I wanted to dye eggs this year. Can’t remember the last time I’ve done that. But I didn’t. And as I sit here now and watch the Today Show showing me how to make an Easter Brunch cocktail, I’m amazed at what Easter has become through the years. Even a customer on the phone told me on Friday, “Does anyone celebrate Easter anymore?”
Growing up, for me, there was always an Easter basket waiting for me when I grew up though I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny way before Santa Claus. We always dyed a few eggs, though like most kids, I thought the dye somehow turned the insides to candy and I was sorely disappointed to have Dad peel an egg for me and then discover it was just a plain deviled egg when I bit into it. Funny that we call those deviled eggs at Easter time of all times!
We then went to church to listen to the Easter Cantata.
Then, there was lunch at Grandma’s for several years, followed by an Easter Egg hunt in the front yard. My sister or an aunt usually hid the eggs for the kids, or sometimes it was just me. The cobwebs of my brain remember attending a church sponsored Easter egg hunt when I was very small and ending up with mostly handfuls of jelly beans wrapped in tin foil.
When I was around 8 or 9 ,I guess, we made a trip to Pennington Seed Supply where I was allowed to pick out a baby rabbit. He was white with black patches on his eyes and black ears. I named him, appropriately, Easter. He lived a good six or seven years and fathered several baby bunnies with other Girl rabbits that were also Easter gifts during different years. The immediate year after Easter the rabbit came to live with us, I was allowed to have a duck. He was the soft fuzzy yellow kind but grew to be smooth and white with just orange feet and an orange beak. I loved to sit out in the yard and pick clover for him to eat out of my hand. He’d curl up between my legs and nap. I don’t remember his name, or if I ever named him. He got a friend or two over time or the following year, and we eventually had a small farm out in the back yard with rabbits in hutches, a small gaggle of hand raised ducks, and some chickens were eventually added to the mix.
One Easter, my father released three or four solid white rabbits from their hutches and let them wander around the yard for good. So, we had white rabbits in our yard for several months. They could often be found resting beneath the green bean vines in Mom’s garden. An elderly neighbor who helped pick the beans would kneel to pet them and talk to them. They eventually wandered off or might have feel victim to dogs in the night.
Although most of the other animals died also over time and found a final resting place in the pet cemetery under the dogwood tree in the side yard, the few that were left were given away just before I moved off to college. That’s when Easter changed for me.
Like I said, I haven’t dyed or hidden eggs in years. I haven’t heard a Cantata or gone to church for that matter since then either. If I think about it too hard, I laugh at the thought of children being excited about a rabbit that lays eggs. Such an odd and funny tradition!
But I still like Easter and keep the fond memories close to heart. Easter, for me, also meant Spring time, and it usually fell a few weeks before my birthday. Once, it was on my birthday. And birthdays are just as special for children. So, April was a double celebration for me.
Never saw such a lovely day
Everything seems to come your way
My oh me, what a kick to be
On the well-known avenue
Me oh my, you’re a lucky guy
Happy Easter to you
Happy Easter to you