Sunday, April 5, 2015
Easter baskets and boo boos
Vintage 1940s era photograph of two darling sisters
who slept with curlers in their hair and got all
dressed up for Easter. They are happily sitting
by their Easter Baskets on the back porch steps.
Little sister has a big boo boo on her knee. Big
sister is missing her two front teeth.
Sorta like time travel, seeing this picture, I was flooded by mostly good memories of Easter mornings, Easter Seasons long past,my past memories that go back to walking down the Main street of out town, seeing displays of stuffed rabbits and new clothes, with baskets of brightly colored eggs, and jelly beans, and most amazing was the giant chocolate egg that sat in the candy shop window. Years later I would learn that the egg was filled with newspaper and covered with painted plaster. I can remember walking hand in hand with my Dad, and he lifted me up so I could get a better look at that giant egg. My Mother, who was a good cook, made homemade Easter eggs, maple, peanut butter, coconut for my Dad, fruit and nut, but not cherry which was my favorite.
In the weeks prior to the big day, I would get new shoes, a new hat, those were to wear to Church. And when the big morning came, there would be a new dress beside the Easter basket. And one year a new Easter basket covered in cellophane, and brimming with all sorts of candy and toys, my favorites were the chenille chicks, I had a hen house full of them. Even the handles were covered with chenille chicks and ribbons, I loved it. and over the years that basket has been used and reused until it one year when I went to retrieve it was nothing but a heap of shreds and splinters, and repairs I had made to it.
One year I got skates for Easter, and though I have no idea what happened to the skates, I still have a scar on my knee. Another particularly vivid memory was walking with my Dad, enjoying the fresh spring air, we walked quite awhile, and paused to sit down on a low stone wall, he took two brightly wrapped foil packages out of his pocket and gave me one, then he said "No, this one is for you, that's my coconut one." and handed me a cherry flavored egg with dark chocolate, the best kind I thought. Coconut has never been a favorite of mine. We watched the birds for awhile and then walked home, it was getting chilly and the sun had started to set.
I was blessed by having a truly inspiring first grade teacher, who one morning taught us how to fold and glue a square of colored construction paper into a box and then she fastened a paper handle onto it with staples.
Staple guns were almost magical to me in those days. We left them on our desks and went to lunch, when we returned they were gone. Afternoon recess came and after those much too short minutes were up, we returned to our desks to find, Easter Bunny, was sitting at the teachers desk. We read a special story together and played a game, and each of us got our basket back,
filled with cellophane grass and candies, as we left to board the bus for the ride home.
It didn't take long for the sophistication of being in grade school to tarnish the magic of Easter, and it became in no particular order, new clothes, Church and egg hunts with the cousins. Easter was also a long vacation from school, just before it was time to start counting the days until the end of the school year.
Not until I had a child of my own did I again feel those magical moments. The excitement of finding eggs on a egg hunt, and finding not only a basket at his own house, but a basket of candy and toys at my parents house as well.
And most important and special to me the walks. Only now it was eating Cadbury eggs with 'Grandpa' and walking with him again, and seeing the wonder of an emerging Spring through my young ones eyes.