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Life brings smiles, adventures, traditions and memories and today on the blog I am sharing a few of my Easter memories.
Good morning friends, another year at home for the holiday has me feeling extra nostalgic. I was reminded of some of my happiest Easter memories yesterday while shopping. I ran into Homegoods and while I was waiting in line to check out there was a family ahead of me with three little girls, each one was proudly holding onto a beautiful dress. Their mother told me that they wanted to dress up for their Easter celebration even though they were going to be at home. As I drove home I found myself reminiscing about those happy carefree days.
As a chid we looked forward to going shopping to pick out our easter dresses and bonnets. I remember one year when my aunt was tasked to take my sisters and I shopping and that year I decided to exercise my sartorial muscles and get a black hat instead of a white one. I remember this bonnet clearly, it was black straw and it had a band of white daisies around the crown of the hat and then trailing down the back. I personally thought it would look beautiful with my dress and the red purse and clogs I picked out. Needless to say my mother and grandmother were not as impressed with my fashion sense, in fact my grandmother said that little girls should not wear black. Eventually they relented and said I could wear it, I wore that ensemble proudly as as I walked to church I am sure that I strutted as proud as a peacock.
Many Easter’s were spent at my grandparents where after a long ride from Michigan we knew were were getting close because we could smell melted chocolate and hops permeating the air. One scent from the Ambrosia chocolate factory that had a sign on the side of the factory proclaiming “Food of the Gods” and the other scent from the numerous breweries, including Pabst, and Schlitz to name just a couple. To this day the scent of meting chocolate takes me back to “home.” My grandfather was a master storyteller and he would often tell us of the day the pipes at the chocolate factory burst and chocolate was flowing down the street and people ran out of their homes with buckets to scoop it up. Consequently this chocolate factory was the subject of many childhood discussions about when or if we would ever be lucky enough to be visiting when it happened again. Maybe this is where my love of chocolate came from? (You can read more about my colorful life and tales of it here where I share the tale of my grandmother the witch).
We had beautiful wicker baskets with ombre bottoms and handles that we woven with coordinating colors. Each year we would take our baskets out of the closet in anticipation of the bunny coming. It is funny because I think I had as much angst about the Easter bunny coming as I did Santa Claus, I guess I didn’t realize as a kid that his visit to fill your basket is not predicated on your behavior. When were awoke on Easter morning, before breakfast and before the Easter egg hunt we had to hunt for our baskets which were hidden somewhere in the house. After the mayhem of 4 kids teaching apart the closets and the house we eventually settled down to inspect our baskets.
We all had our favorite candy and we would savor each piece, for me with was malted milk ball eggs, chocolate marshmallow eggs and red jelly beans(this was before mass market candy). Each and every piece in our baskets was locally made and a they were melt in your mouth delicious. In fact my family still buys Easter candy from the same family chocolate store and it is melt in your mouth delicious.
One Easter morning we would dress in our finery and walk a few blocks to our family parish where the cantor sung like an angel. I would spend most of mass glancing up at the choir loft listening to his melodious voice. Once mass was over we would jump up to run across the street to be first in line at the Italian bakery for our hard rolls and cannoli then we would walk back to my grandparents to get ready for Easter dinner.
That is when the fun started because I was right by my grandmothers side watching her and helping prepare the Easter meal. I won’t lie, I didn’t take much pleasure in pealing potatoes but I loved to be elbow deep in flour making yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls and any other sweet treat on the menu. My three siblings and I kneeling on a chair “helping” as much as we could and trying to evade being slapped on the knuckle with a spatula when she caught is eating too much raw cookie dough or too many of the berries for the Schaum tortes.
I could go on and on about all of my special memories of my grandmother, ironically today is her birthday. Her name was Sylvia and she was a twin, her twin was a Notre Dame nun, and my grandmother was a mother of 10 children and an entrepreneur. She was the strongest most intelligent woman I have ever met, my mom did not fall far from that tree, her work ethic, tenacity and strength in the face of adversity was amazing. There was nothing she could not do and “I can’t” was something that I never heard come out of her mouth. She could do anything and I am blessed to come from such hearty stock.
Tell me, what are your favorite Easter memories or traditions? Are there any that you have continued on today to celebrate with your own family?
Have a great day!