Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Back In the Day

New Easter Clothes

This year I kind of forgot Easter.  Not that I didn't know the date or when it was coming, but I plumb forgot to get the stuffed rabbits out and put them in the basket with the grass and plastic eggs.  Forgot to dye Easter eggs.   Forgot, finally about Easter dinner.  No church.  Nada.  My bad.

When I was a kid, back in the day, everyone always got a new Easter outfit to wear to church throughout the summer.  Mine usually consisted of a dress, a coat and a hat and probably shoes.  My mom and I always fought over the shoes.  Even in high school I got a new dress for Easter.  I remember a cowl-neck, dropped waist polka dot (white on navy) that was quite fetching. 

In junior high and into high school, our Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Olsen always invited her class out to her farm on the edge of town for an Easter Sunrise service.  In our new finery we arrived at the crack of dawn, saw the sunrise, probably sang a hymn or two with her at the piano, and then dug into a big farm Easter breakfast with homemade cinnamon rolls.  Yowza! Worth getting up early for.

It has only been later in my life that I came to appreciate Mrs. Olsen's efforts on behalf of her class.  She wanted us to sign a temperance pledge never to drink, but I didn't, because I wasn't sure if I might not drink sometime and then I knew I would feel badly about breaking the pledge.  Mrs. Olsen was a WCTU member.  Are they still around?  For some reason, hers is the only Sunday school class I remember. 

When our kids were little we always had an outdoor egg hunt, and one of the funniest home movies is of our youngest son, age not quite one, diligently toddling around the yard looking for he knew not what.  He could just walk and every now and then he would land on his padded bottom on the grass.   So cute.  Not quite clear on the concept.   

We always had ham for Easter dinner, and once when I reminded my Mom that "eternity is two people and a ham" she didn't think it was funny.  She liked ham. 

Why do we remember some events and forget others?  Proust knew.  The persistence of memory.   I remember how the pines fragranced the air on a warm afternoon in the Colorado mountains.  Remember the scent of DDT in the alleys of my childhood.  Remember the smell of Sunday dinner at my Grandma's house.    She sang hymns while she dried dishes.   The Old Rugged Cross was her fave.    Which leads us back to Easter.  Which I forgot.    Well, not entirely.  There's still the good memories.

In the years when I first took piano lessons, I composed an "alleluia" for the piano every year.  One Easter it was actually not bad.   The stuff kids do.  Maybe it is still in an old box of souvenirs.  Maybe not.  I probably pitched it years ago. 

Easter memories on a cool Massachusetts afternoon.  

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