I love it when Easter comes late in April. Yes, it’s nice to have a holiday in March, but too many times that means cold and snow, which is disappointing. Easter is about daffodils, bunnies and sunshine. It’s about eating too much ham and scalloped potatoes and way too much chocolate.
Back when I was a kid, I prayed for a beautiful spring Easter day. Not so the Easter Bunny wouldn’t have to hop, hop, hop through the snow. No, I prayed for good weather so I could wear my new Easter dress with white ankle socks or tights, white patent leather shoes, my pink Easter coat (my sister Irene’s was identical, but blue), white straw hat with fake flowers and white gloves—all brand, spanking new. Oh, and new underwear, too. I almost forgot about that.
I hardly slept the night before, hoping the weather would cooperate. That’s how excited I was to wear my new clothes. Irene and I would lay out our new stuff the night before. When we woke up that morning, there’d be a trail of jelly beans from our bed to our Easter baskets in the living room. This is back in the days before Ronald Reagan made jelly beans famous, and they started coming in exotic flavors. When I was a kid, the black jelly beans (which were my favorite) still tasted like licorice. All the others tasted like cheap perfume, but we ate them anyway.
Early on, our Easter baskets were loaded up with lots of that shredded, pastel cellophane, and nestled on top were Hershey’s chocolate eggs wrapped in brightly colored aluminum foil, chocolate bunnies and stuffed toy rabbits. As we got older, the stuffed toys were replaced by barrettes, Jacks, and Mickey Mouse Pez dispensers, then with mascara, eye shadow, and our favorite perfume. Except at our grandparents' houses, where the baskets (our second and third of the day) were always full of good old-fashioned chocolate goodies. One year, my grandmother gave us each a solid milk chocolate rabbit. The thing must have weighed about a pound or two. It took Irene and me a couple of weeks to finish ours off. I don’t know how we did it, but somehow we managed.
Even after we were too old for Easter baskets, we'd find a big, honking Russell Stover Vanilla or Coconut Cream Egg at the family table Easter morning. Mom, Dad, Irene and I would start chipping away at our egg before breakfast, one little slice at a time. We’d each try to save some of our egg until Monday, but by dinnertime, we’d be done. Sure, it made us nauseous, but it was the good kind of nauseous, you know, from eating too many sweets.
Marshmallow Peeps are strangely missing from my memory. I guess we figured, why waste our time on fluorescent colored sugar when we can have chocolate?
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flipside!
Upcoming Shows and Book Events: Spring
April 21 A Visit With Ida, Huntington Common, 2:00 p.m., Kennebunk, ME
April 26 A Visit With Ida, Maine Knights of Columbus, 11:00 a.m., Newry, ME
May 3 New Keynote Speech, Alpha Beta State Conference, 1:30 p.m., Bowie, Maryland
May 19 Book Club Visit, 10:00 a.m., Portsmouth, NH
For details, please check out the schedule page on my website: http://www.idaswebsite.com/schedule