March 9, 2011
The Day After ...
My Mardi Gras was not celebrated in NOLA this year.
To be quite frank, I have never actually been to a Mardi Gras Parade because as a young women, I was deathly afraid of crowds. I also had problems at The Taste of Chicago for a while, until I learned how to navigate my fear.
I have been in New Orleans during the season, but one year I spent held up in Pat O'brien's consuming WAY to many Hurricanes. One year I spent at a friend's Grandma's picking through the crawfish and sipping beer. One year, well ... you get the drift.
The Lenten season is a huge deal for practicing Christians. With so many traditions to follow, sometimes I feel lost in Chicago. Diversity swallows us up nicely here, but in being so free to be, and away from clusters of like-social circles, it becomes harder for someone to stay true to the past that binded them.
It is a good thing and a bad. This was the first year ever I was too busy to order, or make, a King Cake! I didn't make Gumbo, rice or anything. My son and I, still desperate to celebrate, went to a local "hole". He had a Blue Cheese burger and a "Kiddie" cocktail and I had nachos and a beer. We conferred on what we planned to "give up" for lent and really had a nice time.
So, while tradition was a little shaky there, the intentions were good, and the desire to fall back into a more New Orleans-style party next year was spoken (come on, we REALLY NEED money and time off to go, oh special Mardi Gras angels!). Mardi Gras 2012 has been firmly tiered in our mind's planner and we are now ready to settle in, remember our history and proclaim the mystery of faith.