Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter In My House 2.0

When I was a kid, Easter was all about the Easter Bunny. Growing up and being subjected to Southern Baptist church, I was aware of the story and all that went along with Easter but what I pretty much loved was everything Easter not related to the bible. The brightly colored baskets, eggs, candy and everything else one equated to the Easter Bunny.
Me, a cake my mom made and my sister, Becki.
 Unlike Christmas, there was no need to drop hints about what gifts you wanted. One didn't write letters to the Easter Bunny as they would Santa. Easter required no preparation not did it require decorations going up a month in advance. Every Easter, no matter what house we lived in, played out exactly the same unless my parents chose not to head over to my granny's house for the family Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Dinner and everyone's favorite....The bi-annual fight between my cousin La Shea and my Uncle Mike.

Might one call the night before Easter "Easter Eve"??? If not, I always have and always will. Anyway, Easter Eve was not exactly an evening of fun for me though I did go through the motions and try to seem as if I'm enjoying it. My mom would hard boil about two and a half dozen eggs, she usually boiled more than we needed because it was inevitable that some would crack in the pot, which meant she got to snack as we dyed the eggs that made it out of the water with their shells as solid as they were when dropped into the water. Whatever cracked eggs that she didn't end up snacking on or the ones that ended up looking awful, she'd use the following day in her amazing Southern Potato Salad. While we were working on dying eggs, she would also bake a coconut cake...I was the cause of that one I believe, if you said you liked something she would run with it for life...I had coconut cakes every Easter AND for almost every birthday...I've not eaten a coconut cake since I was a kid.

Dying eggs may be fun for most kids, especially the ones you see on TV or on the packages of store bought dyes. Occasionally my parents would buy the Paas Dyes but many times, I liked them for several reasons...They included many different colors and I loved watching the tablets fizz in the vinegar. I secretly wanted to eat the tablets because they looked like candy appeared as if they may have had a fruity flavor. The copper colored wire thing for dipping and removing the eggs from the dye baffled me, it seemed to bend from the weight of eggs. Why was the wire not thicker? I remember more often though, the food coloring coming out of the cabinet and a few drops of each of the 4 colors were dropped into coffee cups containing vinegar and water. Using spoons, my sister and I would do our best to make the 4 colors come out as impressive as we could get them so the Easter Bunny and no one else would know that we used ordinary food coloring. I also believe we really didn't understand the concept of mixing the 4 colors to create additional colors, so all of our eggs were Green, Blue, Red and Yellow.
I thought the better the basket of eggs looked, the more impressed the Easter Bunny would be and he'd leave my sister and I more candy than the year before. We would go to bed with the eggs sitting on the kitchen table, we'd wake up Easter to find them in the refrigerator and our Easter baskets that each of us had since our first Easter filled with candy where the eggs were the night before.

This was the Easter we lived at our Granny's house.
Those awful yellow curtains...ugg.
 The contents of our Easter baskets seemed to always be the same types of candy year after year. A large cream filled chocolate egg, a couple of Russell Stover eggs, small foil covered chocolate eggs, Robin's eggs, Peeps, jelly beans and Easter themed circus peanuts sitting atop Easter grass. The best part of our Easter baskets were the hollow chocolate bunnies made by Palmer. To this day, I prefer Palmer's chocolate over any other brand, even the expensive stuff.

My sister, being the wonderful older sister she was, found joy in how gullible and compulsive I was. After being told that my chocolate rabbit was actually alive, she said he would be in pain if I ate him and if I broke parts of him off, since he had eyes, he would see it and he would see me killing him. My bunny would sit for weeks because I felt bad for him. Eventually, I would pick the eyes off...sort of like a monkey would when they turn on a human...Once the eyes were was ON.

If we didn't go to granny's, my mom would usually bake a ham and my dad would hide the eggs my sister and I worked on the night before in our yard for us to find...Of course we'd only find a fraction of them and he rarely remembered all of his less obvious hiding places.

Our trips to granny's house though...those were always fun. My dad and uncles would spend a good bit of the morning drinking beer or whatever whiskey someone brought with them while hiding all of the eggs that we all brought over with us, much like the egg hunts at home, only a fraction were found. My mom would add an egg Leggs pantyhose came in to the collection of eggs with a bit of money in it, usually $5 or something better than a plastic egg with jellybeans or a real hard boiled egg. My dad had a tradition that he seemed to enjoy, he'd always hide a brightly colored egg high up in a tree for my cousin Missy. Missy was always the one to spot the egg in the tree and her tall skinny ass would be in that tree collecting that egg while all the rest of us are finding eggs under stinging nettles and in horse or cow poop...where one of my demented uncles would hide them. The egg's we didn't collect that day would usually let themselves be known within a few weeks once the rotten hard boiled innards exploded from the brightly colored neon or pastel shell.
My cousin Mikey and me...BTW my dad actually built that swing we are sitting on.
My Aunt Joan and Granny would cook for the family, my mom usually made her contribution to Easter dinner with her Southern Potato Salad, containing some of the eggs that weren't suitable for dying the night before. Sometime after everyone ate, or sometimes while we ate, Mike and La Shea would find themselves in the same room and one would say something to the other and it was ON. I don't recollect the topics of the arguments but the outcome was always the same. Everyone sitting in the living or dining room wondering what just happened and acting surprised as if no one expected it when in reality, everyone was wondering when it would happen. This was always a part of our family get togethers so to me, it was a part of it and if it didn't happen, I would wonder what was wrong.
My dad and Granny in her kitchen.
With all that said, I am now here at Easter 2015, Terry and I are both working Easter Sunday. We didn't get anything for each other for Easter, other than a little chocolate bunny made by Palmer. We always have the intention to dye Easter eggs but never do...not that I want to anyway. Our only real tradition is heading out Monday and snatching up the Easter candy that's all on sale but not so much that we'd have to worry about diabetes. ;-) Terry also always tried to find me my favorite bunny Biggy Ears made by Palmer.
So that's it, that's the story of Easter in MY home. Yes, I still remember the story of Easter as told in the bible, though with my knowledge of not only the bible but Roman history, I know more about it than the average person. If you want to read about a horrific death, do a little research on how Christ actually would have died...All thoughts of the last scene in Jesus Christ Superstar will be erased from your memory.

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