It was a magical time for a kid, even a kid who lived her life surrounded by aging adults.
We didn’t have much money, but every Easter my mother would buy me a crisp new Easter dress, sometimes a hat in various shades of yellow and peach. I loved to show off my new dress at Sunday School, excited for the Easter egg hunt that was waiting for me at home, though somewhat subdued by the horrific story of Jesus and the Cross.
Our farmhouse had been homemade by my grandfather and my uncles. It wasn’t one of those Hollywood farmhouses, all white clapboard with a wrap around porch. It was made of fake brick and tar paper and all the floors were uneven, but it had all manner of nooks and crannies, terrific places for the Easter bunny to hide his eggs. It took me a good two hours to scoop up all the candied eggs, and then suddenly I’d find myself eye ball to eye ball with a nice fat chocolate bunny.
Pretty soon it was a nice fat chocolate bunny with no ears.
I never had the constitution for sugar — it would make me sick to eat too much of it — so I carefully rationed my bunny so that it would last three weeks.
Easter dinner was always a cattle call at our house. We had seven people to feed every day, including Granny and Grandpa, Uncles Ivan and Vern as well as Mother Vera and us, the three Simpson kids. But on Easter Sunday, the relatives would converge on our funny little farmhouse. Often, there were at least ten extra mouths to feed.
There was plenty of turkey and taters, along with dwindling rations of jarred fruit and veg. Always a variety of pies.
Still full of candy and vibrating from too much sugar, I nibbled a bit until I was excused.
After dinner, I’d take off my pretty dress, put on my rubber boots and go outside to skip or bounce a ball off the garage. If the weather was good, I’d muck around in the field, and take in the smell of Earth and spring possibility.
Those years and people are all long gone, a distant memory from my childhood.
But I always think about my family on a day like today.
And my childhood of yellow and peach.