Category Archives: Easter

Light Hearted Easter Egg Moments

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If you don’t celebrate Easter but enjoy learning about other families’

customs this post may still be a good one to read. If you follow a

different religion or you don’t practice any at all, you still could add

something new to this post. Help make it multicultural and allow

us to “cross borders” into friendship together.  Although Easter eggs

were once considered part of pagan Spring festivals, they have

become Christian symbols of new life in recent times.

A cracked open eggshell could represent

and symbolize Jesus’ empty

tomb on Easter morning.

Coloring eggs can be elaborate projects, I have always enjoyed looking

at Ukrainian eggs with their pen and ink display of designs.  Our family

usually just used crayons to make designs on our hard boiled eggs

for Easter. Then, with the pungent smell of vinegar and the Paas egg

coloring dyes, we would put our eggs on wire ‘hoops’ or loops, where

they were  able to hold them while we dipped them in.

Even when I attended a Christian church with my last husband,

where they frowned upon ‘rituals,’ I didn’t give up hiding Easter

eggs, bunnies and baskets.

This was always part of my childhood and my own family’s way

of celebrating Easter.

My argument was:

Shouldn’t we celebrate and rejoice in Christ’s resurrection?

When I got a Christmas card from a relative in December, 2014,

which mentioned the death and resurrection, it took me aback.

I felt this was losing the “True Meaning” of Christ’s birth.

I like to focus on the image of Christ in his manger, his bed

made of harsh wood, with straw and blankets protecting him

from the weather.

Why concentrate on the torture and anguish of the Son of God,

who was made from God and man combined, at Christmas?

When Easter comes, even if I weren’t a Christian,

I would want to celebrate the story of someone,

who came back from the dead,

who rose to sit by his father’s side

and who told this simple message:

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

When it comes right down to it,

all religions, faiths, cultures and

people of the world could agree.

If we treated everyone the way

we wished to be treated,

we would not have any wars.

Nor would we have poverty,

unclothed and hungry masses.

I may use plastic eggs to hide,

I may not always follow the rules,

I may not attend church regularly,

but Easter represents a lot to me.

Caroline Rhea says this funny quote:

“I lied on my Weight Watchers list.

I put down that I ate only three eggs. . .

but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs.”

Here is an Easter fact to enjoy:

“Each year, the PAAS Dye, Co. sells more than 10 million egg-coloring kits,

which consumers use to decorate more  than 180 million eggs!”

(Source, wikipedia.)

~**~”I would rather have one rose

and a kind word from a friend

while I’m here, than a

whole truck load when I’m gone.~**~

I truly believe in this.

How many flowers end up at funeral homes and

how many flowers did the person enjoy

while they were alive?

Happiness keeps you Sweet,

Trials keep you Strong,

Sorrows keep you Human,

Failures keep you Humble,

Success keeps you glowing,

But. . .

Friends. . .

Keep you going!”

**~ Author Unknown~**

May you have a blessed Easter.

If you should not happen to follow

this belief, may you have a special

celebration with or without any

faith involved.  Spending time with

loved ones is always  a blessing.

Please share something you enjoy

doing, cooking, decorating or

something you have been doing

in your garden, with Easter or

Spring as your guide.

Revelry

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Just going to fill you in on mostly ‘good’ stuff going on in my

family’s life. The best times are with family!

If you celebrated Easter or Passover, hope you had special times

with family, too.

Sometimes, concerns about health issues can be a little bit of a

drawback to a holiday or any visit. You may be interested though,

to know about things, as they progress in my Mom’s aging process.

Colorful sights and fragrant aromas filled the weekend. There were

delicious meals, from Friday until Sunday evening.

Love flowed all around us…

My Mom had saved a Maxine quote, one that I have to share, due to

its Easter holiday theme. She loves it when I tell her I included

something she found, on my blog.

Maxine is an older woman, who sometimes gives biting commentaries.

Other times, she is just an observer on life, as it is for senior

adults. The cartoon character sometimes is wearing a hat or has

a bushy head of white hair, has sun glasses on occasionally and

her pet dog is sometimes looking rather amused or askance at her.

I am sometimes surprised that the creator of Maxine is a man named

John Wagner. Here’s Maxine’s recent yearly physical cartoon:

“Yesterday I went to the doctor

For my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high.

My cholesterol was high.

I’d gained some weight,

and I didn’t feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right

doesn’t have to be complicated

and it would solve my physical problems.

