Blog #1300 Our most popular blogs over the years

We believe that every journey has a story, and every story involves a journey.

Blog Post  #1300:  Our Most Popular Blogs

Today marks the 1300th blog post I’ve published. According to views and shares, here are some of the most popular: Enjoy!

*Scroll to the bottom of this post to order a copy of our newest novel, As the Crow Flies.


Merry Christmas from the Old House, Dry Creek, Louisiana.

Riding the Storm Out

A word from Curt

I’m writing today from Dry Creek, Louisiana.

It’s a time of transition from Africa to Louisiana.  With your permission, I’ll be sharing honestly this week about this leg of the journey.

Your prayer is so appreciated.


Riding the Storm Out


It’s a place I return to when I’m lonely. . .

Or it seems I’ve lost my way.


I hurry toward the Old House.

A summer storm is blowing in from the south.

I’m near Dry Creek, Louisiana.

On the dead end of Clayton Iles Road.



Streaks of lightning followed by booming thunder hurry me along my hundred yard journey from my Mom’s house.

There’s no place better to ride out a storm than the Old House.

It was built about 1892 by my great great grandparents, John Wesley and Sarah Lyles Wagnon. It’s been through many storms in a century and a quarter.

I open the screen door and walk into the back bedroom.

It’s always been my nap room. I gingerly move the pillows and bed covers. I don’t want to share the bed with a chicken snake. It’s always a possibility in empty dwellings like this.

I stretch out on the bed to read.

Waiting on the storm.


It’s been three years since I’ve been part of a Louisiana summer thunderstorm.

I’ve been part of plenty of African thunderstorms.

But I’ll put a Louisiana thunder bumper up against any for thunder/lightning/wind per capita.

The gap between lightning and thunder move closer together.

The first splatter of rain plays on the tin roof.

There’s nothing better than sleeping under a metal roof in the rain.


I love a storm.

It’s odd because my ancestors that built this house had a terrible fear of storms, especially at night.

I think of the Tony Joe White song,

“Kids, get up.

Put your clothes on.

Storm’s coming.”


My Uncle Bill tells of his grandparents and great aunt waking he and his siblings in the night and herding all of the children up onto one of the beds.

They’d huddle in fear together in the dark until the storm passed.

Uncle Bill says it’s a miracle any of them grew up without severe weather phobias.

The iron bedstead I’m laying/lying on was one of the very beds they huddled on.

I hope I’m not being too hard on them.

A storm at night is different.

Especially when unexpected.

And with no electricity.

An open house where a storm’s wind keeps blowing out the lantern.

That’s a different environment.

One ripe for fear. Fear of the unknown.


My nap bad is probably the same bed where Uncle Bill was born. His birth was the last in the house as our family moved on to hospitals and maternity wards.


This July storm passes through as quick as it arrived. After about fifteen minutes, the rain lets up and the patter of the rain lessens to a drip from the big trees. Several of those trees are as old as the house and lean precariously toward the house. I can’t but wonder when/if one will finally come crashing down on this beloved home.

It’ll probably be during a storm somewhat like this one.



The Old House at the end of the Road

If it’s possible to love a house like a person,

Then the Lord knows I love this old house.

It’s a place reminding me of family,

And the things in life that really mean the most.

It’s a place I return to when I’m lonely. . .

Or it seems I’ve lost my way.

A place where I always feel welcome,

As I sit down and think for a while.

This old house is more than boards and nails

Because it tells me of our past . . .

As I walk through it, I’m reminded that

The special people in our lives never last.

Although they’re gone, I will remember

How they still live on inside of me.

Because this old house reminds me of who I am,

And everything I ever want to be . . .



I write today from a figurative storm.

Less than two weeks ago, I was preparing to trek into South Sudan on a once-in-a-lifetime in trip.

Storm over Jebel Mtn Juba, South Sudan
Storm over Jebel Mtn Juba, South Sudan


August. It was to be followed by a second once-in-a-lifetime trip to Chad.

Chadian Nomads
Chadian Nomads


In mid-October, I planned to kiss the tarmac at Entebbe Airport Uganda airport as we completed our three year assignment.

I planned to plant a kiss on Louisiana soil.

Job finished.

Finished strong.

Instead, a two month old illness reached a point where our leadership wisely said (and we concurred) “It’s time to go to the U.S. and get you well.”

IMG_0139So here I am.

Currently homeless.

In a storm.


Yet how can you be homeless when you’ve got the Old House to return to?

If it’s possible to love a house like a person,

Then the Lord knows I love this old house.



And there’s no better place to ride out a storm than the place where one’s roots are deepest.

For me, it’s The Old House. South of Dry Creek, Louisiana.

Latitude 30.633 N  Longitude 93.063 W


On the edge of Crooked Bayou Swamp.

Where the pines meet the oaks.





Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 8.31.28 PM


Other all-time popular blogs:

A Beautiful Smile, a Beautiful Swing: The short full life of Michael Maddox


Sheriff Bishop’s Gun 


It’s here. It’s easy to purchase, and you’re going to love the story. Order your copy of ‘As the Crow Flies’ today.

You can buy autographed copies here, or get your copy(s) from Amazon.


About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana Pineywoods life.


  1. Glad your home. I’ve been worried about you over the last few months. Had a holy hunch you needed to get to the states. Let me know when/if you want to start sharing in churches. I can put the word out. Right now you need to rest and get well!! We have a Mt. Olive Quarterly WMU meeting at Freedom BC next week. Luis Romero, our Honduran hispanic pastor will be sharing about his work in Firest Hill, Mowata, Opelousas, and Crowley. We would love to have you come join us. Hope to see you soon.

  2. Philip Robertson

    Curt – we have a mission house at our church that’s vacant right now. If your interested in more info let me know –
    Philip Robertson
    Philadelphia Baptist

    • Thank you Bro. Philip.

      We’ve bought a house in Alexandria that will be ready for end of August. Staying with family in the interim. Gratefully, Curt

  3. Curt, thanks for putting your thoughts …. no, your heart … into words and trusting the rest of us with your treasures. Still in Christ …

  4. Praying for you brother!

  5. Rosanne Osborne

    Curt, you and DeDe have been in my thoughts and prayers so often during the last year. I so admired all that you have done. I pray that your health will be restored as rapidly as possible and that the next leg of your journey will be blessed.

  6. June Calhoun Collins

    It is good to have you and DeDe back in Louisiana, but I know you enjoyed your mission work.

    I lost my second husband Aug 25, 2014 from a sudden heart attack. He worked up to the minute he died and enjoy life. He was a good Christian man and he was ready to go, but I miss him. I have so much for which to be thankful and I know it was God’s will. I am back here on Yankee Ridge Road near Rosepine trying to hold down the place. Quite a job for an 82 year old woman, but God has been good to me

    Take care and again it is good to know you are back. Enjoy your family and grandchildren.

    June Calhoun Collins

    • Thank you June.
      So sorry on the loss of your husband. God bless you.

      One of my life’s sweetest moments: a cold snowy La. morning sitting around your table with Rosepine natives sharing tales. So warm. So memorable. Thank you!

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