Mardi Gras

Ya know, this used to be a venerable celebration.

When I was a jes' a baby chile' I loved listenin' to the growed-ups gettin' excited over Mardi Gras. We had a gran-mama livin' in Baton Rouge who was some la-di-dah thingy in the whole shebang--and fer years we had an elaborate headress in the attic--

But I digresses...these days the thang has been coopted by every type of freakazoid, an' thus, the streets of N'awlins is a human sewer. No longer fit fer famlies and decent folk, whar' the idea of excess was too much libation and a few risque costumes...now it is drugs and open debauchery-- mercy! Ain't sayin' it is so, but I could understand iffin' mama nature sent her biggest blowin' Katrina on a freshen-up mission. Good folks are driven to more private celebrations.

But chillens, this is a fine day--the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. The last day to splurge on goodies before the 40 day "fast," which today is less fast and more quiet living.

But tonight? Ha! I'se having a bowl of rich gumbo an' double expresso brownie!

Does any of y'all have any Mardi Gras memories?


fishy said...

Hey Belle,
You havin memory trips terday?

Well, I reckon like you, most of us growin up in the South had a very different notion bout Mardi Gras than the current culture exhibits. Seems like the devil himself is in charge of Mardi Gras now.

I remember images of fabulous costumes, beautiful fantasy masks of feathers and sequins, parade floats to boggle the mind and folks throwing candies and beads to the chillens lining the streets and smiling faces of all ages.

I remember looking forward to a big ol bowl of red beans and rice, properly chocked full of the best sausage ever, fresh baguettes of crispy french bread and off the farm fresh butter accompanied by tall classes of sweet mint tea.

I remember hearing excitement and joy from all the gathered grown ups while they shared their MardiGras stories around the family. I remember kids playing dress up and making noise with impunity cause the grownups were so relaxed they fergot to yell at us about our manners and our clothes. It were a fine time.

Don't know as we have any special plans to celebrate Mardi Gras at the Pond today... but for sure I will go out in the garden to pick a bouquet of the confetti camelias to set on the table, I might scatter a few feathers and beads on the table too and for certain I will fetch home a fresh, crisp baguette and maybe a fine bottle of wine too!

Jenny said...

Living on the West Coast, we celebrate "Fat Tuesday" which means we're not being able to translate French. It's become an excuse to drink in public and less about the history behind it. Too bad, because these rites can actually add to the richness of life.

Last year you gave up blogging for Lent. What will it be this year?

h said...

I've never celebrated it but I did punch Scott Favre's lights out on "Fat Tuesday" about 12 years ago. He's the obnoxious brother of football player Bret Favre, but I didn't know that at the time.

boneman said...

I sometimes have the strangest respect for you, gal.
I couldn't help noticing that throughout life, the worse that is wished upon others is usually what comes down the pike for the wisher.

I'de say make sure you can get to high ground, quick, eh?

Helene said...

Went to a party today (here in Philly)and got the baby from the king cake!=] They say its good luck, but all I know is that IIIIIIII have to bring the king cake next year! lol

I was in NOLA the spring before Katrina. I would love to go back... someday...

Aunty Belle said...

Ah, Fancy-Fishy,

Them red beans and rice wif' sausage is makin' my mouth water! Reckon I could be happy round yore table any day.

Boxer -Babe!

Ain't it too bad that folks doan keep the connection to history? As fer Lent, this year I ain't givin' up bloggin' altogether--but will be a tad less regular. I'se ackshully of persuasion that as well as giving up somethin, one oughta see if they can make concerted effort to do somethin' for others too. I'll be tryin'.

I love Lent--ya know, a sort of gut-check we all need to make onc't in awhile.

Chef Troll,

whar' was ya' when ya punched out ole Scott's lights? In Big Easy ? or...?


please read with care.I did not wish anything on anybody.

Helene/ Kate,

WOW! Youse gonna have the "luckiest" year. Was the cake delicious???

sparringK9 said...

a friend called while i was in seattle.

"what are we doing for mardi gras this year?"

i said "nuthin". and that included NOT wearing gold sequin pants. i am far more in the lenten mode than the fat tuesday mode. although i did wear a set of beads today.

but that isnt to be gloomy. no. its more.... about being quiet and introspective, i suppose.

the lenten roses are blooming in my little side garden. and for Lent i plan to "add on" rather than take away. ive already given up the most egregious external vices and have only the interior (that vast wasteland, grrrerhahahaha) to tackle now. life was easier as a youngster ;-)

in nawlins for mardi gras one year i had the sad misfortune to reach up for beads while perched on the shoulders of a cousins husband only to be grabbed by someone on the float - pulled off the cousin and into the side of the float where my shin was cut damn near the length of it. as a result, i have a fine white mardi gras scar.

good to see ya aunty! you were missed on our summit dearly. xo

moi said...

I celebrate in my head :o). And I do have a most fine set of Mardi Gras beads, one of which is punctuated by happy little plastic bumble bees. NEVER giving those up.

We're thinking of going back to NOLA for Jazz Fest this year. I miss it.

h said...

Bay Saint Louis (they pronounce it like LOO-E). Bret was there too but I didn't see him.