Ci et Ca Avec Belle

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TIME OF REFLECTION,
LOOKING BACK.....
The year 2014 held many events that affected our lives....both good and not so good. There were many changes that took place in our personal lives which resulted in major adjustments for us.  There were also many events that occurred that brought happiness for us and our family.  There were also events which caused sadness, pain and loss as the past year resulted in the loss of so many old friends and newer ones too.  We were a part of the lives of our family and friends through phone calls, messages and on Facebook.  Even though we were not able to be with them, it provided a wonderful opportunity to see their family pictures, their news, their concerns and it kept us updated on each of them.  What a wonderful way to staying connected even if we could not be with them in person.
Overall, we are thankful for still being here in our beloved Rayne, and for the many, many angels that surround us and help us in so many ways every day.  We have always stated that Rayne, not Los Angeles, is the real City of Angels.  Our love and thanks to everyone and our deep appreciation for all that is done, not just for us, but for anyone in need and for all.
Also, the year 2014 was a busy year in many ways.  One of the major activities for the important elections.  There were many well qualified and interested person who participated in the entire process.  This was a big decision for each to make and represented the democratic principals on which our country is founded.  We congratulate each for their participation making this an interesting election.  There were many who were re-elected to their present positions, however, there were many incumbents who were not returned to office.  We thank those for the service that they provided and wish them well in their future ventures.  This is the way our democracy operates without any bloodshed or violence and is the goal of many countries around the world.
The past year was a banner year for our young people in school, for our community, for our civic organizations and religious groups for the many, many honors that they received.  Their efforts and actions brought honor and prestigious to not only their organizations and/or school and churches, but to our city.  Thanks to each of those individuals who worked to receive their honors.  We will look forward to more in the year to come.
The news in the past year always contained information on the events being held by the organizations for money raising for their favorite charities or for their groups and/or worthwhile activities.  These individuals put in many hours of work in order to sponsor these programs and depend on the participation of all of us in the community to support their important programs.  Our thanks to them for these efforts to assist others.
There also were countless individuals who promoted and held events to raise money to help the children/adults who were ill and in need for expenses associated with their serious health conditions.  Putting the need of others above their own needs resulted in providing assistance and solaces to the families coping with the expenses of the treatments and/or medicine, travel for treatment.  Whatever was needed by the families to make life easier for them and for their ill loved ones.  Their big and caring hearts were supported by the compassionate individuals that participated in the fund raising programs. These are just another example of the angels in our community.  God bless them all!
The schools and athletic programs provided excellent results for their work during the year. The educational community, supported by the parents and community, were successful in their yearly evaluations and in the results of the team competitions. The growth of the music programs through the activities of their bands clearly shows the interest and growth of the students to participate and be a part of their musical growth.
Yes, there were many things that occurred during 2014, both nationally and locally. We focused on local, but are aware of the many problems facing our wonderful nation also. We are proud of our military who served bravely to protect our country as the expense of their lives and/or limbs. We saw many problems also arising nationally with protests, violence, needless destruction, and loss of authority and respect for our brave law enforcement community. These things were not solved during this year, but will be things to address in the new year.  We pray for a solution to be achieved.
 
LOOKING AT THE PRESENT.....
This is a period of transition for each of us. We stop and review our lives in the past and think about what we can and should do in the future. It is a time to re-evaluate ourselves and that is not always an easy task. It is the reason many people form New Year’s Resolutions, to begin the task of revising something in our lives. It is estimated that about 40 percent of the population make these important resolutions, however, only about 2 to 4 percent carry them out. It is not an easy thing to do without lots of thought and work! One wished that all of our troubles would “last as long as our New Year’s Resolutions!”. However, we feel that there is always room for improvement in our lives. It is a matter of admitting it and then finding a better way to do it. In retrospect we found many things that we should and must do differently.
Many factors at our age result in having to make some changes. We recognize that we cannot do many of the things that we did in the past. That is not an easy thing to look at and make that decision. It was always so easy to do what we wanted or needed to do without thinking about it. Being independent allowed that. However, with age, we must be more dependent on others for help or support, and that is a terrible thing to deal with. You are probably facing some of these same challenges with some in your family, and we hope that you will realize the tremendous change this is for a person.  Also, to realize that sometime in the years to come, you will be dealing with these issues also. There are adjustments that we can and will do that are necessary at this time.
We love writing for the Tribune and appreciate the opportunity of the paper to allow us to do it.  The paper has been such an important part of our life  all of our years and was family to our family.  We love the chance to still be a small part of the Tribune since it makes us have a vital link to our past and especially to our dear mother. We will and never will be the writer that she was, but we do our best and at times even feel that she is here helping us with it. However, we will continue writing Avec as long as they permit, it just may not be as long as it has been in the past. So, if at times we write an abbreviated version, we hope you will realize that this is something that we need to do. We pray that we can continue as our mom did as she was writing her column the day she passed. She had changed and not written as much as usual, but she had the will to continue! We too pray that we will be able to write for future years to come and that we are serving some purpose for our dear friends and faithful readers. You are all loved and appreciated.
A side thought here in this present time of the year. The LSU vs Notre Dame game was a heartbreaker to us. However it did bring us back to the past when the Tigers were first to play Notre Dame in the late 60’s. We were in school up in Terre Haute, Indiana, and the news on most of the TV sports programs up that way was the desire of the Tigers to play the honored Notre Dame team. It seemed listening to them, was that it was one sided. A game with that opponent would not mean anything to the famous Fighting Irish football program. They were accustomed to playing the quality teams who provided an incentive for more honors.  It was at that point when we heard their remarks that make us really MAD!...The sports announcers said that playing the Tigers would not be any type of competition. That it would be like playing a Junior Varsity team, not a high powered college team.  Naturally, we sat down and wrote to them about those remarks and reminded them that LSU had won the National Championship in the late 50’s and still had high quality teams...Finally, on Nov.21, 1970, that matchup was played. The Irish won it by a score of 3 to LSU 0. But even though the field goal won for the Irish, LSU won the yardage battle 170 to 130. However, we were happy that the Tigers held their own over the Irish.
The match up the next year in 1971, was in Baton Rouge. The Tigers, under Coach Charlie McClendon were really ready for the Notre Dame team.  The final score was LSU 28 and Notre Dame 8.  This was a great indication for the Irish that the Tigers were a team to be reckoned with and the competition since then has been back and forth, with an even win/loss record for the teams, until the recent Music Bowl game. The Irish and Tigers have met 10 times since that first game, and the series was tied...until the loss at the recent Bowl game.
It has been great competition between these two schools and we hope that there will by more games in the future. We lost the game, however, we still love our Tigers!
 
LOOKING AT THE FUTURE.....
The future can be a little intimidating as the new year can hold many unknowns.  The actual future can be an exciting one or one filled with some issues and/or problems. It is the hope and promise for the New Year that all will be well.  We hold on to our faith that all will be good for us and for our loved ones and friends.  But, if not, that we can face whatever comes our way. ..............Our special memories of all the yesterdays bring faith to our hearts and minds that bright tomorrows will give us the paths to beautiful times in the New Year.  A time and place where dreams do their best to come true.  So we are optimistic about the days ahead for us all, and filled with appreciation for all the wonderful things ahead.
Our new year wish to you all is that every day of 2015 glow with happiness and cheer.  May you find success in every part of your life with loved family, close and caring friends beside you and importantly good health inside you and yours.
Happy New Year to each of you and we pray that it will be the best year ever!  And that you will be blessed the entire year through..  Our love and appreciation to you all!  Happy New Year!
 
Until next time................................Adios,
Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen