When we were growing up, my Mom’s birthday, springtime and Easter were synonymous. We lived on Long Island, and by the end of March the farm stands and grocery stores would have all sorts of plants and flowers out as they prepared for the Spring and Easter rush. Mom’s gone now, but her birthday is next week. Upstate New York doesn’t begin to put out gardening flowers until the end of April, sometimes even May. And we still get snow this time of year. But all the old memories, the traditions, whisper around me like spring snow flurries. Blanketing my reality, then fading a short while after.
Every year my mom would ask for flowers for her garden for her birthday, for Easter, and then for Mother’s Day in May. She loved azaelea bushes and snowball bushes. When I became a Mom, I followed in her footsteps, asking for plants for the gardens for Easter and Mother’s Day. I look forward to the last of the snow, so I can fill my flowerboxes and get my gardens going again.
I have lots of great memories of Easter time as a kid, all of them centered around my mom mostly. She would do whatever she had to do to make sure we were dressed in Easter Finery, even if she was still wearing her same old dress up clothes. Each year her four girls would get new dresses, new spring coats, Easter bonnets, white gloves, shiny white patent leather shoes, and purses.
Easter morning we’d wake up, find our baskets, shove as much candy as we could into our new Easter purses, then head off to church all decked out in our Easter Sunday best. We’d have such a sugar high by the time we got home from Mass, I’m not sure how my mom survived.
She would cook us a great big breakfast—scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, and then we’d play with whatever goodies we’d gotten from the Easter Bunny. Dinner would be down at my grandmother’s in the Bronx, where Grandma Solicito would make multiple course meals that had us sitting at the table for what seemed like hours. One of my favorite Easter memories is getting a beige purse with white macrame stitching from my Uncle Anthony – filled with candy.
Sometimes we would head down to Tennessee for the holiday, and I’d get to see my cousins. One of my most favorite Easter Baskets was from from my Grandma Jones. It had the biggest red bow I’d ever seen. I don’t remember what was in the basket, but I’ll never forget the bow. We’d have Easter Egg hunts there too, and all my cousins would come around and we’d hunt the eggs. it was a grand old time.
Easter evolved over the years. I got older, married, and shared the holidays with my in-laws and my parents, taking turns each year traveling to one family, then the other.
The craziest thing for me was raising two kids who did not like candy. I’m not sure how that happened. So as they grew up, most of the Easter candy we bought was for me, their dad, then their step dad. Pectin Jelly beans were my favorite, while Reeses peanut butter eggs, and chocolate eggs were their dads’ favorites.
As time went on and my philosophies evolved, so did our holidays. They kids went away to school. We started celebrating Ostara rather than Easter. We still colored eggs. We still decorated with bunnies and baskets full of glass eggs oand the crocheted eggs I’d made more than 30 years ago. But this year, things changed.
The pandemic is still keeping the family a bit isolated. We did not celebrate Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New years, or any of our birthdays. We’re waiting. As a result of health issues, we’ve sworn off candy, so no Pectin Jelly Eggs for me or Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs for David.
Spring arrived last week. Then left. And in it’s path we were left with snow. But for some reason I don’t mind.
Snow is still beautiful, and I know within a few weeks it will be gone until the end of year. And the flowers will bloom, and the grass will need mowing. And Summer will arrive. And my flowers will be in full bloom.
We pick up our teardrop, Forevermore, tomorrow, and are planning a heap of mini trips throughout the summer.
My daughter, and son and their partners have been vaccinated. My sister, Jeana, and David’s both been vaccinated. I’m due for my second shot next week, and most of my beloved friends and chosen family have been or are about to be vaccinated and COVID safe.
We have a lot to look forward to, and many blessings to be grateful for.
So, it seemed fitting that even though we did not decorate this year, I should share this picture of Easter Springtime days gone by.
Times change, but times stay the same, and it is the comfort we find in the familiar that gives us the strength to embrace the tomorrows that are yet to come.
One way we are readjusting to the new lifestyle we embraced is by ordering from https://eatingevolved.com/ . Their motto is Chocolate: It’s food, not candy. And it’s yummy and healthy and just what we need to get us through the next few weeks of cool and soggy days.
Their site has great sales, great chocolate, great recipes, and provides lots of healthy, yummy, treats that are actually good for you and cause little guilt when purchasing. If you’re doing clean eating that involves keto or being gluten or dairy or sugar free or just want to experience healthy treats that taste sinfully decadent… head over to eatingevolved.com and get some treats.
I’m pretty sure, if you’re like me, its time for a little self indulgence and self care. You’ve earned it.
So Happy Spring, Happy Passover, Happy Ostara. Happy almost the end of the Pandemic.