Monday, March 12, 2012

Treasured Memories Preserved Through Easter Decorations

As I handle the old Easter basket from my childhood, I remember my mother thoughtfully giving me the basket and explaining that I should keep it and use it as a sewing basket. She thought it would be a perfect little sewing basket and that I was old enough to have a basket with a purpose. I agreed, even though I wondered if my childhood was coming to an end soon and I would be a grown up.
These decorations are souvenirs, a type of journal entry, a preserver of memories. They keep family memories alive.

The ceramic rabbit that opens up, contains memories of a day I spent with my mother at a garage sale down the street from her last earthy home, on Ash St. in Brownsville Oregon.

It was love at first sight
when I first saw the white rabbit. I didn't buy it, even though I wanted to. It seemed like it was frivolous to buy "another" Easter decoration. We left the garage sale and later my mother returned and bought the rabbit for me and surprised me with it.
The little basket with silk flowers I made for my mother one Easter and placed satin stuffed Easter eggs that I crossed stitched Easter scenes on. She treasured it and brought it out every Easter following.
While my mother and I were in Utah visiting my sister Sarah, and attending a women conference at B.Y.U. we stopped by Thanksgiving Point and bought gifts, including Easter egg lights which we couldn't resist. We both had a soft spot for holiday decorations.
I fondly remember the blue basket as a gift from my sister Emma.
The old window changes seasons, from Christmas to Easter, it holds a memory of driving around Brownsville the night before the city clean-up day where I picked up a dozen or so discarded windows with my friend Teresa. It was before her stroke.

I hope my children have memories of Easter.
Do they remember when I hid their Easter baskets and wrote instructions for a complex treasure hunt that they had to go on before they could find their baskets? Coloring hard boiled eggs with the vinegar solution and dropping the color tablets in each cup takes me back through each of my children, Abe, Joseph, Tamara, Stephen and Johnny. Julie, my step-daughter and I colored eggs too. Coloring eggs goes way back to my own childhood with my older brother Dane and younger siblings Emma, Micah and Sarah. Now my grandchildren are coloring eggs, last year Ruby colored eggs at my house, sitting on her mother Rachel's lap.
One of my oldest Easter memories is with my Grandma Dee. I was coloring eggs at her house in California. I wanted to make a special egg for my dad so I wrote his name on an egg with a wax crayon. I placed it in a cup of dye and when it was done I proudly showed it to my grandmother. She burst out laughing. I asked why she was laughing. She assured me it was cute and I shouldn't change it. I still didn't know what she was talking about. She pointed to the name on the egg, "DUG" and said, that is not how you spell your father's name, it's Doug. I suddenly felt embarrassed and didn't think the egg was special any more, but my grandma insisted I give it to my dad.
Keeping memories alive is part of traditions and celebrations. Take time to keep your memories alive, memories are one of the treasures of life.

This home video shows my oldest Easter basket and walks through precious memories of my mother and loved ones.

Easter reflections wouldn't be complete without mentioning my black duck. In elementary school I got a stuffed toy black duck for Easter. At first I wondered why the duck wasn't white because all the ducks we fed at the park were white, and I hadn't seen a black one before, but soon the little black duck became my favorite toy. I loved it until it's neck flopped over and it's furry body was clumpy. When I was a teenager, I said good-bye to my little duck, but I still miss him.

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