored.  I’ve gone through this before.  Yet I am not lonely.  I enjoy this time.  There are a lot of different reasons for this.  Continue reading “I Enjoy Being In Solitude More Than Being With People – Maybe I Love Myself Too Much? – It May Be Just For A Season – But I Prefer To Be By Myself Right Now”

SHARE – In This Season We Must Meditate, Pray, Ground & Listen To Music That Inspires & Makes U Happy – Over 50 Playlists Of Go-To Happy Music! – Reggae, Gospel, African, Cuban, Latino, Jazz, Disco, House & More! – Music To Take Those Blues Away! – …Far Away!

Audio

I hope that most people who read my post don’t think that I’m full of rage and anger because I’m not.

I am simply a Black man who has been through a lot of trials, and who’s well-traveled, analytical, educated, and brave enough to speak my mind. I really don’t care if my reality has a dismal aspect. It is simply what I’ve experienced in my life, good, bad, and ugly.

Though many Black people don’t speak their true minds, I do my best to encourage them to speak their minds in response to my opinions, even if they disagree with me. I won’t shun them. Sometimes they do comment on my posts. Sometimes they do so in private. Many despise me because of my views as oppose to discussing why they feel differently. That their “monkey”, not mine. I will explain “The Monkey” in a future post.

But I am only sharing with you how I managed through The Revolution that we’re currently in. …And, through the trials that you may experience.

For one, I manage through practicing daily meditation. I’ve done so for about 30 years. I have posted on meditation, as well as on prayer, which too is a long-time daily practice of mine. I do grounding as well. All these things keep me at a higher vibration in spite of expressing frustrations with the things that I’ve experienced. …The things I experienced today. …The trials in which I’ve endured.

But this post is about music. Music is a big part of my life. I see it as the background theme music of every scene and mood in my daily life. …As if my life is video content. I use music to calibrate my mood and spirit whenever it requires calibration.

Continue reading “SHARE – In This Season We Must Meditate, Pray, Ground & Listen To Music That Inspires & Makes U Happy – Over 50 Playlists Of Go-To Happy Music! – Reggae, Gospel, African, Cuban, Latino, Jazz, Disco, House & More! – Music To Take Those Blues Away! – …Far Away!”

Spiritual Vs Religious – Oh Yea I’m Going There – Religious Drama – They Should Have Listened To Their Momma – 15+ Reasons Why I Question Religious Drama

If you have reviewed at least a few of my over 200 blog posts (and now podcasts) you would clearly know that I am not a big fan of organized religion.

Like many people, I have adopted the position of being spiritual, but not religious. At times, I despise religion. …Too much drama. I am amazingly comfortable with my position until I am changed in mind (through experience and research) and spirit (through God’s intervention).

In this post, I reveal 15+ reasons why I shy away from Religion and Religious Drama. Some of the most negative experiences that I’ve had were with Religious people. …Ones who judge about what I would call minor sins such as using profanity, eating pork, or being too proud, while they blatantly violate in worst ways.

As I am judged by them, I could think of a plethora of violations that they make, “In the name of Jesus/Allah”. I don’t tell them directly. I tell them in general through my creative, written, and media works. But I admit that it is a bit frustrating.

I try my best to stay clear of these types of people, though they seem to be drawn to me. I simply respect their beliefs (for them) but fully exercise my right to free will and thought. They spit on me with scripture, while I realize that the bible has 900 versions, and the Quran has 30. I consider that there are missing books, slavery’s influence, and man’s interpretation, depriving me of mine. I am not sure that they realize this.

Continue reading “Spiritual Vs Religious – Oh Yea I’m Going There – Religious Drama – They Should Have Listened To Their Momma – 15+ Reasons Why I Question Religious Drama”

If U Cared For UR Mother & Now She Is Gone – U Will Like This Post – If U Neglected Her or Conspired To – Go To Hell!

I finished this poem this morning while sitting on the grass in a park, reflecting.  I was Grounding in multiple ways.

