My grandparents' house was a house full of love and laughter. The huge, 100-year-old, two-story home will forever be a beautiful picture in my memory. 

As you opened the front door to the living room during the holidays, there was always a nine foot tree by the big picture window overlooking the front porch. The tree was decorated with ornaments that were obviously older than I was at the time. My grandparents told me that the ornaments belonged to their parents. I remember that every year I looked forward to the lighted miniature city that was laid out under the tree. That was my favorite! On Christmas Eve, the whole family ~ aunts, uncles, cousins ~ gathered at the house to exchange gifts. There were also lots of goodies to snack on and holiday music that kept us singing. On Christmas Day, everyone returned to the house for a great feast! Next to the kitchen was a big inside porch that was the entire width of the house. That's where we all gathered together for our holiday dinner.

For New Year's Eve, my grandparents would buy enough fireworks for the whole family and several friends. As everyone stood on the great front porch, we lit up the sky with our roman candles and bottle rockets! There would also be a bonfire going that was never put out until after midnight. It was an awesome sight for a child!

Downstairs, there was a large basement unlike any I've ever seen! Ever year, just before Christmas, my grandparents would sponsor a Doll and Toy Fund. This was held for poor families who could not afford to buy Christmas gifts for their children. Brand new toys were given away to children who otherwise would have no Christmas.

Also held in the basement were many political gatherings. My grandparents were very active in political and many other community events. I remember meeting Moon Landrieu and Mayor Victor Schiro at my grandparents' home as a child. My grandmother still has on display my grandfather's collection of pins with political themes such as "I Like Ike".

In that same basement, every Friday night for years, there was a waiting line to get in to play Bingo! I learned to play at a very young age. People came from all around their neighborhood to play. It was a sight to see! I can still hear the winners yelling “Bingo!”!

The most memorable events in that old basement were our family get-togethers for birthdays and such. There was music, dancing and lots of good food. There was also always the Limbo! We all stood in line and waited our turn as the music played on the old record player. My Dad was the Limbo King! No one could beat him, try as they might! We also played Charades often. So much so that even the younger kids got to be very good at it.

In the backyard was a great, tall tree. We were always climbing on it. There are many picture of us as children, hanging on that tree.

Also in the backyard was the chicken coop. My grandparents kept chickens and ducks. I loved to run through there to make the animals jump up and flap their wings! I also like to watch them hurry toward me as I scattered their food about at feeding time. The ducks seemed to enjoy sitting in their water more than drinking it!

During Mardi Gras, there were many King Cake parties at their house. Whoever got the baby bought the next cake, but the party was always were at their house. There were boxes of beads and trinkets for everyone that my grandparents had collected from all the parades they attended. They knew so many people in the krewes that they were showered with throws!

Thanksgiving was another special time with lots of food and fun for everyone. To this day, every year during Thanksgiving dinner, my cousin, Judy, and I kid each other about who will eat the most dinner rolls! 

Now that my grandpa is not with us anymore, my grandma continues the legacy. Since we are all grown with families of our own now, it’s not quite as easy to get us all together. Once a year, for Thanksgiving, everyone gathers at the house for a big family dinner. There are a lot more of us now then there were back then. That makes it all the more special!

Yes, my grandparents’ house is a house full of love and laughter!