He said,

‘Just think in colors.

Fill your plate with bright colors.

Try some greens, oranges, reds, maybe

something yellow, and so forth.

So I (Maxine) went right home and ate an

entire bowl of bright colors.

And sure enough, I felt better immediately!

I never knew eating right could be so easy!

Now stay healthy,

Eat your colors and have a nice day.”

(Picture is shown of a bowl of M and M’s.

Mom pointed out, it could have easily been

a bowl of colored jelly beans!)

Speaking of Mom, we went on several ‘wild goose chases,’ while I was

visiting.

First of all, she felt the sweet young Hispanic housekeeper in her

wing of the Senior Apts. had taken her little Shih Tzu’s hair brush.

Mom had written two concerned letters to me, the subject being

“Missing Items.”

I found the yellow baby brush, she uses on Nicki, under the

bathroom sink.

I took her to Walgreen’s, upon arrival, to purchase necessities,

having not been able to locate her stamps.

(Which Mom was very adamant on this subject, saying they got taken

by the same girl.)

Believe me, if you have read about my mother’s love of young people,

my parents’ marching for civil rights, and paying for two non-Caucasian

females’ college education, you would know this is not aimed towards

race or age of the young Senior Apts. housekeeper.

It involves a combination of Mom’s way of dealing with forgetfulness

or possible dementia setting in. Mom is not mean-spirited, though.

The young woman has told my brothers that Mom hugs and gives her bags

of candy and other gifts.

After purchasing a few items, while I was putting them away I found

duplicates.

While I was looking for scissors, I found her stamps.

It was more of a chaotic time than at Valentine’s Day, when she had

written notes to my grandkids and had candy in bags, ready to take

back after my visit.

This time, her Easter cards were sitting out, with some notes in them,

not addressed. We searched high and low, found a few envelopes with

addresses of her sister, my cousins and her good friends.

I never found Mom’s “Master Address Book.”

We will tackle that ‘chore’ over Memorial Day Weekend!

The fun stuff and special times began on Friday, after shopping

and searching for lost items had been set aside, for dinner.

Mom wore a nice pink jacket with a signature brooch. Mom has always

liked wearing a variety of pins on her lapels. She had a nice pair

of black slacks on. We had heard from my younger brother that he

and his wife, Susan and a possible friend would be joining us at one

of my Mom’s current “favorite restaurants.” She is like a ‘big kid’

and likes Friendly’s for their clam boats, ice cream sundaes and the

colorful atmosphere.

When you walk in the front door, you see such a majestic brass scale

with old fashioned details on it. There is also a large circus mural.

We went home to watch an older movie, which turned out to be quite

different from what we expected. Sidney Poitier plays a type of ‘playboy.’

He depicts a wild, carefree man, who is involved with some dishonest

activities. He is ‘set up’ on a date, by a young man, played by Beau

Bridges. The housekeeper is going to leave her household, having told

the younger members of the family before the ones who have employed her.

She is played by Abbey Lincoln, with an innocent charm. She shows curiosity

about the wilder side that Sidney’s character offers her. Later, we meet

the head of the household, played by Carroll O’Connor. This was a Turner

Classic Movie, called, “For Love of Ivy,” 1968. It has music by Quincy Jones

and a happy ending. It is a satisfying romantic comedy where I was mostly

looking at the wardrobe and commenting on the dialects. (Nehru collars, Kaftan

robes and “Groovy,” spoken.)

We drank a juice glass full of Sangria, had crackers and cheese,

with a ‘side of cookies’ before bed. Mom and I did our special

Spanish toast.

Our Saturday began with my ‘fetching’ breakfast from the dining

room. Mom loves eating breakfast in her room, in her pajamas. I tell

people who ask why she doesn’t come down, that my Dad and she got

‘spoiled’ while retiring early and became ‘night owls!’

I piled on the dining room tray, a jelly donut for Mom, a pecan nut

roll for me, a big bowl of oatmeal with garnishments of brown sugar,

raisins and pats of real butter. It becomes ‘less healthy’ for me, as

I add so much to it! I grabbed 3 cups of delicious coffee, a juice cup

of cranberry juice for her and one of tomato juice for me. I also bring

back two bananas every trip I make (anytime) past the dining room. Mom

lives (while I am away) on bananas and peanut butter out of the jar,

for her breakfasts and lunches. She only goes to dinner in the dining

room daily at 5:30 p.m. Unless we are around to ‘cancel her dinner

reservations.’

