Mardi Gras Aftermath

Saturday morning I had time drive my son to the Math and Science school for a competition with the Science Bowl. Students from about 20 schools come to compete for the day.
Driving back home I went through the heart of downtown Mobile. You can see the aftermath of the Mardi Gras parades from last night. Food trucks lining the streets with the Funnel Cake and chicken on a stick signs.  Leftover beads hanging in the trees and the street washing trucks just making their way through to wash away parade debris and get ready for the next one.  The city just starting to come to life after a long night of fun.  The business windows and fronts decorated in purple, gold, and green.  And intermittently a homeless person sitting on a corner or walking with the one bag of personal items they have to their name.  I started to cry…thinking of where these people were before and how they got to this point. I have a soft heart and I really have a special spot for the homeless.   I did a music and food outreach in Washington,DC many years ago and it was a great experience.  It was sad to see that just around the corner from the starving cold people were all of these huge affluent neighborhoods.  Such a contrast. I thought about how the contrast of the parades going by and people catching goodies for fun and then the people who were just hoping for a moon pie as a snack or their only meal that night.  It really makes me want to get involved in something that would make a difference for them.  I have an idea for a photography project of taking food and then interviewing people and finding out who they are, where they were in life before and maybe trying to get them connected to a person or place that could help.  I know I have heard of some crazy stories of people who had previously been affluent or even heros that have served our country who don’t have anyone to help.  I am thankful for churches and shelters who open their doors and work to help the homeless.  It’s something I think we would rather just not discuss or keep in our hearts and minds.  I’m not saying I wont attend parades and I’m even getting to enjoy a few balls this year, but it definitely makes me think about how can I help to make a difference somewhere in my life that might help?  I hope one day to have more to give.  I joke with my husband that if we had a lot more money we would spend it on touring around listening to live music and helping other people.  Not a bad agenda.  Even a gift of time can be good when there is nothing else to give.  One of the things I especially like about the races that my son and I sign up to walk is that most of them have a good cause like St. Jude or the SEEDS foundation in Daphne or the Cancer Society so that’s at least a little giving back while working towards my weight loss goal.  Think about what you can do where you live to give to a foundation or give time to someone who needs help this year.
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