Arthur Avenue is my ancestral home of origin; etched in a support beam in the attic is the year 1904 the year this original center structure was built. My father carried my mother over the threshold in Lake Arthur, LA on the day of their Sacrament of Matrimony, August 13, 1941! He was twenty-four and she was nineteen years of age. Theirs was a continual presence in this home for 59 years. Ten children were born under her roof and eight were raised to young adulthood. The home has enveloped joy, music of all sorts and liturgical seasons, family visits, sleeping children, watermelon and homemade ice cream under the pecan tree, meals galore, first dates, Santa Claus/Easter Bunny, visitors of all kinds, shapes, color and nationalities, home Masses, birthdays, work, homework, tears, one more thing on the wall, bridal and baby showers, farewells and profound sorrow!
She is now co-owned by my eldest and youngest brothers to whom I am eternally grateful. They invited me to be their Caretaker which was a wise move on their part for I love them and her in that order! They know part of my heart is there, it never really left. We ‘Trinitarian Three’ work well together for they are like my father, a good and decent businessman whose word was his oath! These brothers are gentle, generous and witty! And, when they say they are going to do something, they do it! Therefore she stays in pristine condition ready to receive all who make their way to her back door! She host just one person beautifully or a cast of thousands!
I tah-tah her one full day a week, check all things electric, faucets, walk around and inspect indoors and out, water indoor plants, turn on all the lights and watch her shine. I also snip flowers, pull weeds, sweep, pick-up along the fence, hose everything down including the Blessed Mother statue and swing on the swing with a cup of Italian coffee! I order a plate lunch from Nott’s Corner as they have fed me once a week for a few years now. On the way, I visit the family graves in St. Anthony’s Cemetery and check the flowers in the vases that are rotated in Spring, Summer, All Souls Day and Christmas!
I read, think and journal to Gregorian Chant! I sometimes move among the rooms as each has a different view in the home and outside which connotes different memories. I try to be outside for the ringing of the church bells for The Angelus at noon and Vespers at 6:00 p.m. Now, that is special; this ancient ritual feeds my monastic spirituality like nothing else has, to date! Once a year I pick and eat the fruit right off the tree and nothing taste so delicious as each one when just ripe enough and are filled with such warm recollections; it’s just me, mine in my heart, thoughts, gratefulness…
Enjoy ‘Arthur Avenue’ for it is my pure joy to remember, write, teach and pray all forward!’
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, fourth child of ten children, eldest of four daughters.
“The Business and Domestic Collection of
Lee Joseph, Sr. and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun”
is protected and maintained in stewardship by
Lee Joseph Jr., Dominique Joseph Monlezun, LLC and The Caretaker 2002 to present date!
It is ordered, maintained, arranged, categorized into Binders, scanned into a data base and taught
as a “Family Heritage Sequence”
Lake Arthur, LA
“God Bless Our Home!”
2. The Baby Book!’
‘Who had the mumps! Who had the measles and when!!
3. ‘The Kitchen!’
4. 'The Living Room!"
5. 'The Girl's Room!'
7. 'The Front Porch Room'!
8. ‘The Original Bedroom!’
9. ‘The Original Facility with Vintage Clothing!’
10. ‘The Back Room!
11. 'The Pantry!'
2010 Diocesan Catholic Television Interview on Arthur Avenue Highlighting Heritage, Events in the Home and Room by Room ~
www.lcdiocese.org click Resources click ‘Glad Tidings’ click ‘Lead, Kindly Light’
11 July 2010 and 12 September 2010!
“EVENTS ON ARTHUR AVENUE ALL THE YEAR LONG:”
One to Five Days!
Quiet Days for ‘Silent Retreat Alums’ as Requested!
Arthur Avenue Heritage Tours!
“Place Based Heritage Education Connecting Classrooms and Communities”
4th and 5th Graders in Acadia and Vermilion Civil Parishes!
Traditional Extended Family Christmas Eve Gathering!
Greater Family Reunions and Home Masses!
Homecoming Fiestas, Class Reunions and Alumni Meetings!
Special ‘Heritage Tours’ for the Greater Family, Friends and
Once a week to ‘Tah-Tah’ and Retreat! Examples of Tah-Tahing!!!
Painting rooms, ceilings, stairwell, doors, fence, framing and changing pictures/lots of pictures, cleaning and polishing kitchen cabinets/light fixtures, chair and furniture repair, waiting for and learning from all people who repair/maintain many things, cleaning/vacuuming/dust mopping, polishing, having plate lunches from Nott’s Corner with Cousin Anne and her wonderful stories and with Suzanne Louise as she sits at table to complete a school project, hanging up the baby clothes, watering after finding just the right pot for a plant then finding the right container to catch the water, changing light bulbs, ac/heater/fan cleaning/maintaining with just the right pull (!), rugs- lots of rugs placement and care, supply inventory purchases, lamp finds and then finding the shades, placing large and small finds from Flea Markets only after the piece really speaks to me (!), planting, mulching, Round-up, clipping, outdoor vignettes ordered, harvesting all that fruit and distributing it up and down the street, placing like things with like things after thinking ‘now let me see… just where will this go and earn its keep’, doing the Family Heritage Walls of paper and photos from 1941 to present date and all in special frames made by Mike Bussy to hold all that heritage, categorizing/tabbing binders after binders…!!
God, I love this all the blessed days and years long!! Lead, Kindly Light!