Speaking of Southern Comfort

SC logoSouthern Comfort is a liqueur invented by a bartender in New Orleans in the 1870s. The branding is ingenious. Life in and around The Big Easy is supposed to be, well, easy, isn’t it? And intoxicating as well, with cocktails wrought in the French Quarter.

Well, life isn’t always comforting nor intoxicating. For one thing, Southern Comfort is sold in varying strengths. If you are not observant, you may purchase less than 100 proof. And life in the South can be less than 100 proof comfort, too.

I moved north to Louisiana about six months ago, after nearly a decade in Honduras. I love home comforts, again. Soft beds, bathtubs, hot water, regular electricity, English spoken everywhere are very nice comforts.

Louisiana living isn’t paradise. I am reminded, in often rude ways, that my dog is too loud. Well, in Honduras, everyone and everything is loud. Amplified music and amplified dog barking were the norm, not the exception.

I forgot about the zealousness of rules here. There are laws regulating everything, some of which are very costly. I can’t drive without insurance in Louisiana. I have to buy homeowner’s insurance in order to qualify for a bank loan. Even getting a library card involves multiple forms wanting reams of personal information.

Then, there’s the high cost of comfort. I can’t buy a bag of fruit from a truck vendor on the corner. It’s against the law. Instead I have to pay high supermarket prices or even higher prices at legally sanctioned farmer’s market, who pass on the city fees to me, the consumer.

My very identity feels under siege as I adjust to life in the US again. Thank God I have had a period of time to adjust before I need to work again. All of this comfort is sometimes quite uncomfortable as I make the transition to my birth country.

Jesus promised in his last words to his disciples that in his place he would send The Comforter after he left this life. He was referring to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. I am glad that I can ask daily for the Spirit to dwell in this place, namely within me, so that wherever I live, I can have the comforting presence of God guiding me along the unexpected paths of life.

That’s true comfort, knowing Him, whether I live in a developing country or in the midst of southern comfort once again.

This entry is linked to Velvet Ashes, where expatriates and mission-minded folks are pondering what comfort means this week.

13 thoughts on “Speaking of Southern Comfort

  1. Thank you, Laurie. I love your statement that “all this comfort is sometimes quite uncomfortable”! I feel the same way sometimes when transitioning into the States…sometimes “comfort” DOES have a high cost, and sometimes it’s so much more “comfortable” just to keep it simple.

    so true – the only true comfort, the only real comfort, is knowing Him – no matter where we are, no matter what other “comforts” we may have or may be doing without…

    Love your gumbo pot!

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  2. My response? I agree wholeheartedly. When one cannot smoke tobacco inside or even outside most places but one can purchase the fouler smelling cousin legally it’s shows the bipolarity of our current society. Kids don’t have to stand for the pledge but they can be arrested and dragged to jail even at five years of age at school for disobedience. What’s happened to common sense?

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  3. Just be glad that you didn’t move to Massachusetts or New York or California. All of our rules, codes, regulations, and procedures make Louisiana look positively relaxed.

    Virtually all of Congress and all of every state legislature is staffed by lawyers. And lawyers like nothing better than creating complicated rules for the rest of us to follow.

    And the big lack of wisdom? They don’t know when to stop. They don’t want to admit that they can’t control everything, that the government can’t prevent every bad thing from happening, that there are limits to the extent of government control.

    That enormous gap of wisdom is what’s driving the USA and much of the rest of the Western World off the cliff.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where the phrase “banned in Boston” originated.

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    1. In Honduras, I never received one traffic citation. For one thing, most of the country had one speed limit posted. That’s easy to remember. Of course, that one speed limit is not enforced, but it’s a gentle suggestion, I think. Here? I got a ticket within a few weeks upon return. The deputy was very happy about his catch. I dare not park in the city limits of New Orleans where parking is a nightmare, and fetching impounded vehicles is expensive and a slow process. I can’t imagine it being worse, but I know you are right about richer locales in our crazed country.

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      1. Parking in and around Boston is a nightmare, possibly worse than Nola, though I don’t know. When I was there, I parked in a pay lot near Basin st. But as a long-time resident of big cities, I’ve found that the trick is to park first, then get out and look for all the signs about parking rules and read them *very* carefully. So far, so good. Though I’ve gotten a few tickets, I’ve never been towed.

        Good luck re-acclimating to first-world rule sets.

        Saludos,

        KG

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  4. Thanks for linking up with Velvet Ashes! I also like the “all this comfort is quite uncomfortable” line. I’m secretly dreading repatriation for this very reason…you’ve articulated the struggle so well!

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