“The Lee Joseph and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun Special Collection!”
This is the entrance to the home for all who know and love her and for strangers-no-longer!! The brass bells announce your arrival. I love to sit on the steps at twilight enjoying the flowers or when it rains and just take it all in! This is where Mom was standing in this door when Hectór and I visited her on a weekday for the first time after we retired from the military 1988 and she, all smiles, said, “I just can’t believe that y’all are here and will be coming and going as often as you can!” And, we did and I guess still do, welcoming others who find their way to her backdoor!!
This room originally was a porch which held the old washer and ringer machine to which you fed the clothes while turning the ringer! I barely remember that! Really!! The hot water heater closet is built from original wide planks painted green that was plentiful post-WW 11 as military surplus paint flooded the market! Above and encircling this room were shelves which held case lots of canned food which was delivered by Cousin Adam Broussard of “Adam’s Store!” He and Dad bartered food for fuel!! His wonderful son Keith and Vickie Broussard live next door and he walks our large and always full refuse container to and from the street once a week and has for years now! Isn’t that a wonderful and kindly gesture?! We bake Banana Chocolate Chip Bread for them!!
This good-‘un-old cupboard has survived many lives and now rests displaying the mixer with blades, the malt machine and sit-on-the-stool electric shears and combs! Don’t ya just love her?! Mom cut the hair of her sons and nephews right here in this little room! One of the nephews told me at the Hensgens Family Reunion 2007 that he wanted to give her money if she would just sharpen the blade!! “She just kept cutting,” Anthony said!
Behind the door is a ‘To Go Shelf’ that holds all that must walk out of the door…O, and light bulbs, lots of light bulbs, baskets to cart the fruit to the ends of the earth and back as well as ‘Silent Retreat in Progress’ for the front fence…twas the first piece handcrafted for me by dear Mike Bussy! His exact and beautiful craftsmanship graces this home inside and out as well as the exquisite work in Our Lady of the Lake church. He has a God-given talent and I have come to know, admire and respect this gentle man greatly
The shelf over the washing machine was in the back porch breeze way in Grandpa Monlezun’s home now displaying many beloved objects of memory! The newest artifact to arrive is Grandma Monlezun’s meat grinder sporting its label!! Now yatalkaboutold!!!
This space also holds all beverages, cups and ice chests at the Christmas Gathering where bodies are in and through and out the back door and in again!! This room really catches it!!!
The high chair for all ten children holds sway in that it holds all good brochures on different topics for all to take home as they depart. (The chair is used when Home School moms come for a Retreat with a few little ones in tow!)
Grandson ‘Antoine’ going for a ride with his PawPaw 1984
I remember the most wonderful vignettes of all good things!! I’m writing while it last!!
TO: Dominique Joseph and Lee Joseph, Jr., L.L.C. who purchased Arthur Avenue 5 March 2002 and invited me to be the ‘Caretaker’ to which I humbly and joyfully agreed.
FROM: Anna Bernadette, Caretaker
June 2010 to 31 August 2011 then beyond: For this labor of love I checked notes in my ‘Arthur Avenue Binder’ to gather as much detailed information as possible; DJM tracks the bookkeeping/receipts!
RE: “WORK ORDER PROJECT Template for Arthur Avenue”
STEWARDSHIP OF ARTHUR AVENUE BY YOUR CARETAKER IN
ARTHUR AVENUE WORK ORDER CATEGORIES:
8. Roof /Gutters: Canopy/Garage/House
ARTHUR AVENUE WORK ORDER:
Office: Cell: Email:
8. Date of Project Cost Approved/DJM:
9. TOTAL COST/HOW TO BE PAID: CHECK/Payable/C/O/Billing Address or they take the bill to LABC office for payment by check pre-arranged:
…she should last another 100 years with this kind of lovin-lovin care, attention and team-work!!! Amen!