On Saturday afternoon, watched a movie I had brought from the library

called, “The Young Victoria,” 2009. It has an excellent British cast

of Emily Blunt, Paul Bettany, Rupert Friend and Miranda Richardson.

I highly recommend this love story about Queen Victoria’s childhood, her

growing up years and her courtship by two suitors. The story made both my

Mom and I ‘tear up,’ but it is still a lovely movie. We hold hands, eat

cookies, candy and some maple flavored walnuts that my youngest daughter

had left behind. They ‘roasted up’ in the microwave, tasting quite yummy

while warm. We ‘pause’ the movie to either make instant coffee or to use

the bathroom. I think that I will always drink coffee, since evidently,

she has lived to 85 and other than needing to use the restroom frequently,

no dangerous side effects!

On Saturday, my artist brother, who had been enjoying a night out

at a place that pays him to paint logos, make tables, along with

clouds and headhunters for either “Fat Head’s Brewery” or “Fat Head’s

Restaurant.” We have eaten their numerous times. Even my good guy

friend, Bill has been up to witness the wall designs and murals.

Last Autumn, I wrote after our going to a gallery opening with some of

Randy’s artwork, we and others went to see the actual brewery. They win

awards for their homemade brews, located in Cleveland and Pittsburg.

Randy will be heading West to Oregon, sometime in the near future, for

a new Fat Head’s Restaurant.

Randy bought Mom’s and my prime rib dinners at a railroad station

restaurant, which while we were in high school was called the “Cahoon

Winery.”

It is located on Cahoon Road, in Westlake, Ohio. It is less than a mile

from our home on the other side of the tracks, where we lived in during

our middle and high school years in Bay Village, Ohio. It is now called,

“The Whistle Stop.” We admired the different antique photographs of trains

and memorabilia along with a brass spittoon on a shelf.

Eating out is a different way to celebrate holidays, than our family

used to in the past. We made adjustments and changes once Mom’s ‘home

base’ was moved into the Senior Apts. In the ‘old days,’ I would drive

up from Delaware, when the children were small and Dad would take over

watching them once we got inside the door of their lake cottage.

Mom and I would head to the grocery store in Vermilion, immediately

upon our arrival.

Our ‘job’ was getting a bunch of food to cook. We would have ‘the boys’

use the gas grill, in all kinds of weather, on the covered porch, a

‘carport,’ but never was used for that.

There were always two picnic tables end to end, lined up and some chairs

positioned around the edges. If it were snowing, one of my brothers, or

while my Dad was alive, wearing ear muffs and armed with the barbecue

equipment, would grill steaks, chops or chicken out there, while Mom

and I would make the side dishes.

Onward to Easter Sunday!

This is getting too long and filled with a mixture of nostalgia and

too many details!

I got Mom’s and my breakfast, we ate it with a little bit of

lingering, knowing that our time was going to be cut short. She

always understands I need to get back to see my grandchildren. Mom

had thought of them last year, after Easter, buying gifts at super

discounted prices. I reassured her, not to worry. They remember her,

some had been here for Thanksgiving and others over last summer.

We have a wedding celebration of my niece, which will be held out at

the lake side cottage.

I had found, in the back of the closet, a packed box of Easter glitter

globes, some with bunnies inside, others with chicks and one smaller

one had Tweety bird in it. I was surprised that she had this one

labeled for Skyler, age 9.

The Official Family Easter Egg Hunt in Delaware with the ‘real’

Easter Bunny’s choices of goodies was held while Nana (otherwise

known as Robin, to you) was out of town. The breakfast and fun time

dying eggs was also completed. (Usually done the day before,

but this time, just in time to crack colored eggs and make deviled

eggs for company.)

I arrived to a sunny and warm, outdoorsy scene with children taking

turns jumping on the trampoline. Others were playing on the swing and

gym set. They were all stopping to run in the house, to receive their

gifts from Great Grammie O. and then, to keep their eyes glued on

something other than the windows, while Nana hid her eggs. I specialize

in putting dollar bills in the green eggs, little wrapped chocolates

in the other colored eggs, along with an occasional quarter or

dime in the yellow eggs. I also gave each a stuffed animal that

was chosen over the course of the year, not all bunnies and

ducks, either.

When all the eggs were found, we went inside to eat a delicious

orange, honey glazed ham. My son made the ham and glaze, mashed

potatoes and green bean casserole. My daughter in law made the 3-cheese

macaroni casserole, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and

the deviled eggs.

