From Crooked Bayou Swamp: Fri. Nov. 18

The Art of Thankfulness:

“Lord, you’ve given me so much.  I ask for one more thing: a grateful heart.”

The Old House at the edge of Crooked Bayou Swamp

In the Edge of the Swamp at Dark.

I’ve come to the Old House, my favorite writing spot at the end of a cool clear Louisiana fall day.

The night sounds and night creatures are now taking over in Crooked Bayou Swamp.

An eeriness settles over the high ground where the pines end and the hardwood swamp begins.


I’ve opened the doors in the log room to listen for the owls and even coyotes.

This house is my cozy place. Seven generations have now sat in this room.

I feel at home here.

I feel family here.  It’s cozy and comfortable and I’m glad I’ve made the drive down Clayton Iles Road.


But this spot—the Old House and the swamp it sets on the edge of—is also a creepy place.  It’s so silent and secluded.  The walls seem to whisper about the good times and troubles it has seen.


One night during my boyhood, Daddy sent me down the path from our nearby home to get the coal oil lanterns during an electrical storm. It wasn’t long after the death of my grandfather and the log home was eerily empty.

I remember the creepy feeling of easing into darkened rooms on the creaking floor.  I grabbed the lanterns and ran out into the storm.

I’m now nearly the same age of my grandfather when he died.  The creepiness I feel here is not the same fear that gripped me on that stormy night forty-something years ago.  It’s not a coyote-creepiness-chill anymore.

It’s a cozy-creepiness of memories and how fast time goes by.

A realization that the ones we love pass from this life,

And our own days and years are numbered.

Yes, I’m glad I’ve chosen to visit this cozy and creepy Old House at the edge of Crooked Bayou Swamp.


Curt Iles

The Old House    Crooked Bayou Swamp

South of Dry Creek, Louisiana

Thursday, October 20, 2011


"The Old House" Bill Iles pen and ink circa 1963


  1. Your eloquent words stir comforting memories from my childhood sanctuary in Pumpkin Center at my Granny and Grampa’s home. Thank You Curt.

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