As I ponder what desires are in my heart of hearts as far as how to spend a 40-hour work week is concerned, I am seriously evaluating what people can and will do to try and earn a living. How inspiring to consider what items and services that some people provide to “follow their dreams” or maybe just gain some extra cash flow. Or it can be, well, whatever feeling those taxidermy inspired accessories evoke in either your mind or your stomach.
Your eyes are not deceiving you…yes, those are actual freeze dried squirrel feet earrings. Matching necklaces are also available for those really trying to make a statement. Now as far as what statement that would be, I’ve not yet gained the insight necessary to provide that here. I will say that these accessories make more sense to put them into context, as they hail from none other than the accessory mecca of Ville Platte, Lousiana. Since I lived in the nearby locations of Rayne and Eunice, I have a bit of a deeper understanding of what that means.
This serves as proof positive that even roadkill can become something to wear with a little black dress with a little Cajun ingenuity and some gold ear wires. To put a Coonass spin on an old adage, “Give a man a squirrel, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to make squirrel feet earrings and you feed him for a lifetime.” Brillant.
When I was in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, I was inspired by another type of entrepreneur. Adorned in a white suit with tails, a star-spangled top hat, a tall African-American man was practicing his craft on a nearby street from where I was working. With his stuffed animal puppy sporting matching head gear in tow on a leash, he would begin walking across the street and freeze mid-step. He would hold that given pose like a freeze dried squirrel foot until he received his cash prize, and then would freeze into another pose. Totally intriguing to think that this man wakes up and puts his white suit on in the morning getting ready for “work” and then goes out on the streets to get paid to vogue. Now that’s what I call thinking outside of the box!
Continuing along my path towards that next open window, I will take the lessons learned from this “gift that keeps on giving” and ponder it in my heart. If Joe the Squirrel Feet Accessory Maker can pursue his dream, then what is stopping me? I need to get out of my own way and shoot for the stars. I will end with an apology: I’m sorry that I didn’t get this blog post up in time for Mother’s Day, but you’ve got plenty of time to add it to your Christmas wish list!