By Edward J. Wheeler
Night is the true democracy. When day
Like some great monarch with his train has passed,
In regal pomp and splendor to the last,
The stars troop forth along the Milky Way,
A jostling crowd, in radiant disarray,
On heaven's broad boulevard in pageants vast.
And things of earth, the hunted and outcast,
Come from their haunts and hiding-places; yea,
Even from the nooks and crannies of the mind
Visions uncouth and vagrant fancies start,
And specters of dead joy, that shun the light,
And impotent regrets and terrors blind,
Each one, in form grotesque, playing its part
In the fantastic Mardi Gras of Night.
I had big plans to get things done on Fat Tuesday, since it was the first day my kids had been to school in more than a week, though they started two hours late since the county wanted to make sure the walking paths and bus routes were safe (the plows had been dumping snow off the streets onto sidewalks and driveways). I did manage to get all the laundry washed, though not folded, and I got some other household chores done, but then in the afternoon I had a miscommunication with Adam about how he was getting home from school after viola sectionals (Daniel arrived home earlier than expected, announcing that the activity buses weren't running, so I thought Adam might have been standing out in the cold with a dead cell phone battery), and things got generally chaotic from there.
We did have a nice evening -- Paul made gumbo and red beans and rice, plus he had picked up a King Cake (having concluded that it was cheaper to buy one than to buy all the colored sugar, etc. to make one), and I put on my beads so we could be nostalgic for our trip to New Orleans last summer, when we thought we'd prefer ten days of snow to 100 degree heat. Then we watched the men's short program plus occasionally we paid attention to the snowboarding -- I'm ready to turn the sound off, I'm so sick of the skating commentary in particular, though I agree Weir should have had a higher score, he skated very well and was the most fun performer of the night even if you don't approve of the pink tassel, which of course I love. Every time I watch skating, I remember why I stopped watching skating!
Homemade vegetarian gumbo...
...red beans and rice...
...and store-bought King Cake complete with plastic beads and baby.
These are the beads I wore to dinner, bought in New Orleans...
...and the ones that decorate the bookcase in my bedroom, also bought in New Orleans.
My Superpoke Pets penguin had a more exciting Mardi Gras than I did. Here he is in his grand ballroom...
...and, earlier in the week, celebrating the Saints' Super Bowl triumph...
...and in the French Quarter at the height of the celebration.