11 April 2009

My Easter Memories

(photo slideshow)

The Easters of my childhood all followed the same pattern and left me with many happy memories. The night before Easter, my mom helped my brother, sister and I dye eggs. We usually got six eggs each, though I think my brother (older by eight years) might have gotten more. We put our finished eggs in our baskets and left them out for the Easter Bunny. In the morning, we found our baskets filled with candy and a stuffed bunny.

Mom would cook, sometimes helped by my sister and I. The menu was basically the same for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter: Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Potato Salad, Carrot Cake and, sometimes, fruit salad. We would take this down to Grandmama and Grandaddy's house (maternal grandparents). There we met with our grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most everyone lived within a hundred miles of each other, so usually everyone made it to dinner.

Dinner was around 2-4pm, depending on when the last person showed up. The food was set up in the kitchen, with many of the hot foods still on the stove, like a buffet. There was usually a ham and/or turkey, rolls, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, giblet gravy (if there was a turkey), dressing, different beans, corn, etc.

In general, the kids fixed their plates with help from their parents, then the adults fixed theirs, with the men usually going last. Because there were so many people, the kids ate in the kitchen or, sometimes, on the patio outside, with the adults in the living room on the couch or in the first bedroom down the hall. Once everyone had a plate (and usually the kids had already started eating) Grandaddy would say a prayer.

After everyone ate, it was time for the easter egg hunt. We would collect everyone's eggs (count them) and the adults would hide the eggs out in the front yard for the kids. After a few years some rules were developed: Not on cars unless in full view (ie, not in tailpipes), not in sticker bushes or in Grandmama's flower beds. After the kids found as many eggs as they could, we would then hid them for the adults. We played a few rounds this way, playing hot 'n' cold near the end of each round to finish up. We always hid a few eggs that were never found.

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