April 4, 2012

I Love Easter

I really do love Easter. I love the colors. I love the new dresses. I really love baskets. My Easter dresses were the best part of my clothing collection when I was a little girl. Shopping for shoes was the most important part of Spring for me. It was important for me and a nightmare to my grandmother. I always knew just the one's that I had to have. It was the style of the day. I knew what I wanted and it really had to be them. The trip to town for my shoes was so exciting. Butler's in downtown was where we usually went first. We had better luck there than anywhere. I can still remember the wedge hills I got to go with the dress printed with blackberries that was my favorite dress ever. I was pre-teen and I could get a more grown up shoes. The shoes I got that year were almost the same as the wedges my girls are wearing now. I was the prettiest girl at church on Easter Sunday. Oh, I have to mention I was the only girl at Bethlehem Methodist Church. There was at most six of us that went to church there. Sunday school was Ofie Garner as the teacher and me as the student. The preacher came once a month; we only had Sunday school the other Sundays of the month. The piano player was Opel, Ofie's younger sister. Opel Played the piano by ear and played maybe ten songs. The songs she played were the best one's though. She played Love Lifted Me, Just as I Am, Farther Along, and on Easter made her best effort to play The Old Rugged Cross. Our service was singing two songs and then to Sunday school in the back of the church was my class and in the front was the ladies. There were never any men there only on the first Sunday when the preacher came. Then the Sunday school class was doubled to two. Ofie and Opel's sister would bring her son to church on that Sunday. Zokie was their sisters name, she went to church at Nebo the rest of the time with her husband. These ladies had another sister that's name rhymed with the rest; she was Cofie. Cofie was a manly type lady and did not attend our little church gatherings. She was divorced, also that may be why she did not feel comfortable in church. In my early years; listening to my grandmother, I thought divorce was an abnormal thing. Divorced ladies were just different. OK, that is almost the whole congregation. My aunt Mae has to be added to the list. She was my grandfather's sister. She was really bow legged and dipped snuff; another thing that was strange to me. Ladies smoked back then, but dipping snuff to me was a man thing. She even drank a little whiskey. Her husband had only one arm. He had gotten it cut off as a teenager, in a saw mill. He was lots younger than Aunt Mae; another thing my grandmother talked allot about. She would say that Aunt Mae used to rock Uncle Luke to sleep when he was a baby and then she married him. Aunt Mae had long hair way down her back, but always had it braided for church. I have gone to her house in the morning and saw how long it was. She was another one of those not so lady like ladies, but always lots of entertainment for me. It did not matter that I was the only one at Sunday school on Easter; the adults still hid eggs for me to find. Some years when my cousins were at our house on Easter my little brother would also go to church. He most of the time had gotten a new shirt and pants for Easter, just like I got a new dress and shoes. The picture of them three boys in front of Bethlehem Methodist church is etched in my mind forever. Them silly boys sometimes rode there bikes to church. My little brother forever had a shit eating grin on his face. It seemed his grin made him look like he was always up to something, even on Sunday. We left church on Easter with a great Easter dinner awaiting us and eggs to hide in the yard. We had no plastic eggs, they were boiled and dyed with food coloring. The eggs where never wasted, the whole family peeled, salted and ate them before the day was over. Those were the best boiled eggs ever. I could be so full of dumplings, but still ate those eggs. My daddy and my aunt squatted, that is they way they sat in the yard. On Easter they squatted down with a salt shaker and ate eggs with the rest of us. This was a good thing, because they never needed a chair. Lawn furniture was something we did not have. The ladder back kitchen chairs were brought outside for seating. We sat under the same shade tree. I never see these trees anymore, but Grandmother called it an Aspirin tree. Sometimes she just made up names for stuff, that may have been it and it may not not have been the correct name. She complained about that tree, because it sprouted more trees in places she did not want them. The Easters under that tree and in the front yard were wonderful. I had a new dress that I left on most of the day and eggs to gather from great hiding places. I gathered eggs along with the things around me.

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