I read something the other day which stated that in my lifetime I would never see Easter Sunday come this early in the year again and that only those living, that were aged 95 years and older, have ever seen it this early before. That struck me for some reason; to realize that this was in fact a “once in a lifetime” occurance.
It also got me to thinking about Easters when I was growing up. I must admit that I don’t remember much about my childhood Easters. I suspect that we got together with my mother’s parents or other family friends, to have a meal. I remember the smell of Saffron Bread that my grandma used to make, not just for Easter. It was much like fruitcake but very light and yellow; the color came from the saffron. She never used a recipe but in her later years my mom took notes from her about how to make the bread. Unfortunately, like others of her generation, it was “a pinch of this” and “a handful of that”. Needless to say, the bread never came out the same; plus, it’s very difficult and expensive to buy saffron. On top of that, I think she used English saffron which is more difficult to locate.
I have found several photos of my sister and I dressed up in our Easter Sunday best…new dresses, cute hats, carrying our baskets. I suspect that my mom drove us to Sunday School and picked us up at the end of the service. She was very good about that, but I don’t remember her actually joining us in church.
I know that Easter used to be about the resurrection of Christ but I also know that it became about the Easter Bunny and colored eggs and baskets full of “stuff”. I loved this holiday when the kids were small. I never bought the pre-packaged baskets wrapped in cellophane and full of junk. I always enjoyed finding my own baskets and stuffing them full of my own junk! I tried to make each basket special and about the child, Wendy or Greg, that would wake up in the morning and find it. I would find all sorts of “special” things for the kids…stuffed animals, books, designer pencils and erasers, eggs filled with kisses or chocolate eggs or even $$$$. I actually continued the tradition even after they had both graduated and gone to college. Of course, the junk got more and more expensive. Finally, about the time Greg reached 30 and lived in another state and we didn’t always see each other on the holiday, I decided it was time to give it up. I felt kind of empty for the next couple of years with no baskets for the kids. Wendy still lives in the area but she seems to take the lack of a basket gracefully.
I’m not sure how the tradition started, maybe because the kids slept upstairs, but I would (I mean the EB would) leave a trail of jelly beans from their bedroom doors to their baskets, which were downstairs. That meant that on the night before Easter, the two dogs had to spend the night locked up so they couldn’t eat up all the candy during the night.
We always colored eggs, too. Living in Maine, the only time we could find white eggs was for Easter. At first, the colors were plain and simple but as time went on, they became more and more decorative and elaborate. First, there was the wax that made a design once the eggs were colored. Then came glitter and colors that swirled around the eggs. There was also some kind of punch-out costumes. Of course, it never failed, a dozen eggs were hidden but only eleven were found.
This was my 58th Easter Sunday and it was a good one. We prepared dinner at Bill’s house…spiral ham, sweet potatoes and green beans. My daughter, Wendy and her boyfriend, Dan came. They brought deviled eggs and a wonderful chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries and a strawberry sauce. Both of Bill’s boys came, Kris and Scott. The big surprise was that Bill’s grandson, Trevor, came also. He will be 3 in April. We didn’t know he was coming so we didn’t get to have a basket or hide eggs but that didn’t matter. It was just special that we were all together. After dinner we played Wii and everyone had a good time.
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was warm in the glass room. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the wind had died down. It’s a mystery how many more Easter Sundays we will enjoy but we know, this was a “once in a lifetime” occurance in more ways than one.
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