We come from a long line of Roman Catholic beliefs. As a child I saw no reason to question my parents. They were very wise and knowledgeable to me.They will always be so. I have admiration and love for all my parent’s did to make me who I am. I am content to be who I am. Possibly, that might be the best lesson I learned from my parents. I have never wanted to be someone else.
In the spring there was another Christian holiday that was enjoyed like Christmas. Easter was nearing the horizon of life’s cycles.
But before we got to Easter – first we went through a time called Lent. It was a time of moderation and repentance, for rich and poor alike. Since spring offered more time outside sometimes I would not want to kneel down each night and say prayers. My impatience often surfaced during lent. I wanted to go outside and play instead. But I never dared refuse and lent too taught me things I am grateful for.
My parents always put Sundays aside – a day for church and then to enjoy company, feast and play. It never changed unless something ‘had’ to be done – like feed the cattle. Watching the world change over the years, makes me sad sometimes. I wonder what we are losing. I can’t recall a time I didn’t enjoy Sundays as a child – church services included.
Easter Sunday arrived – and was that time we got a new outfit. We decorated as many eggs as we wanted – exploring our creative abilities. Mom always made our new dress – mine was pink. My sister’s was blue. We didn’t question her decision. The dirt road was clear of snow and mud and we could now attend church in town on Sundays. We socialized more and started visiting our copious amounts of relatives. I guess it was because we were Roman Catholic we had so many aunts, uncles and cousins, I couldn’t keep track of them all. Some were rich and successful, some like we were, were poor. But I can never recall a time anyone cared or felt it made a difference. Those cousins, when they came to visit or we visited them, were new playmates, new discoveries and new differences to explore.
And another wonderful aspect of Easter was the visit from the Easter Bunny. It was one day we actually received real ‘bought’ chocolate and candy. My mother was a fantastic cook and today I am always craving those days when we ate like kings.
We ate steak, chicken and melt-in-your mouth desserts. We ate vegetables and fruits all from our own gardens. There was never any time we were restricted to – one piece of chicken or one piece of cake. We weren’t forced to eat what we didn’t like. I can only remember one rule – if you didn’t finish what you put on your plate (and we were allowed to put it on our plate), you couldn’t have dessert. We had butter, cream, eggs and milk – as much as we wanted. We made everything from scratch – including ice-cream, sausage and even candy.
But one of my favorite times was when I went to visit some friends in town – and Betty, their mother, served us that delicious store bread with baloney and mustard that wasn’t ‘home-made’. Then she would add chocolate to our milk. I recall thinking this might be my ‘most-favorite’ meal. Oh – I was so naive.