Saturday, March 22, 2008
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. When I was a kid our family were practicing Catholics so Easter was a very special time for us. On Good Friday there was no school (we went to Catholic School) but according to our tradition, in the afternoon from noon to 3pm we had to be silent, since that was the time when Jesus was on the cross. I'm not sure if it wasn't an idea my mother came up with to have some peace and quiet for three hours! We did everything we could to communicate without making a sound - wrote each other notes or tried to lip read - so we kind of had some fun with it, which I'm sure was not the point! Back then, Easter Sunday was the day for getting dressed up in brand new spring clothes - dresses with little taffeta skirts, sometimes homemade by my mother or grandmother, spring coats, little white gloves, patent leather shoes, new tights and perhaps a little patent leather purse to match the shoes. And of course, the new "Easter bonnet". We had a big Easter Dinner and would then visit with the grandmothers where all our aunts and uncles and cousins also congregated. After we'd been there long enough to show off our new duds, we had to go change into "play clothes" so as not to ruin our new "church clothes". Things have changed of course - haven't they changed with everything? Our focus isn't on church anymore and some of us have shed the "church clothes" personna, but our family still celebrates with a big meal. (of course...we're French....food factors into every occasion!) This year we're having two dinners. Tonight Tag's kids are coming over and I'm serving the tradition dinner: Ham, mashed potatoes with raisin sauce, pineapple and vegetables. Then tomorrow we're going to my Mom and Dad's where we'll have basically the same dinner. All my brothers and sisters will be there as well as nieces and nephews, all my kids and my grand-daughter. Not everyone will be dressed, but I'll wear my Spring skirt (even though it's not a brand new outfit). The weather here hasn't been "Easterish" - cold with very high winds - but once inside my parent's snug little house we'll feel the joy and contentment of being in the bosom of the family. That's what the holidays are all about.