Monday, April 6, 2015

Taking the Easy Way Out

It's Monday, Day 5 in the A-Z Challenge if you're keeping track, and already I'm wondering if I've over estimated a) my ability to complete the challenge this year, b) how far I can take this theme without boring you to tears, and c) I got nothin' but it seems like there should be a c. 

I guess I'll go until I run out of steam. Kind of like my car, which had to be towed this morning because it wouldn't start. Bother. On the bright side, hubs is at home to deal with such nonsense and that most definitely goes on the plus side of my 'pluses and minuses of retirement' list.

Since it's mid-afternoon and I'm just now getting to my blog, let's do something obvious. Ramble. 

E is for Easter

Speaking of change (my theme, remember?)...Easter looked a little different around here this year. 

That wasn't because we had snow on the ground, since sadly we quite often have snow hanging around in April. In fact, more than once we've had snow fall fast and furious on Easter, but thankfully not this year.

I took that picture on Thursday when the sun shone for a bright and brilliant twenty minutes. Please ignore my dead plants. They didn't get scooped up before our first big snow, and those pots are just now coming up for air. I'll pretty them up as soon as the danger of frost is past, which here in the Northeast is usually Mother's Day weekend. I know! Ridunculous!

We dyed eggs on Saturday. Is that sad? No girls in the house this Easter, but I was bound and determined to inject some color into our colorless landscape and hubs humored me.

I love colored Easter eggs. They say Spring even when the air says it's not quite sure. And because great minds think alike, Daughter2 living many states away texted me this picture-

One thing that didn't change-the ugly egg.

Only it kind of did, because this year our ugly egg was actually quite pretty. Hubs is in charge of the ugly egg every year, and here's the secret recipe:  dunk one egg in every color of the rainbow. Normally the egg turns a motley brownish-gray-green, but the color this year reminds me of turquoise jewelry.

My girls and their boys still got baskets, so that didn't change. Except I had to think and plan ahead, shop early, and then package and mail them to states that are not mine. States that aren't even close to mine.

photo credit: Daughter1

Hubs went with me to do the Easter basket shopping because that's what retirees do-they shop together. Ha! Kidding! Sort of?  He'll likely give that a miss next year, as he nearly had a heart attack when the cashier read out the grand total.

In my defense, these are the same sorts of baskets I've been putting together since 1989, except now my  girls are grown and I also buy for their boys, so four instead of two. 'Kids' only get more expensive in the basket department. Can't just toss in a snazzy pair of plastic sunglasses and a 50¢ bottle of bubbles and call it a day like we did in the way back when.

I'm not ready to let go of the Easter Basket tradition. Knowing my girls had a few little treats from their momma put a song in my heart. It almost makes up for the fact that when I look down the church pew I don't see their sweet selves dressed in smocked pastel.

That was also way back when, and this is now. Hubs and I in our church pew, and my girls in their church pews. Now if only all the pews were in the same state, same building, but that's for another someday it seems.

This season has a sweetness all it's own. Like every season. And while there are no little toes to wrestle into socks whose seams make you want to lose your ever lovin' mind, you can put your own clothes on and know you're leaving the house zipped, buttoned, and spit-up free.

Here's something that changed this year. I did not cook my traditional Easter dinner. I love pulling out my wedding china, buying spring flowers for the table (we're certainly not picking our own yet!), and making the same menu from year to year-baked ham, pineapple stuffing, roasted asparagus, and deviled eggs. I mix things up in the dessert department, but the entree never changes.

Except this year I had fish.

Which I didn't cook. Hubs and I met up with some neighbors for brunch at a restaurant in town. I'm generally not a big buffet fan, but I have to say this one was so well done, not overly crowded, and the food was really tasty.

We had planned to meet our neighbors at 12:30 as I knew church would run until about 12:15, and the restaurant was nearby. After the message, as the service was wrapping up with some special music, I felt my phone vibrate. I glanced into my purse and saw it was our realtor calling. Hubs ducked out to be sure she wasn't at our house with a potential buyer while I mentally tried to remember how many pair of hose I'd left on the top of my dresser.

Somebody wanted to come see our house.
At 1 PM on Easter Sunday.

Does that sound strange to you, because we found that a little bit strange? The thing is, when you're selling a home you never want to say no to a showing, so we did an insane mad dash home to give everything the quick once over.

Moments like this one are when I'm happy I married a neat-nik. Things were generally in order, aside from the 'getting ready for church crazy' that happens in most homes on Sunday mornings. Hubs vacuumed like a rock star while I stashed the panty hose and folded towels neatly onto towel rods, emptied the kitchen trash, and picked up the dog bowl and the dog to be contained for the duration.

