A fog lay over Mermentau as daylight came. I had breakfast at C'est Bon with a few men who sat at the "Table of Knowledge" while I waited for the haze to lift. I had gotten off the roads for the end of Fat Tuesday and watched the parade floats return from their last day of celebration. Some of the passengers who had thrown beads to us looked a little "worse for wear" while others still had "a full head of steam" as they yelled and danced to the loud music booming from the purple, green and yellow covered trailers and old buses converted for use once a year. Some still had strings of beads to toss and when daylight came beads were strewn all around the World next to the road. I picked up handfuls that had been offered to the canvas ball. As we walked on Ash Wednesday into Jennings I picked up strings of beads as I went. During my slow shlog thru NOLA and C.A. country I had seen hundreds of beads from years gone by along the road in the most random places. Crushed by car tires, color worn away, half buried in gravel, intermingled in anthills. I wanted to do a small part to save what I could from roadside oblivion. As I rolled the miles to Jennings I found the fresh shining strands here and there where I'm certain no one had been standing while the inebriated participants sped past. There must have been one particularly sentimental "closet hippie" amongst them because at every big old oak tree I would find a strand of purple beads. Even where there was no house or industrial driveway in sight. As I got into town the random strings were tossed at old abandoned buildings, again, where no one had stood.
The fog may have lifted from the road but it was clear there was a fog laying heavy on some of the drivers who may have been "floating" on Fat Tuesday. I had to "hurry along" a few who slowed to take a picture as an eighteen-wheeler barreled toward them and their foggy haze.
It had been too many days of dampness and some of rain since I washed the blankets and clothes so I walked to the only laundramat in Jennings,sat in front and within minutes a man rolled up and took Nice (the dog) and me back to Mermentau and the van. I washed all the blankets and clothes. I washed the clothes from the day I had been soaked in the rain twice. (They still had a dank scent). Parking at the laundry was not the most promising spot to spend the night so I gathered my things and went up the road past US-90 to Walmart. During the short walk there a man offered a ride and when I arrived there he whisked us to his home in the "hood" for a "rinse and go" (a shower). I can truthfully say I spent the first day, at least, of Lent cleaning up.
As with everyday I met many who suffer from diabetes, too many to mention, and heard some heartbreaking tales of others. Let's all walk to help control or prevent it. Do it for yourself, eat well and walk.