Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

I don't have any scintillating thoughts to share about Easter. Other than it is 90 degrees outside. On March 23. Anyway, I will definitely take that over 12 inches of snow any day. I'll post some photos tomorrow of our Easter dinner, which I will prepare after this post.
So, since my ideas are lacking, I am going to share this Easter reminiscence I received from my cousin, Doug. To give a little perspective, he is the second of eight children.

Easter was always a holiday we Catholic kids looked forward to. Any holiday where we got something was, in our books, a pretty cool deal.

Easter baskets.
Well you gotta like Easter baskets. Finally, finally after 3 cold months since Christmas with nothing to do we were finally gonna get some stuff.
By this time, all the Christmas presents we had received were either broke or boring. We kids needed a boost to our morale. Easter baskets was just what the doctor ordered. Nothing like a boiled egg to cheer up a kid with cabin fever. Best part about an egg is that they were colored by our own clumsy hands the night before. That was always fun. For the kids anyways. (I still can't believe mom didn't drink.)
Jelly beans.
I don't generally think "I want a jelly bean." but when I eat one I think to myself, "This is good. It's colored. It's got your sugar. And I got lots of them." I don't think I've ever eaten a jelly bean in a month ending in "ary" or "ber." Strictly Easter food.
For some reason Easter baskets were always hidden. I think it has something to do with Jesus being buried in his tomb. That or it's hard to wrap an Easter basket.
In our house there were only two places to hide a basket. One was behind the couch, and the other was behind the couch. We didn't have a lot of furniture in those days. We were what people in those days called "poor."
Briefly what happened was, we'd wake up, look behind the couch, find the baskets, take them to the center of the front room and sort out what we got. on the front room rug. Jelly beans with the jelly beans, peeps with the peeps, eggs with the eggs and more jelly beans with the other jelly beans. Then we'd count 'em and argue. Mom and dad, in the early years were careless. They just dumped jelly beans into baskets. They quickly learned that every kid better get the exact same amount of candy because we could count and we were checking for favoritism.

Before Easter back at school, there was a whole bunch of things we did during Holy Week. All of them involved kneeling.
While we kneeled some priest told the story of Jesus' bad weekend. Now the first few times I heard the story of Jesus and the Last Supper and the crucifixion, death and resurrection, I found it interesting. I quickly found out that when you know how a story ends, it loses some of it's suspense and this coming from a pretty holy kid - me. If I was bored, imagine how the misbehaving kids, like David and Ally felt about reruns.
One thing that always caught my attention during the story was to find out just how clumsy Jesus was. Jesus falls the first time, Jesus falls the second time. Jesus falls the third time. At this rate, he's not gonna get up the mountain until the day after Easter.
Well, miraculously he makes it just before the end of Good Friday. Good Friday is the day that we would sneak out the front door between 12 and 3 and get yelled at by Ally because she said we aren't supposed to go outside between 12 and 3. So instead we came inside and watched cartoons. It's a fine line between sinning and being holy.
The story of Jesus goes on to say that He rises from the dead. Wow! This really must have freaked out a lot of people.
Knock at the door, "Who is it?"
"Get outta town! Omigod! It's Jesus. Come on in."
"Mind if I sit down. I'm a little dizzy."
"Here let me clear this off. It's a little messy around here what with the funeral and everything. How the hell are ya?"
"Pretty good considering."
"Would you like some wine?"
"I'd love some. Better yet, make it a whiskey. I'm whipped."

There was some non-religious things we did at school too. One was to make Easter bonnets out of construction paper and paste. Apparently, somewhere, Easter bonnets are huge. Where I come from, I never saw anybody wear them. But we made them anyways and gave them to our moms.
We also used to sing a song about an Easter Parade. Again, I never saw no Easter Parade around here. If I ever find out that there were Easter Parades on Wisconsin Avenue, to be honest, I'm gonna be a little pissed off, becaus my dad always took us to parades but he never, ever, took us to no Easter Parade and I, for one was heavily into parades of any kind. I gotta believe there weren't any because if there was my dad would have taken us. I believe that. He was a good dad. Besides he had standing orders from mom to get us kids out of the house any chance he got. I mean I never heard mom yell at dad, "I thought you told me you were taking these kids to the parade!" I'd remember that.

So that's just a few of my memories of Easter. As I reached puberty, my memories turn less to do with eggs and have more to do with a pretty, little girl I had my eye on. It was during this period where I might be heard to say, "C'mon you guys! Let's go! We're gonna be late for mass!"
It's amazing what women make men want to do.
Happy Easter all you Catholics out there.

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