I translated the poem in various languages based on website views, by country.   I used Google Translate to convert it from English.  Please let me know if the translation is correct, in any language.

I love my mother very much, in any language.

I wrote the poem in this post on my smartphone so there isn’t much glitz and glamor to offer. 


I don’t expect those who were not willing to be caregivers for their mother to understand why 6 years after my mother transcended, I continue to worship her like she is still here. 

I certainly don’t expect my fake-faithful siblings, family members, and New Orleans’ Metro non-profit deviously-operated senior agencies to appreciate this post.  This is not for them.  But, there is a slight possibility that one or two may be reflective on their deeds and surrender their sins against their mother (or someone else’s) to God.

They have the freedom to not receive these messages by asking me to not send them my post, or they can just ignore them.  Lately, they’ve said nothing and believe in their imaginary innocence. …for six years now.


This post is for those who really love their mothers, who cared for them in their final days, as I did with honor.  This is for those same beautiful children of God who believe that their mother is still with them, protecting and watching over them.


As for the other losers, who neglected their mother when she was near death, for greed, power, or resentment, or those who were complicit in the sabotage of a frail mother’s well-being, may you enjoy your day in hell.  You will meet a lot of your relatives and friends there.   

I am sure that my siblings, family members, and New Orleans agencies that participated in the Terror Against The Caregiver (Me or You) are destined for hell, if not already there on Earth.


I cannot see or talk directly to my mother today.  For that, I have no regrets.  She’s left me with a lot of fond memories.  I can feel her spirit in me, and around me. 

I believe that only those who have shown God’s love to their mothers, when they were frail and dying, get to gain such access to their spirit when they become Guardian Angels, as my mother did.  She was born on October 2, 1918, the day of the Feast of the Guardian Angels day


Thanks, Lil Eunice for granting me access to your spirit.  Thanks for your guidance and protection.  Thanks, God for allowing me to access you, through my dear Lil Eunice!


As for the ungodly ones, in my family circle, and outside of it, I hope it pains you, not having such access, but instead, having access to the pain you caused her before she ascended to heaven. 

I am not being cruel.  Everyone must pay someday for their deeds, I included. 

They too, however, do have access to God, but only in Truth & Surrender to his Truth.  May they open that door, I pray.

…May they change their wicked ways.  Ironically many of my siblings are mothers.  With regard to those for whom this post resonates, I am sure that your caregiving antagonizers are mothers too.  In fact, nearly all of my only siblings that remain on Earth today are mothers.  They all had a mother, a beautifully spiritual and strong one.   Their day of reckoning shall come. 

There is nothing that I must do to facilitate their future or present crisis moment.  God has got that covered.  I only need to remain Truthful and Faithful.  That I am.   Continue reading “If U Cared For UR Mother & Now She Is Gone – U Will Like This Post – If U Neglected Her or Conspired To – Go To Hell!”

The Law of Giving & Receiving – Notice No “S” – It’s One Law With 2 Parts – We Have 1 Hand For Giving & 1 Hand For Receiving – We Must Use Both Hands To Get The Law Right! – Let Me Explain

This post is on the Spiritual Law of Giving & Receiving, taken from Deepak Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, that I read over 20 years ago.

The principles presented in this short book are as dear to me as are the bible’s principles. I have distributed copies of this book to others around the world. I live by all seven of its principles.

If you read this book (less than 90 pages), you can get a good idea as to how my spiritual mind works. You will see its principles reflected in my posts and opinions. It is reflected in how I live. It especially influences how I give. It includes a chapter devoted to Giving & Receiving on which I will explain in this post.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Deepak’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success was very instrumental in my spiritual transformation. It explains spiritual principles in multi-metaphysical dimensions. It presents spirituality scientifically, astrologically, psychologically, emotionally, and practically, while I perceive the bible as not being as multidimensional. The book does not contradict the bible, though, it expands it. Every principle can be associated with biblical principles. I suggest that you read it as I have many times.

