After I mentioned my fondness for haikus, the short poems of Japanese origin, I was delighted when readers sent in their own poems in haiku form. For instance:

  • Wannette V., of Bogalusa, says, "Many years ago I used the haiku to make syllabication a little more fun for my fourth grade students. Today I catch myself thinking in terms of 5-7-5:

"Chocolate candy

Apples, oranges, pecans

Christmas long ago"

(How appropriate, Wannette. I've had folks say that my work is at the fourth grade level…)

  • Geri Schexnayder, of Donaldsonville, also addressed the season:

"Christmas is coming

I'm not quite ready yet y'all

Snowfall cheered me up"

  • Our recent snow day also provided the topic for Bo Bienvenu, of Prairieville:

"Four inches of snow,

Gumbo, boudin, étouffée,

It’s good to live here"

  • Ralph Drouin, of Baton Rouge, also combined food and weather:

“The smell of 'koosh koosh'

Silent falling of the snow

Wearing the white boots”

Snow down south

A Baton Rouge lady describes her experience with a New Orleans snowfall:

"We married in 1976 and I had a job at a bank off Baronne Street in New Orleans. Although I had never lived north of I-10, I had experienced snow on various trips.

"On a particularly cold day (for New Orleans), word was out that it was snowing.

"The second floor offices had a shallow balcony, and anyone who could fit was out there reaching into the air to feel the snow. As I made my way to the windows to see what the excitement was about, it looked like dandruff falling from the sky.

"And that was a BIG snow day in New Orleans."

Which reminds me

A decade or so ago, the family gathered in New Orleans to see granddaughter Mandy and her husband, Corey, graduate from LSU Nursing School.

We met at the hotel where some folks were staying, and were getting ready to leave for the graduation ceremony, being held across the river in Gretna, when the TV warned us that it was snowing outside, and the bridges were about to be shut down.

A mad scramble ensued as we piled into cars and sped over the bridge as quickly as we could.

We made it across, and I still recall the sight of snow covering the palm trees that lined the highway in Gretna.

Sans camel

For years, when Baton Rouge's Florida Boulevard Baptist Church told me about the outdoor living Nativity, describing the sheep, donkey, etc., that were part of the scene, I would lament the absence of a camel.

Gene Shelburne recalls the time the church actually HAD a camel — I assume just to shut me up.

This year, he says, the scene (on Friday, Dec. 15, and Saturday, Dec. 16 — check with the church about times) doesn't have a camel, but it will be done theater style rather than drive-through as in the past, and should be nice anyway.

Special People Dept.

Conville Hobgood, former mayor of St. Francisville, celebrates his 95th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Smoke day

"With the cold snap and snow," says Tony Falterman, of Napoleonville, "I was reminded of the time as a very young boy, when my dad decided to light the fireplace for the first cold snap of the season.

"Now remember, this was not the fireplace of today for aesthetic purposes; this was our HEAT!

"But Dad forgot that he had closed the top of the chimney to prevent birds from nesting. When I tell you that as the newly lit fire began to 'take,' the inside of the house could have been used at the LSU Fire Training School! Smoke was everywhere!

"Once the chimney covering was removed and the windows opened for several hours, we were able to navigate from room to room. Ah, the good old days!"

Letter perfect

Sydney Griffin says, "When grandson, Chris LeBlanc, of Benton (a Port Allen native), saw geese in a V formation when he was about 5 or 6, he figured it out. He said the V meant they were going on vacation!"

Louisiana Haiku

Kids await Santa

Behaving like small angels

For a few more days

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0371 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.