Sixty-nine years of memories weigh heavy sometimes. So many where to begin.
When I was little.... It was all about the Easter Bunny, basket and eggs. I was excited to don my new clothes and endure church, but my focus was on what happened after - the hunt. Magically the bunny visited while we were at services. How did he know when that was? To a 4 year old the impossible logistics of magic surrounding Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were not a worry. How they got to everyone in a timely fashion wasn't something I really thought about. No, I was content to buy the impossibilities and concentrate on the fun, chocolate and jelly beans.
Finding and gathering the brightly colored eggs was a joy filled activity. Okay, maybe a little competitive, we always counted our bounty, who had the most? It was amazing how many hiding places there were where the eggs could hide - inside the bend of a gutter, tucked in the tufts of tall grass, balanced in a bush, nestled in the tree roots. We had to look high and low with an occasional clue from our parents. Then there was a short period after we had found all we could the said parents tromped around looking for the one missing egg that was hidden too well. Rarely was that one found until days later when our noses followed the rotten smell to the secret place.
In my teens Easter was less about the hunt, eggs and baskets; more about the clothes. What care was taken to get the right dress, shoes, hat and gloves. We preened and critiqued what the congregation was sporting. Always certain that we were among the best-dressed. Ah, the olden days. A hat was mandatory as well as gloves. Easter bonnets had flowers, ribbons and straw. Gloves were pristine white, at least starting out. The bane of every mother and little girl was keeping track of both gloves and then keeping them white. I was never good at either of those two activities.
Sometime in my teens my mother decided that we were too old for Easter baskets. What an outcry we raised. No chocolate bunnies, no foil covered chocolate eggs, no gumdrops, no jelly beans? So a compromise was offered. She, the resident Easter bunny, would create a communal basket centerpiece for our dining room table. Not a perfect solution since there ws always a little squabbling about the center big bunny. We would break off pieces to eat, but (what follows has no logic to it but familys often operate without rational.) there were some of us who wanted to start with the tail, others who wanted the ears, and still others who wanted to keep it intact for a s long as possible. I was a tail person. I liked the illusion of an full-eared front, and I hated it when my brother would just race through lopping off the tip of an ear recklessly creating a very lop-sided rabbit. But what did work well were the jelly beans. I loved (and still do) black licorice jelly beans. And the family was happy to let me have them all. Bliss in our family of 5 children was not having to fight for your treat.
What happy memories. What are yours?