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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Memories


This year Easter came in on frosty toes. Since there is no fire in the stove I'm bundled up in my winter fleece. After an amazingly hot and dry March, we are having a chilly and dry April. At least, the mornings are cold, though afternoons warm up as old Sol lingers in the sky a few more minutes each day. We're promised more sunshine and warm temperatures today - which is fitting for an Easter Sunday.

I don't have a pocket full of Easter Memories, the way I have for Christmas or Autumn or Birthdays but the ones I have are soft and precious. It seemed in my childhood that it always rained on Good Friday - though this year it didn't, so I suspect there were, at times, other blue sky beautiful days leading up to Easter. I also never remember anything but sunshine on Easter morning. There was one beautiful day I remember, sitting on lush green fragrant grass with my basket, still fairly full of candy, feeling the promise of summertime as it flooded out of the sky. I have so few childhood memories of unhurried time, un-alotted moments available for just sitting. That Easter afternoon is one of them and its scent still lingers.

There was a special Easter, when I was 7, when we visited Daddy's aunt & uncle - beloved relatives who lived too far away in the magical land of Florida. Uncle Walter, a man I would have adopted myself to in a heartbeat, had an orange tree in his back yard. He left oranges on it well past the season because he thought we'd all want to go pick our own breakfast oranges. We were there with second cousins - 7 children altogether, though nobody my age - which was rather fun. I didn't have to play nicely with an unknown but it was not embarassing to play with the little kids and the 2 big kids had to be nice to me.

Somewhere near by was an Excalibur dealership and Daddy took us over after church, in our crinolined Easter outfits (complete with white patent leather Mary-Janes and matching pocketbooks that snapped shut) where we got to sit in the white convertible. I remember thinking this was the fanciest car I'd ever seen ... come to think of it - it still is the fanciest car I've ever sat in. The door made a little 'snick' sound when it closed.

I also remember trying to break open a coconut by smashing it on the sidewalk. I was finally successful but the milk splattered over my favorite blouse and it was ruined. That stain never washed out.

Daddy, were he still here, would remember that Florida trip for something else. Once as we were reminiscing about favorite vacations he told me that on our return, somewhere in the deep south, he went through a speed trap town and got caught. He had the choice to pay up then and there or come back for a hearing. He had no more vacation that year for traveling back to podunksville. The fine was so high he had to plead with the authorities to leave him enough money to buy gas to get his car full of kids home. What I remember is that we did not stay in a motel on the return trip but drove through the night in that cramped station wagon all full of sisters' breathing and jabbing elbows.

Memories - they certainly are treasures. It's fun to pull them out and look at them - tickle them a little to see if more emerges - feel their love. May your Easter memories be as sweet as candy.

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