I have wanted to write this post for months now, but could not muster up the creative energy to do so. I may appear to have it all together, based on the content that I create, but I have flaws and bad days just like everyone else. I practice and passionately believe wholeheartedly in the perspectives I share, but that does not mean that I do not experience seasons in my life like everyone else.

Continue reading “The Law of Giving & Receiving – Notice No “S” – It’s One Law With 2 Parts – We Have 1 Hand For Giving & 1 Hand For Receiving – We Must Use Both Hands To Get The Law Right! – Let Me Explain”

My Mother’s Body Expired Yesterday – My Heart Was Ignited By Her Spirit – Caregivers & Empaths Will Understand Why I Am Not Sad

This post is a bit of a test.  I used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prepare it because I needed it to be published on May 14th.

My true feelings are reflected in the post, but I needed to get this post out quickly before the day ended, so I used a bit of assistance.  Unfortunately and it is 1:00 am and I am still putting the finishing touches on this post and a rushed video.

Unlike many people, I embrace technology, simply because I cannot stop it.  I do my best to avoid its pitfalls while milking its benefits to reach others around the world, in a way unimaginable just a few years ago.

I used the Samsung Smartphone Voice Recorder’s speech to text feature to prepared this post.

It allowed me to capture thoughts and feelings, as they were occurring.  It converted my voice into words, based on how clearly I spoke.  It worked impressively well considering that it rained and hailed as I recorded while driving.

I used this audio for the attached video.  I used the text to record in my studio additional comments.  I can see many ways that we can embrace technology and AI, in particular, to propagate and fulfill our mission.


Wikipedia Mount_Olivet_Cemetery_Wheat_Ridge_sign
Photo – Wikipedia

Yesterday was a very special day.  May 14th is the day when my mother’s body died and was returned to the Earth as an offering to the continuous cycle of life. Continue reading “My Mother’s Body Expired Yesterday – My Heart Was Ignited By Her Spirit – Caregivers & Empaths Will Understand Why I Am Not Sad”

Mothers Are To Be Loved & Honored – They Have A Special Connection With God – How Else Could The Miracle Of Birth Occur?

This is what I call a freehand post. This is why I am posting it so late into the morning.

I am just typing it onto the webpage as thoughts come to mind. I did not have time to prepare for this post because I have been reflecting on my mother so intensely.

I was so focused on saying the right words that I just could not pull it together.

So, here I am on the morning of Mother’s Day, without a clue as to what to say. I am adlibbing y’all.

kelly-sikkema-DPmevL6jcHo-unsplash
Photo – Kelly Sikkema

Mother’s Day, my mother’s birthday, and the day of her passing are always very introspective. I appreciate the beauty of having 3 official days on the calendar to reflect on how much I love my mother, the wisdom she passed on to me, and how much she loves me.

Sometimes I want to be apologetic about the closeness of our relationship, relative to my siblings, but I have nothing to apologize about. I simply loved her very much, and she had unshakable love and trust for me, entrusting me with solely caring for her, in the final 4+ years of her illustrious life.

I know that it is not good to think of mothers having favorites, but I may have been hers. She is certainly “my favorite girl in the world”.

I was her favorite namely because I was given additional pampering as an infant to compensate for my father dying when I was 8 months old. Those early years were formative because they cast an impenetrable bond between us.

Later, I would show my appreciation by treating her like a queen all of my adult life. Eventually, it was as if I was her mother because I cared for her until she transitioned at the ripe age of 96.

Continue reading “Mothers Are To Be Loved & Honored – They Have A Special Connection With God – How Else Could The Miracle Of Birth Occur?”

I Knew This Day Would Come But Didn’t Expect It To Be Today – It Must Be The Grounding!

I knew that after taking as much time off as I needed, I would one day return to posting on the blog. 

I never stop writing, but most of it is personal or pieces I share in writing workshops.  Otherwise, I’ve been very private about my writing.  I have a great deal that I have yet to share.

