Thursday, April 8, 2010

Is Easter ever really over?

It seems I can get so busy living this beautiful, magical life, that I run out of time to write about it.
And so . . . the days get away from me.
And I find myself writing about holidays, like Easter, days after they have melted into sweet memories.
Actually, I have some pics from the tennis match last week, too. This year, the weather for tennis was gorgeous, if a bit windy. But it was warm and sunny. The kinds of days you don't mind being outside for hours.
All our kids did great! Isaac and his doubles partner, Colton, won a silver medal after playing a two hour championship game. Their competitors were very nice young men, who played hard as well and exhibited great sportsmanship. It was so much fun to watch Isaac play! He is . . . let's all say it together . . . Getting. So. Big!

We had off for Good Friday, and the boys and I went to grandpa's for the day to cook and bake some yummy traditional Italian Easter fare.
Grandpa made his famous Italian wedding cookies. Seriously. These things are dangerous to me. And I am dangerous to them. Look at these little buttons of sheer sugary happiness. I could eat them all day!
We made two sweet pies. I haven't had sweet pies since I was a kid!!
And two pizza gain (meat pies). Yeah. I haven't had this since I was a kid too. It's a good thing. Or else I'd weigh a ton. No lie.
It was fun to bake these traditional treats with Gramp. It certainly brought back a lot of good memories, and we had a few laughs.

When my grandpa was the pastor of a small church in Newark, NJ, we didn't bake these dishes because, inevitably, all the Italian women of the church would come to Easter service dressed to the nines and and carrying pies and breads -- often more than one per motivated home-baker -- which they would give to my grandpa and his family to show their respect for him and their gratitude of his care. They would fill the whole kitchen table, and the overflow would be placed on the counter-tops. We would have macaroni pie and pizza gain and sweet pie and egg bread coming out our ears! They were all just a little bit different, unique in their tastes and textures, richness and presentation, but boy howdy! They were all good. (I never did like macaroni pie, though.)
I was excited but wary when my cousin suggested that this year we try to make some of the Easter foods that live in our memories. After all, these were things that were created in the kitchens of amazing home cooks who could cook rings around these new fangled t.v. superstar chefs any day! I always pictured them working away in steamy kitchens, aprons caked with errant ingredients, noses floured, hair swept up atop their sweat-moistened brows. Surely they were in there without seeing the light of day for hours . . . days maybe, to produce the fine delicacies they so generously shared with us.
My grandpa talked to his cousin, Tri, at length about the recipes, and wrote and rewrote the instructions.
I was surprised at how easy it all was.
A little of this, a little of that, a little time to bake . . . and we had some amazing results. Tasty pies that hit the nail of memory right on the taste buds!
It was fun to share the pies with friends and family who joined us for Easter dinner.
 Saturday was a busy day. The older boys got to play at a friend's house, and mom and I went shopping with Danny.
After dinner, we dyed eggs. I love Daniel at this age, because he is old enough to understand what we are doing, and young enough to be astounded by the wonder of every new thing!
Easter Sunday was a beautiful day, sun shiny and warm, a wonderful reminder that Jesus is alive and loves us!
The boys got their baskets when we all woke up. Nothing big and fancy, just little things . . . candy, of course, and other things like bubbles and first aid kits and word search or coloring books, and crayons or highlighters and baseball cards and little Marvel Comic towels all bunched up in a tiny square that will spring to their full size when soaked in water. Just fun. Stuff.
There was one for Joe and David too.
My boys looked sharp in their Easter duds.Can you say "Blue's Brothers"?
Daniel and his friend Audrey. They dig each other.
We celebrated Jesus' work of salvation on the cross, the lovely day and each other. It was a full day. Everyone liked the sweet pie and the pizza gain, and Grandpa also made lasagna and his famous Italian "gravy." Our house was full of friends and family, laughter and sharing stories and talking about life and Jesus and . . .just whatever.
And later, when I was falling into bed, tired and happy, my only regret was that I didn't get a chance to write about it.
"What's the good of writing about Easter several days after it already over?" I whined to myself when I began this post.
And then I thought . . . Is Easter ever really over?
I mean, the new life of this tender season, the new life that grows in our hearts through the work of Christ -- that new life, just as Spring comes year after year, blooming us out of our winter seasons, comes to us over and over again as we change and grow and blossom and stretch toward Heaven. It comes everyday, in big and small ways. In things seen and not seen. Easter blooms eternal because He who was crushed for us to live a life of triumph, joy, purpose and peace, rose again. Rose. Again.
For those who believe Jesus is God's son, that he loves us so much he gave his life for ours, and that he rose from the dead so we can live forever, everyday is Easter . . . a celebration of joy and hope and life.
A remembering of what He did for me. . . for everyone.
What He does for us . . . everyday.


Michelle said...

Food looks yummy! I LOVE the last pic of Daniel and Audrey. Looks like a married couple in miniature form! ;)

Patti said...

Easter was pretty awesome this year. The food was amazing, the fellowship was great and the kids, as always, were priceless.

Michelle, I think Dan and Audrey are a married couple in miniature form.

Shelden said...

I also love the pics of Daniel and Audrey!!! They are so cute together

Kerri said...

Excellent photos. The ones of grandpa nearly put tears in my eyes. Then I started ooo'ing and aww'ing at Audrey and Daniel. Those two are in for some trouble. Or are the parents? ; )