Tomorrow is Mardi Gras. It is early this year, like Easter, not surprisingly since the date for Mardi Gras is tied to Easter.
For the past two years we have gone to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, but this year we decided to drive ourselves, and my friend D, to Lafayette instead. Mardi Gras in Lafayette is less fancy than in New Orleans, but it is also less crowded, so you can park closer to the action.
Now it is raining. The rains are moving in from the west, which means that it will still be raining in Lafayette tomorrow morning, with the possibility of thunderstorms. We have decided to call the trip off. Given that we aren’t buried in three feet of snow, like my poor beleaguered family up north, I shouldn’t complain. (At least they have power this time.) We did go to the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade Saturday, so we caught beads (and Moon Pies) and had fun.
Wednesday starts Lent. When I first started attending a Methodist church at the age of 8, Methodists didn’t give things up for Lent. You could, if you wanted to, but it wasn’t a requirement and I got the impression it was kind of frowned on, smacking as it did of “justification by works”, which ranks somewhere just south of serial murder in Methodist land.* Now Methodists not only give things up for Lent, but do the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday. I am not sure how this fits with Matthew 6:16, but I am sure they have found some way to tippy tap dance around that verse. Even some Baptists (okay, one) are suggesting giving up something for Lent.
I’m thinking of giving up soft drinks, though, since they are bad for me anyway, and Lent is a perfect time for breaking bad habits, since most folks I know are giving things up and I’ll have company. Forty days of iced tea is hardly a big sacrifice. If I really wanted to mortify the flesh I’d give up shrimp, which is on the Lenten menu of every restaurant in a hundred mile radius of here, at least. I could have a lot of fun with that, too. When the waiter starts reading off the Lenten specials, I could say, “Oh, that sounds so good, but I gave up shrimp for Lent. Just bring me the steak instead.”
It might almost make up for getting rained out.
*Yes, I’m joking.