This is why I often say that I write when I want to.  My writing tends to reveal my deepest feelings and in opening up that much, I must ‘feel’ doing so in my spirit before I really can.

Well, today is one such day! I think I may have mustered up the courage to write again.


I recently endured through a very challenging life trial, the first of its kind for me.  I went from worry, to fear, to awakening, and breakthrough, over the past few months.  Nonetheless, I held true to writing.  Most of it was written in private on my smartphone as draft emails that were never sent.

Until I get into the full swing of blogging regularly, I ask that you bear with me. 

I really have been through a great deal, really.  I am, though, once again changed.

I feel spiritually transformed in an even greater way.  The primary reason is that during my trials, as with this recent one, I found myself coping alone, after disappointedly expecting at least a small entourage of support from those around me.

And it each of these trials, I ultimately surrendered to The Lord, totally.  In every case, I was victorious, even when it appeared that I really wasn’t.

I have yet again been vibrationally elevated!  I can feel it but have not yet discerned how the universe wants me to use it.  I am awaiting the answer in a whispered message, at the most unexpected time.

Bear with my blogging because it may seem random.  I will start by sharing some private poetry and try to build full posts around it.

Luv

Kevy Continue reading “I Knew This Day Would Come But Didn’t Expect It To Be Today – It Must Be The Grounding!”

Calling All New Orleanians – It Is Gumbo Season! – Filé Gumbo Is In The Air

“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” – Confucius

Just as in Thanksgiving kicking off the mirliton season, the Christmas holidays kick off the gumbo season in New Orleans, especially for Black Creole families.

Mirliton is also referred to as chayote squash.  It is a summer squash that has a taste of melon and pecan.  During the holidays traditional creole families half, boil, scrape the fiber out of the shell, thensauté it with onion, garlic, bell pepper, celery, parsley, and spices, then adding Italian breadcrumbs, ham, and shrimp.  We then stuff the mixture into the hollow mirliton shells and bake, topped with butter.  This is very delicious and one of my all-time favorite Creole dishes.  

Gumbo is New Orleans’ most popular dish.  This is a traditional meal all over the state of Louisiana but is especially popular among black families, especially roles.  The ingredients may vary from family to family, neighborhood to neighborhood, and in various parts of the state.  But we do tend to agree that either the gumbo is going to be filé Gumbo or Okra Gumbo.

Filé Gumbo is thickened by filé (dried and ground sassafras leaves) and pan-roasted flour, called a roux.  Okra Gumbo is more popular among roles.  It obviously contains okra, tomatoes, ham, shrimp, and crab, but typically does not contain the variety of ingredients that file gumbo does.

Gumbo is New Orleans’s melting pot dish.  The name is derived from a West African word for okra.  Filé comes from the Choctaw NativeAmerican Indians.  And roux is a much darker version of the French sauce base.

Continue reading “Calling All New Orleanians – It Is Gumbo Season! – Filé Gumbo Is In The Air”

‘That Guy’ Is Forever Gone

Forever Gone (Excerpt)

By Kevy Michaels

I can’t describe my feelings for you
I know that those feelings are strong

I can’t describe where I am right now
But where I was…
I will never return

…Feeling my soul vividly right now
…Been cleansed and transformed

The places where I tried to fit in
…Just don’t appeal to me anymore

I will forever have fond memories of you
Even of the man that I once was

But ‘that guy’ who escorted you
On a part of your journey

Is now
The man who’s

… Forever Gone

Gumbo in the Air (Part 1)

May 19, 2018

“Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.” – Confucius

Gumbo in the Air (Part 1) – In memory of my dear mother – 10/2/1918 – 5/14/2014

She and our close-knit family knew when the first cold draft blew through the floorboards of her historic home, gumbo season had arrived. Though a modest home, you could sense from the gallery-side rose garden that she kept, the hallway piano and furniture aligned with photos of grandchildren, to the floors clean enough to eat from, her home and family reigned supreme, even above herself. She delighted now in beginning to prepare the season’s first Creole file gumbo. With the opportunity for her to illuminate much brighter stolen from her as a domestic servant, she gladly surrendered to servitude to please everyone, especially her family. She had surrendered and accepted her humble station in life with pride.

