Enjoying special happy Easter memories this morning — Wonderful Spring! Blossoms Bursting! Earth Greening! Smell the Vinegar? Today, I was thinking about the Easter times in my life. Oh, my, have things changed! Or have they?
Home for me in my youth, as well as today, was in the South. For us, Easter was not a time of family gatherings even though numerous relatives lived in the same town or nearby. However, the anticipation of the arrival of the Easter Bunny who filled our Easter baskets was sooooo great! Often, the same baskets were used year after year, and carried to Easter Egg hunts during the week prior to Easter Sunday. But on the night before Easter, the baskets were cleaned, the green artificial grass was fluffed, and the containers were positioned in a certain place for the Bunny’s arrival.
Our surprises were most often simple candies, gum and such treats, pretty pencils, and some socks! Attending Easter Sunrise Services, outside of course, usually involved wearing a coat over our new Spring frock. It became known for the summer as our Easter dress. We then attended Sunday School and Church in our new attire which included an Easter bonnet of some sort and short white gloves. And black patent Mary Jane’s with lace trimmed socks were perfect to complete the outfit. My Happy Easter memories are filled with the delight of a brand new outfit.
Easter with my own children brings different memories! I never see an Easter egg without almost smelling the vinegar! Dyeing the eggs when they were youngsters were wonderful times and special happenings. The process began with my purchase of an extra dozen or two of eggs, the required vinegar and the selection of the “egg dyeing kit” from the limited assortment. On the chosen day, the eggs were boiled –”oh, I hope they don’t crack!” and cooled.
Four to six small glass bowls, the measuring cup and the unpackaged kit were placed on the counter and the fun began. Together, we gently placed one of the color tablets in each bowl and measured the vinegar over it, stirred, and our egg dye was ready. Carefully, each child or mom placed an egg in a selected bowl. One was done at a time, however, because the kit came with only one thin wire tool to use for turning and lifting the egg.
After preparing the basic colors, we began dipping some eggs twice to achieve new colors. And when very daring, we would hold and dip one egg half way into one color, dry, then dip the other half in a different color. The application of the simple transfers followed. Keeping the flat, thin paper smooth against the curved egg was a challenge as we patted ever so softly with a damp cloth.! No wrinkles or the design of bunnies or ducks or flowers would be ruined! And yes, many moments of hiding and hunting these eggs followed for the next few days!
Now, for months ahead, so many wonderful Easter decorations, candies, toys, games, and beautifully prepared baskets are available everywhere. I haven’t checked, but I wonder……….will today’s children “smell the vinegar” when they are adults and see an Easter egg? I certainly enjoy my special happy Easter memories each year – I hope you do, too!
Have a Wonderful Easter — and make a bunch of new Happy Easter memories with the children and grandchildren who surround you.
Betty Tate DeLorme
updated by Joan Adams 3/2018