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Easter Memories

By Linea N. Erickson

  APRIL 11, 2011 --

All Holidays were special when we were little.  Easter was no exception.  On the night before we would go up in the attic and get our baskets.  We never seemed to have new grass, we just reused the same year after year.  We would dye eggs and place them in our baskets and were ever so surprised to find candy next to the eggs when we awoke on Easter Morning.  A few jellybeans and a marshmallow egg or rabbit  that was it, but how wonderful.  Bruce used to use a powder-puff to leave a bunny trail to where the boys'  baskets were hidden.

Soon, it was time to get ready for Sunday School.  On Easter, I wore white or pastel ribbons.  All the rest of the time, I wore plaid.  For dinner, we went to Astrid and Elmer's, or they came up to Collinsville.  Seems like we always had ham for dinner.  Once in a while it might be lamb, but Bruce hated it so we stayed away from it.  

Astrid always thought that the table should be set with a white linen tablecloth, and brought one if we were having dinner at our house.  Along with all the goodies in baskets and on the table, Oggie usually made some kind of green vegetable and put a Cross of hard-boiled egg on top.

As I look at pictures, it's very easy to see that Easter was a time to take them.  Everyone was dressed up and a blossom or two could usual be found to add to the color.  

As we got a little older, we got the idea of going to Sunrise services.  Over we went to the estate of Buest Anderson in Bloomfield.  Oggie worked for Mr. Anderson years before at the Connecticut General Insurance Company.  Several years were nice, uneventful services, but one year the service was held in the barn because of rain.  The minister, organist and about 6 others made up the entire group.  One year we came over to the Canton Public Golf Course for Canton's ecumenical Sunrise Service.  Casual communion was a bit less than tasteful in my opinion.  We went down in back of Wilson Congregational Church a few times and also to Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.  Once we even went to a hilltop in Burlington.  One year, Oggie and I went to Bloomfield for the service there and decided to go to the Collinsville Congregational Church later on.  Sunrise was beautiful, but as we sat in church it started to snow.  We got over 9 feet of snow that day.

Bruce, Judy and I joined others in the choir at the old Swedish Church and we had to be there for the special music of Easter.  Our congregation was so small, that after we sang, we filed down to sit in a pew so that the minister would have people to preach to.

When the Swedish Church closed, we join the Collinsville Congregational Church.  We usually sat in the 2nd from last pew on the right side of the isle, with the Beckers right in front of us.  One morning someone told George he had a beautiful bass voice.  He said, That's Agda, I sing tenor.

While I worked in West Hartford, I had a few extra dollars most of the time and spent some of them at Hilliard's Candy Kitchen on Farmington Avenue.  Easter was such a special time there.  All of the candy was made in plain sight.  One year when the boys were small I bought candy bacon & eggs.  What fun we had with those.  Everybody who came in had to be Tricked.

On Easter we have done everything from shovel snow to play baseball to going for ice cream.  No way of predicting what the weather might be.  I remember one time when the Coles were away and Cathy had dinner with us.  She was frozen when she arrived.  She had put coal in the furnace each day just as her father had told her.  Only problem was, the fire went out two days before.  Bruce went over, cleaned out the coal and started a new fire.  All was well until the family returned home.

In later years, Easter has become a truly religious experience, as it should be.  A special part of Easter has become remembering and honoring family and friends with Lilies on the altar.  Easter is such a wonderful time.  I hope I can continue to attend the services and sing the familiar hymns.   The cantatas and other music for the Easter Holiday are delights that I want to enjoy always.

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