For me, Easter memories involve church and pretty dresses. I don't remember so much about the Easter bunny. All I really remember is that our baskets were always hidden. There was always plastic easter grass stuck to the Peeps and you never knew if you were about to bite into a chocolate malted milk ball or a bubble gum egg. We had easter egg hunts in the front yard with real, hard boiled eggs. In retrospect, we probably shouldn't have eaten some of those eggs. Usually we didn't even know how many we were looking for, because mom never counted. One year, mom got plastic eggs and hid them all over the neighborhood for the neighbor-hoodies. What we like to call good, old fashioned insurance. Mom was nice to the kids and in turn they didn't vandalize our property. Not a bad gig. Another year when Martin and I were a bit older, we had a piñata. For some reason there was an argument and mom was pretty mad at us about something, but there are old pictures that don't show any remnants of arguing. Just scrawny kids whacking at a piñata. Now, I still get a chocolate bunny that I couldn't possible finish even if I tried and a bunch of candy. If one thing is for certain...Starburst has really changed the standard for jelly beans. Thank goodness!
I had the prettiest dresses. Usually my mom would sew me a new dress, but one year I got a gorgeous dress from Zayres. Zayres was kind of like K-Mart, but it didn't even have the business model to last as long as K-Mart has. Now there's a Rural King where Zayres used to be. Anyway, I had my heart set on this dress. It was right in the front of the store calling my little 3 or 4 year old name. The dress was probably horrible in all ways the 1980's made dresses horrible. I think there were pink on pink polka dots, tulle, and probably some satin thrown in for good measure. I couldn't have felt more beautiful in that dress even though is was probably the chinciest thing I ever wore. Ever! I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure I had white gloves and big hats other years. Other dresses had more class. I remember a navy blue calico dress with a white collar that mom made. There was a little white pinafore type thing with a bunny embroidered on it. Mom didn't have time to get the buttons on, so she sewed it to me. Not the first or the last time I had a dress sewn on me! Those were the glory years!
I don't remember much about church when I was little other than it was a festive, happy place to be on Easter. I do remember church at St. James. I thought the Easter breakfast was the coolest thing since sliced bread! What could be better than sitting around eating scrambled eggs, sausage, and pancakes with all your Sunday School friends? And any one who has ever been to St. James on Easter Sunday surely has Pastor French's booming voice etched in their heads as he yelled, "He is risen!" And of course we all replied as enthusiastically as possible, "He is risen indeed!" It was never enthusiastic enough. Pastor French always boomed a little louder, "I said, HE IS RISEN!" And mustering a little more enthusiasm, "HE IS RISEN INDEED!" That followed by the singing of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" with trumpets blaring and little girls in pretty dresses...that sums up Easter in my book.