We discussed our holiday plans off and on for probably two weeks. We thought about a weekend trip. Nothing ever revealed itself as the perfect thing. Our decision was…well…not to make a decision. We made no plans but I did send out a few emails to touch base with some friends.
The holiday began Thursday when I received a text with photos attached. Having “been raised” in the Freewill Baptist denomination and then “transferring my letter” to Southern Baptist the liturgy of Easter was never something I took part of. We practiced a cantata/pageant. We got “Easter outfits”. We went to church. We had a HUGE Easter lunch. We hunted eggs. That was it. For sure, it was a celebration…just not a lot of liturgical details. However, our dear friend Bucky is of the Episcopal persuasion. They are all about the liturgy. However, the photos I received were from a Maundy Thursday observance at First Baptist Church, Erwin, TN where he helped produce “The Last Supper”.
That’s how our Easter began.
Good Friday…I went to the grocery store(s). The only travel we did was from the farm to the loft. Friday evening we had a lovely meatball and spaghetti dinner and watched some TV.
Saturday morning I shopped, yet again. The Memphis Farmer’s Market is such a joy. This time of year it’s extra enjoyable. There are fewer farmers and customers. I love getting to know the farmers and not being distracted by the “just looking” crowd. I know that’s selfish…but honest.
Then, the Easter reveal…the reason we didn’t travel. When we razed the original farm house. We brought a lot of things to the loft. Brandt was looking for some things that remained. The search produced this photo…not from the farm house. Nevertheless, he found it.
I haven’t seen this photo since mom passed away in 2001. It’s always been one of my favorites. I knew I kept it but had no idea where it was. This is the Ladies Auxiliary at First Freewill Baptist Church in Booneville, MS, Easter Sunday…I’m guessing mid-sixties. I don’t know that I remember this Easter as I do hold dear the love for all the ladies in it. See, I usually went to the Ladies Auxiliary meetings with mom…but, that’s a topic for another day. I loved everyone of these ladies like they were second mom’s.
R-L Ms. Edna was never able to have children. She adored me……Dot, our pastor’s wife, was one of the sweetest ladies in the world and loved me unconditionally. During a Christmas visit to exchange gifts I went in their bathroom and saw a beautiful Avon bottle; Topaz it was called. It had this FABULOUS stopper…a topaz stone…the bottle was yellow glass. I poured out the perfume, took the bottle in the living room where both families were gathered and asked if I could have it. Dot responded, “of course, when it’s empty I’ll call you”. I responded, “it’s empty now”. OH MY!!! My mother was horrified…..Auntie, Captola (but everyone called her Auntie…rhymes with Dainty) was my mom’s full sister (she had nineteen other half’s and step’s). Auntie is the only person mom trusted to keep me. I was always dressed to the nine’s because Auntie and Uncle worked in a factory that made Buster Brown clothes…..Ms. Irene was an across the street neighbor. She was an incredible cook and so dear. Her creamed corn was standard setting and I’ve never seen meringue like hers….Ms Alma Martin (I think), was prone to shout. There were two songs that gave her religion and it scared the s*** out of me. However, she was a sweet, sweet lady…..Barbara Ann was my mom’s niece. She was Uncle Dody’s daughter. She and Joe lived behind Ms. Irene and Mr. Rowland in their “rent house”. She, like her nine siblings were all really sweet cousins…..Mom. This photo speaks volumes about the precious woman she was. She was always in the background leaving the front row for those she loved. She never finished the sixth grade but she was brilliant in so many ways. Her expression shows that she felt this was not appropriate…even though it wasn’t actually outside “the Lord’s house”. She was the epitome of a Godly woman and would rather bite her tongue than to laugh in church. I strive every day to be the man she hoped I would be….Finally, Lowenstein was really my favorite. I could never say that out loud. I loved that everyone knew what she thought, even if it wasn’t the consensus of the rest and I loved to hear her sing alto. She and Horace were salt of the earth.
This was my Easter. Recalling the memories and still feeling the love and care of these precious ladies is more special than all the sermons or liturgies in the world.
I posted this photo on Facebook and as I watched the responses I watched my feed fill up with family photos and Easter scenes…new and old. Facebook allows you to “share” but that’s just to other Facebook accounts. I want to share here because seeing Easter through everyone’s eyes made this a really special Easter for me.
These are from Dave Schwing (New York), K. C. Perkins (Denver/Nashville), Susan Bonds (Byhalia, MS) and Ruth Hurt McMillin (Pontotoc/Jackson, MS). I can easily put myself in every memory. The fashion of the sixties, the time I picked ALL of Ms. Voncannon’s tulips, my grandmother having lots of grandchildren but secretly buying Easter candy for me, the pride mom took in making sure we all had “Easter outfits”, hiding eggs and not finding them all until later in the Spring when you smell something in the yard…rotten egg…ugghhhh!
New Life…Harper, Maryjane, Henry, Wallis, Bray, Vivian, Gracie and Crosby are the real promise of Easter.
The Matthew’s (MS), The Mueggenborg’s (OK), The Lambert’s (SC), The Lewis’s (MS) and the Horton’s…but the greatest of these is Love!
Johnson City, TN, Byhalia, MS and Memphis, TN…everyone celebrates the newness of life and the flowers of Spring magnifies that celebration.
Joseph La Corte (NY) and John Ford (AR) shared these Easter bonnet shots
…and a good time was had by all!!!
We had a wonderful Easter Brunch with sweet friends at Paulette’s. Bloody Mary’s, Mimosa’s, Popovers with Strawberry Butter, Shrimp Bisque, Lobster Benedict, Redfish with Lump Crab…possibly the best brunch we’ve ever had in Memphis. The food was almost as good as the company.
It was supposed to be a simple supper but I might have gotten carried away. I saw the tulips at the market and had to have them. I didn’t Ms. Voncannon moment and buy all they had but I certainly wanted to. Our friend Nancy sent Peeps which just had to be the place cards.
I guess our friends assumed I would get carried away and helped take the meal waaaayyyy over the top.
To Share…Lobster Pancakes, Radishes with European Butter and Kosher Salt
To Follow…Grilled Lamb Duo with Mint Chimichurri, Spring Asparagus Tart, Orange and Yellow Carrots with Ginger Orange Glaze, Corn Branch Cheese Grit Souffle, Haricot Vert with Pancetta and White Balsamic
To Finish…Torta di Ricotta…the classic Italian Easter Cake/Pie
We had no plans but suffice to say our Easter was lovely…
And a good time was had by all.