Fun Stuff

Lent and Livestock

Today is the start of the Lenten season, the time when Catholics (and other folks too) give up something near and dear to them until Easter.  I’m not Catholic, so Lent wasn’t something observed in my Southern Baptist family.  I knew what it was because I had Catholic friends, and I, of course, knew about Mardi Gras and Easter.  The three go hand-in-hand.

I guess I was a teenager when I started giving up things for Lent.  Food is always a popular choice – sweets or bread, fried foods or Cokes.  (And, of course, by “Cokes”, I mean sodas.  That’s a blog for another day.)  There’s even been a year or two when I gave up a crush I was pining over or a guy who wasn’t right for me.  This year tho, I honestly haven’t given much thought to what I should give up.

An added obstacle is that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo falls over Lent every single year.  There goes my default fried food sacrifice.  I can’t possibly not indulge at least once (or twice) in a chicken on a stick or fried pickles or a deep fried Snicker or Oreo or insert-name-of-other-yummy-chocolatey-candy-here.  It is, after all, THE RODEO.  Next to baseball season and Christmas, this IS the best time of the year!

This will be my 5th year as a Rodeo volunteer.  Aside from the handful of year-round employees, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is completely volunteer driven.  This is my 5th year as a proud member of the volunteer force of 27,000 folks who serve on more than 100 different committees that handle every aspect of the Rodeo experience.

Me and my committee buddies
Me and my committee buddies

It is truly amazing how the Show operates.  If you have never been to the Rodeo, you don’t know what you’re missing.  It’s 3 action-packed weeks of livestock, carnival rides, shopping, a RODEO, and more fried goodness than you can shake a sausage on a stick at.  Not to mention the awesome concerts and performers.

Dierks Bentley performs after the Rodeo
Dierks Bentley performs after the Rodeo

And, for these 3 weeks (and the weekend prior when the world’s best barbeque cooks come to town for the World’s Championship BBQ Contest), Houston really is Texas.

Trailriders arriving into Houston for the Rodeo Parade
Trailriders arriving into Houston for the Rodeo Parade

 

with my fiancé and "Big Houston" at the WCBBQ
with my fiancé and “Big Houston” at the WCBBQ

It’s the Texas my sweet mama lived in when ladies dressed like this:

(apologies for the poor quality) My Aunt Myrtle and my sweet mama at the Houston Fatstock Show, circa 1958
(apologies for the poor quality) My Aunt Myrtle and my sweet mama at the Houston Fatstock Show, circa 1958

It’s such a good time!  And, like I said, if it’s something you’ve never experienced, you really, truly are missing out.  Come see what Rodeo Houston is all about!

And, if you have any ideas on what I should give up for Lent, please share!

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