TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Don’t Rain On My Parade

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Fall is probably my favorite time of the year. I’m far enough north to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. Far enough north to have to wear a jacket to ward off the crisp autumn breeze once the season changes. And Fall always reminds me of growing up in the swamps where my mother performed the same ritual every school year when the weather changed from muggy, humid summer to cooler, wetter Fall.

I love rainy weather. The steady drum of raindrops on tin roofs. The drip, drip of droplets off leaves and gutters. And the sidewalk puddles to dance around or stomp through. But the further into Fall, the greater the chance my mother would have to prepare for her “babies” to slosh into the house after battling wind and rain on the way home from school.

There were three things I could always depend on after a long, rain drenched walk home on a chilly Fall afternoon…




Our houses always had space heaters. Those clunky…take up a lot of space…heaters that could burn a layer of skin off your backside if you got too close, but offered little other warmth outside it’s immediate vicinity. But the one thing those heaters COULD provide was super toasty warm towels Mother would wrap us in once we shed our wet clothes, steam rising from shivering bodies as we dried off.




Cooler weather always meant the arrival of Mother’s homemade hot cocoa. Using a large gumbo pot, she would always have a vat of that chocolate deliciousness ready for us once we were in dry clothes again. 




My mother wasn’t a person to shower her children with words of love. She was a no nonsense woman who fiercely protected her children and did everything in her power to provide for their health and well being. To me, those towels and mugs of hot cocoa wrapped me in more love than words ever could. Even now, decades later, all I have to do is close my eyes during a November rain to bring back the warmth and love of my childhood homecomings…






The winners of the Ship of Dreams Amazon reviewers contest have been selected. Congratulations to all the winners! I only have “handles” for many of you. Please private message me with your names and addresses so I can send you your prizes! 








Carrie Belaire

Holly McCoy




donna - Copy


Best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest chapter book series is called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. Book One, Ship of Dreams, is available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers. Also, coming to the Titanic Museums in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Book Two, A Chocolate Train Wreck, was released in November.