Easter morning was full of thrill and excitement from the moment we opened our eyes as children. We would throw on our barn boots and diligently search the yard for our basket, which the Easter bunny strategically hid somewhere on the farm. The older we got the harder it was to detect our baskets’ location. I have memories of finding my basket on top of the combine in the old shed, stuffed in a silo chute, dangling from the top of a grain bin, and hidden under the desk in the farm office. Time was of the essence. It was not uncommon for candy to go missing from the basket if one of the farm hands stumbled across it, before you, while doing morning chores.
When I was old enough to help with chores, my sister and I would look for our baskets while simultaneously feeding the calves. It was always heartbreaking to be the last sibling to find your basket AND worse to not find it before we had to leave for church.
You can imagine my disappointment the morning that chores took longer than expected and I had to wait to find my basket until after mass. It was tucked under the garden bench in my mom’s greenhouse. By the time I had finally found it, all the good chocolate had melted from the heat of the mid-morning sun. My mom, whose basket always seemed to have more chocolate than jelly beans in comparison to her kids, was willing to share! As an adult, I can see the humor in that situation, but as a child, I was devastated!
We can not forget the magic caramel rolls that were waiting for us when we returned to the house after our busy morning. The gooey caramel, made from brown sugar and ice cream, would send us into a sugar coma! Those delightful rolls are still part of our Easter morning tradition. After a few traumatic experiences of the rolls rising too high and causing the caramel to start a fire in the oven, I now leave the caramel roll-making to the more reliable sisters.
As little girls, we would get a new Easter dress to wear to mass and if the weather worked in our favor, we were allowed to wear sandals!! As we entered the church we were greeted with the fragrant smell of fresh flowers, bright yellow banners, and a full congregation!
Easter mass is by far the most joyous Liturgical celebration! As a little girl, I was always so excited to sing ‘Alleluia’ after the long 40 days of holding my tongue. Because we went to a Catholic school, the teachers emphasized not saying ‘the A word’ and gave the impression we were swearing if we let it slip. A few weeks ago I was conversing with my nephew. He admitted it was hard not to say ‘that’ word and was scandalized when the deacon used it during my daughters baptism.
The word Alleluia is an expression of rejoicing! We wait to rejoice until Easter morning when we read in the Gospel that Jesus rose from the dead. The stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty. Jesus conquered death and has opened the gates of heaven! ALLELUIA! Let us celebrate!
Whether you are celebrating with easter baskets, caramel rolls, a new Easter dress, or participating in the Holy Mass, may the resurrected Jesus bless you and your family this Easter season!
Until next time, your sister in Christ,