It’s appropriate food for thought, today.
There were years that I gave up chocolate for the 40 days of Lent. I even got my kids to do it with me a few times. After a few of those adventures, my family and co-workers (at several different companies over the decades), begged me to never give up chocolate again. I obliged.
I’ve also given up wine, beer and vodka. Not all within the same 40 days, mind you. All but one kid in the Eckert-Parker brood is over 21 now, and I am guessing I won’t get any company on a liquor-less Lent.
Chocolate and booze are optional sacrifices, but meat-free Fridays have been an almost lifelong habit. After all, meatless Fridays were a part of life when I grew up — not just Lent. We ate tuna casseroles, meatless pizza and fish sticks, fish sticks, fish sticks ever since I can remember. I maintained meatless Lenten Fridays raising my kids. When they got old enough to read the rules on Lenten sacrifices, they realized that they didn’t have to do the meatless thing until they were 14. I told them it was a tradition, and we weren’t breaking tradition.
I did draw the line at fish sticks though. I’ve permanently given up fish sticks, but McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish on Ash Wednesday and every Friday for the next month is all right with me. Last year was a beerless lent, and I think it’s time for a repeat — a time-honored tradition my parents started. One thing’s for sure. It won’t be a chocolate-free lent.