We flew on into the restaurant just a few minutes late and only slightly out of breath. I have to say, it was so nice to sit down to an already prepared meal and enjoy good food and friendly conversation. No hectic busy preparation many days before and no dishes to wash after.

I tend to hold tightly to things that in my mind and heart I've filed under family. I'm learning this year that God might very well shake up the traditions and routines I hold too tightly in order to make room for what I need right now.

I always smile when I get what I need without knowing it was what I needed.


  1. Selling a house is not my favorite! I am amazed that someone wanted to look at your house on Easter Sunday and on such short notice!

  2. I LOVE that you still do Easter baskets for your girls, and now their guys too. I was always going to do that, but alas it never happened. That's what comes from having 4 kids...and 14 years between the oldest and the youngest. My boys had all left home and began adding kids of their own long before my youngest ever left. The first Easter after she married I thought about doing Easter baskets for them all. But when I added up the fact that it meant doing 15 baskets I discarded the idea, lol. Then I was going to just do the grandkids...but again WAY too many to keep on top of that in the long run I figured, so I threw in the towel that first year. But there was something about it I just loved, and I miss it. I love love love having a big family. But it is soo much harder to DO everything I would like to do sometimes. I have a hard time just remembering everybody's special days and times, let alone doing what I would like. But I do remember those first few holidays after my youngest moved out and they were different that's for sure. I am STILL trying to settle into our new normal. But honestly, I have come to the conclusion there isn't one. Things are different every year and I just have to roll with it. Hard for this traditionalist. But one thing I have learned to love....I don't cook anymore. I just arrive at whose ever house is hosting and sit back and enjoy. These are the days let me tell you. Glad you enjoyed Easter.

  3. The sun came out this side of the pond today.

    Did they like the house?

    Happy A to Z!

  4. Miss making easter eggs? You've had a great Easter. :)

  5. My guess is they were only in town for a weekend and tried to see as many houses as they could. If people didn't let them see theirs that only increases the odds they liked yours!

    1. You'd think, but they were locals. They liked, but I feel like so many people are just out browsing, not completely serious about buying.

  6. I just read Shannon's blog and know how special their Easter baskets were. Tradition and wonderful memories are so important! Wow! I can't believe someone was house hunting on Easter Sunday. Hope you get an offer, and glad you didn't have a house full of company!

  7. I have to do Easter 'baskets' still too. This year I didn't have to mail any! I do think a showing on Easter Sunday is a bit odd. Well, very odd actually. :)

  8. I'm beginning to wonder if I haven't bitten off more than I can chew too, with this a-z. (Which side of the Big Pond are you on? I'm on UK side.) The pic of your two girls when they were small, in pretty dresses, reminded me of when I was little and went to the local Methodist church. My sister and I had new outfits for Easter. Sadly, our mother usually made us wear matching outfits, even though there was two and a half years between us!

  9. Since my kids are older I haven't dyed easter eggs in years. I remember it being a messy task but the kids loved it.
    I’m also doing the A to Z challenge, Organize Home Life on

  10. Easter is so much fun for the kids. I told my grandson that there were 18 eggs hidden around the house (it was raining), and he asked "how do you know that?" - He is just about to let go of the whole "bunny" idea.

  11. Aw, this post kind of made me sad. Kids have to grow up, traditions have to change.

    I didn't do fancy baskets this year and I actually bought pre-dyed eggs! (I did get stickers for my youngest to add to the eggs). We just finished a big week on vacation and I didn't have the energy. It was the first year my 20 year olds didn't hunt for eggs.

  12. Well, you definitely can't say your Easter was dull or unexciting! I think holidays should be 'off limits' for 'open house'...

    Brad and Jennifer are getting ready to put their house on the market. She'll be a nervous wreck trying to keep things tidy, and working, with a toddler in the house!!!

    Kathy (from Reflections by Kathy)

  13. That was sweet of your husband to do the eggs with you. We didn't color any eggs. Ate in the kitchen because it didn't feel right to eat in the dining room this year. I have to LOL...I have told Mark that when he retires we are going to run errands together! We did have Amber here and I believe we will always make a traditional Easter dinner. I like how you spent your day. I don't like change but we must move forward. We found our first house here in California on Easter day!

  14. I love that you and your hubby colored Easter eggs! I don't know how you manage, Joyce, but nearly every post you write about your girls has something in it that I relate well missing them at Easter. I think you probably know where this is going and I'll update as promised on Thurs. My heart is still aching...

  15. I still had little kids, but we went out to dinner this Easter to an Italian restaurant, because we didn't feel like cooking. It was lovely. My parents came! I love you still dyed eggs. We didn't get around to that either--I keep asking myself how I botched this holiday! Eh, well--there's always next year for now! I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!

  16. My boys still get baskets at Easter, boxers on Valentine's, and a bag for Halloween!