Eunice had a hard life but somehow sustained through unimaginable challenges. Her Black Catholic faith gave her determination and kept her going. Having endured through the black plague as a child, the Great Depression, the birth of 11 children, the death of 2, as well as, marriage to my violent and alcoholic father, she proudly told her survival stories as family members attentively listened. With certainty this occurred as she worked on one of her many tedious seasonal projects, such as when preparing crayfish bisque, washing and changing curtains on her home’s 35 windows, and at gumbo time.

Though she led most work on these major undertakings, she made use of having such a large family, and carefully took advantage of the free labor, but only on simple tasks. Maybe tasks like peeling shrimp, but never deveining them. Chopping the ‘holy trinity’ seasoning (onion, celery, and bell pepper), but never browning the roux. There were details in this recipe that only she knew how to ‘do right’. As kids, she told us many times that if she wanted something ‘done right’ she’d do it her damn self. We would hear this line often, especially when we didn’t make our beds to perfection.

A feisty woman with passions for Catholic saints, especially for St. Anthony, ‘for he’s never failed her’, hard work, and her gumbo recipe. Though her determination seemed special, she was not the only one. Many humble New Orleans Creole women also felt the gumbo breeze of each season.

Before surrendering her passion for preparing gumbo to old age and frailty, she once again prepared this culinary delight to the attraction of her family, friends, and neighbors for weeks to come. She grew up during The Depression and told stories to us as she went through this methodical and lengthy process. At a vibrant 80 years young, she had prepared nearly 150 batches. I calculated it for she prepared gumbo only at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and perhaps on one additional special Sunday, say for a birthday or even for a funeral. …About 3-4 times a year. She started cooking at age 10. Now you do the math.

She actually started preparing the dish months in advance, storing ham bones, turkey parts, crabs, and shrimp in preparation for this day. She never bought the frozen seafood, no siree! She only used the fresh shrimp from the fisherman on the side of Claiborne Avenue, where most black mothers did bargain shopping at neighborhood meat, super, and dollar store markets. Sometimes when the timing synchronized, the Seafood man or ‘Okra Man’ rode through the impoverished Uptown neighborhood in an old pickup and parked it on a corner with his wares to sell. From his megaphone he shouted, “I got, Okra, Blue Crabs, Shrimp, and anything else gumbo, which is nearly everything, until Eunice and many black mothers sent their kids out to the street corner to get a pound of ‘this or that’.

She carefully pulled bite-sized meat from thawed carcasses and placed them in bowls, boiling the bones for broth. Shrimps and crabs were cleaned and prepared, but put in the fridge, for they were added last. She used to add oysters but stopped altogether because they could spoil the gumbo, not allowing her to freeze some for future Sunday dinner surprises. Frugality ran through her veins. She did not believe in waste. She knew how to stretch a dollar; she could ‘make it holla’ too.

We had limited tasks to perform, such as bringing items to her or cleaning up after her, and of course eating 2-3 bowls when ready. By the time Eunice brought all the preparation together, bowls covered the kitchen table and inside the fridge. With the ‘trinity’, seafood, chopped meats, sausages, broths all prepped, she stood over the stove with a cup of all-purpose flour in her hand aimed and ready to start the roux.

As the roux browned everyone took a bit of a breather, namely her. We all knew that after the roux, broth, spices, and other ingredients were combined, the gumbo would make itself, and only required stirring and an attentive eye on the stove. We could not mistake the nutty smell of roux browning to the color of perfection. That smell signaled to me, and the rest of the household, that we could go out and play. To her, it called her to the next domestic chore, likely already in the making. She would say, ‘a man can work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.’ Her work never seemed to end.

Continue reading “Gumbo in the Air (Part 1)”