My Easter Memories

We always called these flowers Easter Lillies when I was growing up. Just in time for Easter. 

As we approach the upcoming holiday, I remember in  the early sixties, about 1963 our preparations of such.  Maybe you have some similar memories that always surface this time of year.  For the Phillips’ we had just moved to the farm from the city. We were now farmers.   Easter Sunday was fast approaching and we had to make preparations. .

Mom would take us shopping, a rare occasion, to purchase our Easter outfits.  Sometimes she would order them through the catalog and pick them up at the Sears catalog store in Hillsboro.
On our shopping day, we girls would pick out spring dresses. I don’t remember that we ever picked out matching dresses or bonnets.  But what fun it was to try on the bonnets. Everyone wore them back then—even the women. It was tradition.   To this day, I’m not sure when or where that tradition started except in the song, “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it,” which we sang in the car on the way home.
These are my lovely granddaughters.
They have learned how to color eggs. 

Ours bonnets tied nicely under the chin with a silk ribbon. Debbie and I practiced tying the ribbon under our chins   countless times so it would be just so-so on Easter morning. Just before bed, we would place our Easter dresses, our white sweaters, our bonnets and our white patent leather shoes with our new lacey ankle socks on the foot of our beds. Our baskets would be set out down stairs for the Easter bunny. 

Little brother would get dress pants, a new belt, a white shirt and a bow tie or a necktie. His necktie unlike Daddy’s was a fake. Daddy’s tie went around the neck, then crossed over, and again, then tucked up through the gap and tucked down through the fabric to form a knot, then the knot was pushed up and up to fit just so between the white shirt’s collar at the Adam’s apple. Daddy either declared his knot perfect—the length correct—or he untied it and started again. And he rather not wear a tie he told me for they “choked” but Mother insisted.  For brother, his tie simple clipped on.  Daddy’s never clipped on.  Brother’s was prone to falling off. 

On Saturday night, we girls turned Mother’s small farmhouse kitchen into a science lab. We loved coloring eggs.  We didn’t have to buy the already packaged egg dyes of today; mother had the recipe: hot water, vinegar and food coloring.  Setting up was such fun. I followed Debbie’s lead. “Now we have these coffee mugs, 4 of them, see, we have four colors—red, blue, green and yellow.” I agreed.  Then we placed the vinegar, a few drop of coloring, and hot water.  The dozens of white eggs (brown ones didn’t color nicely) had already been bought and boiled for 10 minutes then cooled with ice.  In each prepared glass coffee mug we carefully placed the egg fishing it out with a spoon, or we did it half way and had a two-tone egg.  Or better was when sister learned a new trick and demonstrated how to draw designs on the eggs with our crayons. Then, once dyed, we had flowers and crosses and stripes on our eggs.  It was great fun.
Once completed, some of these eggs went into our baskets with the fake green grass. In the morning our basket would include a traditional big chocolate bunny in the center of our baskets; and other candies, too.  
All those hardboiled eggs, back in the day, went into making deviled eggs!

After learning the resurrection story at church, and belting out the traditional songs of the day, we headed to Grandma’s for a traditional Easter dinner—deviled-eggs and the traditional ham and many other dishes and deserts. Indeed it was a time to celebrate, and to remember and resurrect tradition during this time of year. And for the life of me, I just can’t think of one remembrance using plastic eggs! For it surely wouldn’t have been such fun.  In all things… Take Joy!    

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