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Goddess of Wealth and HappinesEvidently voodoo dolls are not meant to last, although the Goddess of Wealth and Happiness hung around for many years.  I think she lived a fairly long life considering her physical limitations.  And I can’t really fault her for losing her head and falling apart.  I’ve done that a few times myself; maybe not so permanently.

I bought the Goddess in New Orleans on a business trip. She lived to a old age considering that I retired 11 years ago and bought her long before that. Perhaps she, too, retired without a backward glance, knowing she had done her job well.  I’m just sorry she couldn’t have kept herself and her birthplace together.

I don’t really need the goddess to remember New Orleans.  And I’m thankful I was there before Katrina.  Not because it was pristine for me, but because I could walk through the streets in my mind and mourn with the people who lost their way of living.  There were so many things to love there: the food, the music, and the charm of the city and its people.

My memories there are good.  I went with friends into an industrial area for a gospel brunch that, I’m sure, was put on for the pleasure of the tourists, and it certainly worked for me.  How else could I have found the perfect place for collards and soulful gospel music?

My conference was at a bright and modern hotel so I gave myself the gift of a stay in the French Quarter for an extra day or two.  It was a perfect little room in an old home converted to a B & B and packed with history and southern comfort.

I did the signature New Orleans: eating muffaletta sandwiches from paper wrappers and cruising the well-lit streets listening to blues and jazz.

I was intrigued by the cemeteries…that the crypts were above ground.  I didn’t comprehend that water was on its way to winning the battle of New Orleans.  At the time it just seemed quaint.

Perhaps I should have left the Goddess in New Orleans.  They could certainly have used her in the last 8 years.

The Wanderer