Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Memories...

In my effort to find the right graphic/picture for my Easter post, everything seemed fake or artificial...just didn't 'feel right'! The only pictures that came close were always of Easter eggs...each time I came across images of those colored eggs, I had some flash of times past... SO, why not share some of those memories?

Memories of earlier Easter celebrations often involved a huge family gathering (my dad's side). The day began with Sunrise services at the family cemetary, Sunday School (oddly, we often skipped church or 'preaching') and then on to the egg hunt...this took place in some weird wooded area and ended with a huge lunch at some aunt's house. It seemed I always got a new taffeta dress, Mary Jane's (little black patent shoes : ) and a coordinating hat...Yes, a hat! LOL These fancy outfits did nothing to deter the "Tom-boy" in me. I ran, climbed, crawled, rolled, and pushed my way to find those special colored, oval orbs. The result was usually my finding the most eggs and thus, being the winner of the grand prize...a shiny half dollar, ownership of the eggs and FIRST in line for lunch. YIPPEE! Children never, ever got to go first - ahead of adults - except Easter.

Another, more vivid memory is one of my second grade class (teacher was Mrs. Smith) going to a nearby farm and enjoying a picnic under the shade of huge oak trees. Of course, before eating, we were treated to an egg hunt...we took bag lunches (sandwiches, an apple, carton of milk and either carrots or celery sticks) A special treat was eating some of the eggs we found in the hunt. Why on earth we didn't die of food poisoning, I don't know!

Way back when, we actually got Easter baskets...no plastic sand pails for us. The contents were the downfall of our little teeth. I remember candy eggs that must have been pure, hardened sugar; then some marshmallow filled candy eggs ( hate marshmallows in my old age ), one large hollow, chocolate bunny that usually melted into a small puddle of brown stuff, jelly bean candies, and of course those traditional dyed eggs... again, I loved peeling the crackly shell, adding salt and eating the real things...I'm beginning to wonder if all that hype about food poisoning is true 'cause we sure didn't shy away from day-old eggs...Hmmm.

I remember learning in Sunday School that we used the egg as a symbol of 'new life'...new life is what Jesus gave us when he gave his own life...that was a heavy message for a child and gave the egg a more special meaning during Easter celebrations.

Always a fond memory was that of coloring eggs...Once I got beyond the smell of boiling eggs, I got very excited about choosing the colors we used to dye them. Long before egg dying 'kits', we had to use food coloring. No rubber gloves, so that meant we ended up with red, yellow, green and blue hands...and those didn't wash off. We didn't mind that our colored hands clashed with the fancy, new Easter outfits! After all, after we hunted those same eggs, we got to eat them...LOL

My most recent memory of coloring eggs for Easter occurred a few years ago. My dear friend, Delores invited me to join her in a trip to her old friend, Leilani's, for a gathering of other friends...to go antiquing, enjoy fellowship, good food and laughter. While there, Leilani treated each of us with old fashioned colored eggs...But the great thing about these eggs was the amazing deep, beautiful, primitive colors and how she had used old-time methods to dye them. From beet juices, cabbage, eggplant, and various other items, she had created deep purples, dark reds, forest greens, prairie browns and tans, and blues I can't describe. Another wonderful thing about Leilani was how she gave so much of herself in the gift of those eggs. She labored a great deal to provide all of us with a gift representing 'new life', friendship and happy memories. The next year, Leilani was suddenly taken to heaven, but I will always remember the gift of those eggs. Believe it or not, I still have them...well, all but one. For some reason, one little brown egg exploded...just blew up...poof! I know Leilani was looking down and having a good laugh at that...

I hope when you see colored eggs at Easter, they have some special meaning or memory for you. If no other meaning, remember the gift of "new life"! Many Blessings for a wonderful Easter Sunday!

p.s. some of the eggs in the picture are those from Leilani...

3 comments:

THE SPICE CUPBOARD said...

OMG Barb..you brought back so many wonderful memories..of when I was small and winning the biggest Easter Basket at the fire house egg hunt...to watching my own little ones hide the eggs over and over again...and TODAY...I will watch those 8 litte grandbabies do the same thing..(NO we will NOT let them eat any) In fact, Tony and I filled small water balloons that look like eggs and we are going to hide them at my daughter's - making memories...that is what it is all about..!! I LOVED reading your stories..you should do that more often - you have much to share...Love and Happy Easter, Judy

Barbara said...

Thanks Judy...I enjoyed sharing those 'egg-cellent' memories.LOL
Have fun with the grandkids today...Blessings to you and your family!

Kady said...

What wonderful memories of Easters past! I also have a thing for colored eggs and loved collecting them in real baskets. Even now, I color eggs for myself since my daughter is grown with children of her own and they're outgrowing the tradition of coloring eggs. I will never outgrow it. Thanks for the walk down your memory lane.