The leftovers from Carnival are all consumed and today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. As a little girl, I always looked forward to Lent. At church, each child was given what we called ‘mite` boxes about the size of a 1/2 pint milk carton that were used in school lunches. In our home, the ‘mite’ box sat in the middle of the table in our farmer`s kitchen. I was elated to put little earnings or allowance mites into the box which would get heavier over the 40 days. The money I knew would be sent to poor children far away; even at that tender age I had some concept that not every child in the world was as well fed and cared for as I was in America. At Easter there would be a huge cross in front of the altar in which all the mite boxes were placed,each child bringing up his or her mite box and putting in the cross. This was a big deal! (or at least I remember it as such. )Then there were parish suppers, potluck every Wednesday evening. These were big with as many as 60-75 people there. This I too remember very fondly all the choices and older ladies and gentlemen oohing and ahhing over us children. Then there was some class which I do not remember so fondly and the evening closed with a quiet English compline and the Nunc Dimittis in the warm and darkened church. Yes I have happy memories of Lent, trying not to bite my fingernails or giving up candy which all somehow seemed to count in the world of God`s favor. I spent a good bit of time deciding on my ‘fast’. Lent was important somehow something outside of myself so that still again 60 years later I settle in for the 40 days of Lent, a time apart, for being with and coming closer to God.