Saturday, April 20, 2019

zombie jesus day

When I was 8, I still believed in a lot of things, including the fact that a giant rabbit hauling loads of chocolate could somehow slip into my room, past my very awake parents, and leave me an Easter basket.  Granted, I got some cool shit. Always one non-candy thing--roller skates, a sticker book, and when I was 11, a shiny new ten speed.   We were never even remotely religious, but every Easter morning, we'd wake up to find baskets full of treats and commence on our usual ride, after a stop at McDonalds for breakfast, out to the golf coarse in nearby Rockton (I don't know exactly why--only that it was a manageble drive for Sunday morning and my dad was probably scoping out tee-times. )    We did it enough times that I associate the holiday with the tradition, though there were surely variations--the year my bunny melted in the car as we were helping to clean out my step-grandfather's house after his death. The 2-3 years I was weirdly sick (even before touching the candy at all).  Usually, the afternoon would be spent at my aunts and the extended family--complete with ham (not my favorite)  and even more chocolate--first divvied into baskets, then later just in bowls to fill our own bags.

Over the years, Easter was never something I aimed to get home for (see the above mention of ham, I'd never had missed my aunt's 4th of July's chicken & potato salad festivities.)  Up to the very, very end, mom still made us baskets.  Every year.  And the years I wasn't home, she either saved mine to bring in to me, or sent me money to make my own.  She even made them for a friend who was visiting with me.  Over the years, they were much less grand (and heck as a teen, she sometimes let us pick out the candy we wanted ourselves.) But the endeavor would be good for some Reeses eggs and other assorted holiday goods (including Peeps that always seem like a good idea until you actually eat one.) My childhood faves included those liquid wax bottles and the candy buttons you ate off the paper.  And Cadbury eggs, especially the Caramel variety.

Even last year, where I missed the holiday entirely, my dad later handed over a bunch of candy and said it was my belated Easter haul.  I still tend to think of the actual holiday as super maudlin in nature..but the traditions are the things that matter--especially when all of the holidays are secular and family based.  If anything, I can appreciate the pagan celebration of spring, this year, since it's so late, everything is coming into bloom--the magnolias by the bus stop, the tulips on Michigan Ave.   Though it snowed heavily just a week ago, you would never even know it. This year, I'll be in the city, but I might just grab myself a bag of Cadbury eggs...

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