All week I have been reminiscing about Easter.
Thinking back to when I was a little girl, every Easter my Mom would prepare two baskets. Inside these baskets she would have plain or decorated hard boiled eggs, slices of baked ham, a small dish of beet horseradish as well as cottage cheese, cabbage rolls, studinats (that is my spelled pronunciation of jellied pigs feet), a paska which she baked in a coffee can and some chocolates from what the Easter Bunny had left me. Dad and I would dress up in our Sunday best and take the baskets to St. Josaphat’s Cathedral for blessing at Easter Mass.
St. Jo’s is a beautiful, stately church situated on 97 street in Edmonton. It is also the church my parents were married in. The service was always in Ukrainian which I didn’t speak or understand except for the odd swear word I picked up from relatives. I never heard any of those words at Mass though! The inside of the church was painted with murals of Jesus, Mary and others from the bible and decorated with statues and ornate gold features everywhere, so I was always able to amuse myself by studying the detail in all of the design until it was time to collect our baskets and head home for the breakfast feast.
When I had a family of my own Easter baskets had gotten ridiculously commercialized in my opinion. The Easter Bunny was having to borrow Santa’s sleigh to deliver some of the gargantuan baskets the retailers were trying to convince us our children ‘needed’! I wasn’t buying in. We chose modestly sized baskets that were reused year after year. The baskets were placed by the front stairs for ease of filling by the Easter Bunny who, not wanting to cross this fit gal north, would fill them with one small toy or Kinder surprise, a chocolate Easter Bunny, some jellybeans and LOTS of fresh plump grapes or strawberries. LOL, you gotta love a health conscious bunny!
Then there was our first Easter with our grand puppy, so much fun! I picked up an assortment of plastic Easter eggs (the kind that are hollow and break in half for filling) and dog treats; carefully selecting the healthier types at my dog mommy daughter’s request…I wonder who she got that from??! Then I filled the eggs and hid them all over the house for Ollie Bear. Our acreage yard was way too big for an egg hunt as she was just a puppy. Easter morning was coffee and laughs watching Ollie discover and break into all of her Easter treats.
This year Ollie can’t visit and my Mom isn’t here to bake her tasty paska thanks to Covid and Cancer. I’m sad for that but I’m grateful for those memories and I’m grateful for everything I still have. This year will be different, an opportunity to make some new memories I hope.
Whatever your Easter traditions are, I wish you and yours a safe and healthy Easter long weekend and hope that you too will be making some new memories to reflect on as days go by.
“Days go by, I can feel ’em flying, like a hand out the window in the wind as the cars go by, it’s all we’ve been given, so you better start livin’ right now, ’cause days go by”
Keith Urban, Days Go By