H.O.P.E

A quick Google search will find the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon being celebrated or at least recognized by many of the world’s organized religions. Some which you might not expect. However, Easter is recognized by ALL retailers selling chocolate, plush animals, chicks, ducks and PEEPS!!!  Again, that same search will help one find while many disagree with the meaning of the season most all agree on the historical significance and the hope which comes with the communal and/or individual meaning.

I had a very enlightening conversation with my mom just a few days before her unexpected death.  I spent hours helping her prepare to teach children’s Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  I watched her time and time again labor over the language of the Bible…her’s being the one with margins filled by dates, pastors names and sermon titles.  That one night her thoughts were perplexed but at the same time; brilliantly clear.  The topic was religion and who is going to heaven.  Judging another human being was against all she held sacred and that night she made a statement I’ll hold on to as long as I live.  She said, “who are we to judge another person’s beliefs or religious convictions. I don’t understand the need for so many religions but all I can do is live my life the best I know how, do as much as I can for others and trust that heaven is my reward. I really believe that’s what we should all do…NO MATTER WHO WE PRAY TO.”  I miss her so much but I hold on to all the gifts she gave me…especially on days like today.

I’ve had a hectic first quarter…a lot of travel and a lot of research and development.  Brandt and I chose to stay home and relax for the Easter weekend. However, we didn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate together and with friends…all the time thinking of family and friends both here in flesh and in spirit.

Friday evening we celebrated Good Friday with libation and delicious food at the home of sweet friends.

We started with Martini’s and a Caviar/Smoked Salmon Bar. Dinner was Lamb Osso Bucco with Cauliflower Mash and Crisp Italian Salad.  Then, we took it over the top with individual cheesecakes. I sent a note when we got home saying the delicious food was second only to the joy of being together. Good food…good friends…good life.

Saturday we enjoyed being on South Main.  Since Christmas, we’ve only been at the loft three weekends.  New growth is all around…in every way possible.

The new residential structures are going up on every available lot.  New retail and entertainment complexes are going up, as well.

A block away preparations are being made to remember the saddest day in Memphis history.  Dr. King’s physical body is no longer with us but his spirit lives as strong as ever. Sources expect as many as 50,000 visitors to our little neighborhood.  I hope it’s a day filled with continued efforts to build on Dr. King’s dream…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness FOR ALL…still so much work to be done!!!

The South Main Art District shows lots of Spring and the hope of new life is abundant.

After a rest and some gelato Brandt decided to continue to enjoy the weather and went for a bike ride.  I watched basketball and started dinner.

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We enjoyed Shrimp Salad, Grilled New York Strip Steak with Chimichurri and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Horseradish Creme Fraiche.

Easter Sunday was a wonderful day of reflection and joy.  Before we left the farm our precious Grand Niece gave us some Easter Eggs she had decorated.  I immediately knew how I was going to use them.

Because of Olivia’s love for animals the farm is quickly becoming a petting zoo.  Her chickens provide eggs for us and the Pigmy Goats, Donkeys and Chickens added to her Poppy’s cows and horses make the farm symphonic with the life sounds.  Then the Easter Bunny brought her not one but two Miniature Horses.  She never knew her Great Helen but Helen would’ve loved her as much if not more than we do.  Helen made a dish called Creamed Bacon and Egg on Toast.  Olivia’s Uncle Jimmy and I used her Easter Eggs to make Helen’s dish for Easter Breakfast.  I do everything except the eggs.  As you see cutting the eggs is a dangerous job which takes seasoned professional.

While we were in the kitchen and remembering Olivia’s Great Helen and Great Great Stella we made Pea Salad.  The recipe is remembered as being handed down from Brandt’s Grandmother Stella to his mom, Helen.  We actually have record of the recipe from the The Byhalia Methodist Women’s Cookbook, Circa a long time ago.

From now on we’ll call this Four-generation Pea Salad…a recipe passed through four generations and made with eggs gathered and dyed by the fourth generation.  As I said, Easter is about hope and new life…how wonderful!!!!

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We even have Stella’s China for presentation of the finished product…DELICIOUS!!!

During the Pea Salad construction I received multiple texts from East Tennessee with a sentiment that we would be missed.  As with all the season’s Easter is uniquely special for one who was born on Easter Sunday.

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Clearly the house was lovely and I know a good time was had by all.

Our dinner came together nicely, as well. Continuing with the family heirloom theme I pulled out mom’s recipe box and what she considered her first China.

My sweet cousin Rubye made the best Rice Casserole. Mom made it many times but always said it wasn’t as good as when Rubye made it. I love a recipe you can tell has been well used.  Mom’s first China was Homer Laughlin Cross Stitch.  And, we always had “green salad” in a bunny mold for Easter.

Along with the aforementioned Four-generation Pea Salad and “Green Salad” we had Grilled Rack of lamb, Spiral Sliced Ham with Black Raspberry Sauce, Rubye’s Rice Casserole and Lima Beans in mom’s China.

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Booneville, MS First Freewill Baptist Church Ladies Auxiliary Circa, 1969

Only one of these ladies is still living but the spirit of love, life and hope they instilled in me helped establish my philosophy of life which will be with me until I move to the next realm.

  • Love unconditionally
  • Care blindly
  • Be fabulous, a lot
  • Celebrate life; no matter what
  • Worry as little as possible
  • Take long breaks/holidays
  • Relax, a lot
  • Don’t be wasteful
  • Kiss, a lot
  • Learn, write and say good words daily
  • Play every day
  • Enjoy every minute

Life is short.  Don’t make it any shorter. Here’s hoping your Easter was lovely and a good time was had by all.

 

 

 

 

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