The Lights Fest

by Alese

Hottie and I officially made it ten years in August!!  Not all of it has been Instagram worthy.  What real relationship is??? He is my guy and life would be so much less fun without him. Our life is filled with wonderful little moments. He is there at three in the morning to make sure I am treating a low blood sugar or not sleeping through a high blood sugar. Last year I had several surgeries that have improved my daily quality of life. We wanted to celebrate by actually going somewhere to celebrate. We stopped trying to plan trips the past few years. Epic disasters for so many ridiculous health reasons.  The Lights Fest was going to be near Cheaha State Park, Alabama, in November 2017.  One of my favorite places!

We rented a room at the park’s hotel. It felt like the 90’s with a great view.  Our cell phones barely worked and the TV was squiggly. Wifi was not happening.  It turned out to be the perfect getaway.

Saturday we went to The Lights Fest. It is a tailgate with live music. At the end of the night you and hundreds of new friends light and release rice paper lanterns.  It was an amazing experience.  My biggest T1D complaint is the spontaneity it has taken from my life. I can’t just grab my keys, phone, twenty bucks and hit the road.  Extensive planning is now the secret to a happy TID life. This is a great example.  Absolutely no issues.  If I had not over thought the night of course drama would ensue.

We had to buy tickets to the event in advance.  They staggered the parking times so no one would have to wait in line for long.  I chose the earliest time to beat the crowd in case I had a low.  Score.  It took us 35 minutes to check in, get our packets, and find a great spot.  Stocked coolers sans alcohol are allowed. Mine of course had extra Humalog insulin, juice, protein, and fat. Chicken Salad Chick and Tostitos Scoops makes my world go round. Lots of small snacks to compensate for the walking and standing. They had great local blues bands.

The packets they gave us had a rice paper lantern and marker to write messages on the lantern of hope, goals, say goodbye to someone.  I know it sounds a bit saccharine.  These days you can’t turn on the TV or read the news without hearing about hate and that the world is about to end.   The best part was so many different people from Atlanta to Montgomery coming together and having a great night.  Hottie and I wrote our messages.  Mine was a wish that diabetes continues to be more of a back story than the main plot of my life.  It has taken several years to get to the stage where I feel I have a fighting chance.

At dark tiki torches throughout the entire venue were lit. Music played, and everyone lit their lanterns one at a time.  For 45 minutes lanterns floated into to the sky. To say it was beautiful is an understatement.  It was a great way to celebrate our life together and living life in spite of T1D.

My photos and words don’t do the event justice. Check it out for yourself. If you have the opportunity to go to a Light’s Fest event.  I highly recommend it!!

****Are the lanterns  environment and animal friendly?? Yes! Our lanterns are extremely safe and 100% biodegradable. The lanterns are made from rice paper, string, and bamboo. Our lanterns are very different from the generic sky lanterns anyone can purchase online. There is no metal wire in them. The rice-paper body of the lantern is fire-resistant to prevent the flame from traveling from the small fuel-source suspended in the middle. We have a very thorough clean-up crew who gathers the lanterns within 24 hours after the event and disposes of them properly. Our crew is equipped to retrieve lanterns that may end up landing in trees, and though uncommon, a tree service company will be brought in if needed.***

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