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I didn’t choose to live in a small Louisiana village, and I didn’t spot that proverbial light beckoning me to return to my hometown. If you did either of those things, then good for you! You’ve embraced all the amazing things that small towns offer.

But if you dragged someone kicking and screaming to a small town, congratulations! And if you’re the one being dragged kicking and screaming, keep reading—I promise you’ll like it. The people who are living here the first time might not be here by choice. And that’s okay! I’m one of those folks, and I’ve grown to like it here. So, I want to help all the others walk toward the light. After all, what are friends for?

Yes, I’m going to admit it. I am a reluctant transplant. No, I have all my original organs—kidneys, intestines, lungs, heart. A transplant is someone who wasn’t born and raised here. A reluctant transplant is someone who says something like, “Oh my stars…I wouldn’t even be here, except my husband/wife/partner/parent/child wanted to move here. Then…”

Yes, then a major life event happened. Perhaps your story goes something like this: “Oh, my word! When my husband was younger, he grew a sensible bone in his body…or two! Yes, sir—he moved to the respectable big city. Why, of course, that big city was respectable—he met me!”

The saga continues. “Yes, we raised our family quite well in the big city, thank you very much! But things changed. We got older and wiser. We put our heads together and decided we didn’t like this crazy big city we were living in. My husband claimed that Grand Cane was an amazing and magical place. A tiny village with pine trees and pastures with cattle. What? Cattle? As in that cow Daisy from the commercials? All smiling and happy? Well, I don’t know about that.”

But the husband stacked promises upon promises. “And there are people who smile and say hey, neighbor!” What? Who does that anymore? If the good Lord wanted us to talk to strangers, He’d have created our right hands to stand straight up and wave upon command.”

But this highly doubtful woman became intrigued with the notion of a magical village called Grand Cane. “Oh, my husband promised it was a place we’d love. A place that we’d fit in, even if I’ve never set foot in Louisiana before. Even if my husband wears plaids with stripes, and I use paper instead of plastic. So yes, we packed every single one of our belongings, and here we are.”

Okay, I might have taken a few liberties with this story. But my husband does indeed wear plaids with stripes. And that’s a topic for another article though.

The bottom line is this couple, along with many others…and counting, visited Grand Cane and said something to the effect of absolutely yes! I am staying! However, I wasn’t one of those couples.

Oh sure, John sang the praises of Grand Cane. Of course, I agreed. After all, I try to be a good wife and all. But to live here? Permanently? For real? Uh…maybe?

That was three years ago. I’d like to say the jury’s still out, but I can’t. I’m not saying my husband’s right…I’m just saying I might have misjudged. Oh, and remember the statement I made earlier? “I wouldn’t even be here, except my husband/wife/partner/parent/child was born and raised here. Then…”

If you see my father, Skeeter Goar, gallivanting around DeSoto Parish…please give him a hi or a hey, neighbor! Because he’s one of the transplants, someone who wouldn’t even be here, except that his only child married someone who owns cattle and trees in Louisiana. Someone who calls Grand Cane home. And now he does too.