I have always loved being outdoors. I grew up in a non-incorporated area of south Mobile County known as Coden. Our home was just a small house on the banks of a lazy little bayou that nestled into the edge of a swamp. My brother, cousins, and I spent our summers swimming, boating and dodging snakes and alligators. We were free to roam as long as we took care of the chores Mama always had for us first. It was a wonderful way to grow up.
I attended Alba school in Bayou La Batre, AL from 1st through 12th grade. My college life began at Judson College for Women for a year before I transferred to the University of South Alabama where I obtained a BS in Elementary Education, a M Ed. in Special Education and a 2nd M Ed. endorsement in Elementary Ed. I taught in the Mobile County Public School System for 25 years before retiring from public education in 2012. My goal was to become a writer, but life interrupted those plans for a while as I took care of my parents when their health began to fail. I miss my parents tremendously. I have always been independent, but now that I am totally on my own, it is more important than ever for me to remain focused on taking care of myself and my future in the later half of my life.
I currently work full-time at an alternative school and write part-time. I have published articles both on line and in print and currently have many low-content paperback books published. I am in the process of finalizing a family history on my mother’s side, and have several non-fiction e-books near completion.
I love stories about the past. I have deep roots here on the coast. Both of my parents were born and raised in South Alabama. Daddy grew up in Mobile. His people are mostly of English descent and I have traced his roots all the way back to the 1600s when his father’s line crossed the ocean as Quakers. His relatives eventually migrated south and ended up on the coast. Mama was a bayou girl. Her ancestry has roots in the French colonization of the Gulf Coast. She had a direct ancestor through her paternal grandmother’s line that traveled with Iberville and Bienville Lemoyne on their quest to establish a French colony at the southern mouth of the mighty Mississippi River. This same ancestor married a young Native American woman who we believe was the daughter of one of the expedition’s guides from Canada. I have only been able to trace her father’s line back about 5 generations to an Irish immigrant who came over as a child in the early 1800s.
Here on Gulf Coast Inspired, I hope to include many of the fascinating stories and coastal history I’ve uncovered through genealogy research, as well as sharing tutorials, projects, and journeys I find interesting. In changing hosting providers, many former posts have been removed. I hope to be able to re-post many of them them soon, but my main focus moving forward will be on four broad categories labeled create, discover, thrive and reflect. I will also be adding links to my books and digital downloads to my online store.
I look forward to sharing my love of Alabama gulf coast living with you and encourage you to also check out more images of some of the wonderful places and people I have photographed along my journey on my photo website JlouPhotography.com.