Yesterday, after I posted my story, I went over to give Micah and

Skyler their gifts from Mom and me. Micah had generously told me

that he “would wait on brother” to open them, since Sky was at

his Dad’s house, while Micah was with his Mom and Dad at my son’s

house. He participated in the egg hunt, meal and trampoline so it

was not a ‘big sacrifice!’

Skyler showed me an amazing gift that the Easter Bunny had given

him at his mother’s house. My daughter, being an artist, had chosen

or suggested to that Bunny, this would be a good year for the two

boys to receive drawing or sketch pads. Sky proceeded last night to

have me sit on his front porch within an arm’s length of him. He

drew a picture of me, with my work shirt on, my worn face none the

worse for wear. He drew in my wrinkles and lines around my mouth, a

good and fairly accurate drawing of me. I was pleased with my oval

shaped head, my neck and eyebrows looked very good. I drew him,

in turn, using a different page, while Micah blew soap bubbles

upon our heads.

We had a lovely and simple, quiet time.

When I got ready to leave, both boys declared they love me, which

is always a happy ending of any holiday! They also pronounced next

Saturday, to be an “overnight with Nana” event. Mom and Micah’s

Dad, Sky’s Stepdad, agreed!

A Walk Towards Easter

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This is a good one to read, if you are following some

Lenten ‘walks’ which have you choosing to set aside

technology and giving up other outlets. We may need to

have more peace, quiet and meditation while we contemplate

God’s gift of his Son. This is taken from Ann Weems’ book,

“Kneeling in Jerusalem,” (1992).

Here is a poem by Ann Weems:

“Winding Down”

We run around the World and the church

like wound-up toys,

looking for a way to get to Easter

without reading the instructions.

When we wind down,

We lie on our faces,

unable to move.

Perhaps in the still and silence,

God will give us the courage

to see our souls

and give us the chance

once more

to choose Life;

Faith, rather than frenzy.”

April’s Variables

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April is a month that is one that makes me smile. It

is associated, right from the beginning, with FUN!

I mean, don’t you remember all the silly pranks done

in the name of “April Fool!” Also, since this year,

Easter lands within April, we get the double extra-

cute items that make it an adorable month. Baby lambs,

chicks, ducks, baskets, colored eggs, chocolates and

other brightly colored images come to mind, when I

think of April!

Here is a cheerful quotation from Brazilian theologian,

philosopher and poet, Rubem A. Alves:

“Hope is hearing the melody of the Future.

Faith is to dance to it.”

Springtime melodies ring in renewal and hope.

APRIL CALENDAR

Birthstone: Diamond

Flower: Sweet Pea

1- April Fool’s Day

2- National Walking Day

Did you know that 3 walks weekly after 3 meals

are better than a once a week 45 minute walk?

A fifteen minute walk after dinner, can lower

blood sugar for hours. Along that same line of

thinking, it will significantly lower or reduce

the risk of diabetes.

April 6-13 National Volunteer Week

7- First Quarter Moon

On 4/13/64, Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award,

making this a historical event, as he was the first

African American male, to win. He won for his role

as “Homer Smith,” in “Lilies of the Field.”

April 13- Palm Sunday

I remember going to church and the wonderful song,

which includes the words, “Hosanna” in it. There

would be a parade of people, in one church the

children, in another the choir, all carrying big

palm leaves. In Sunday School, we learned how to

make them into crosses and also, to braid them.

If you wish to know more, you may look farther

into the subject online.

15- Don’t forget to file your Federal taxes,

if you live in the United States.

On this evening, look out to see the Full Pink Moon!

This also is the first day of Passover.

18- Good Friday

This is celebrated by many Christians, including Roman

Catholics and Orthodox Catholics. Some may commemorate

Jesus’ Last Supper, in some religions.

20- Easter

If you celebrate, enjoy the family, loved ones and

neighbors. Hope there is an Easter basket and egg

hunt, along with some fun activities. Do you color

eggs with vinegar and dyes? I like that acidic,

pungent scent. It leads me to memories and nostalgic

moments, along with present days with grandchildren

getting excited about these simple crafts and use

of crayons to make the dye show patterns.

My daughter in law makes the best deviled eggs

while my son makes the juiciest ham, with the

pineapple, brown sugar and clove combination recipe

that my Mom showed me how to make. My daughter bakes

a yellow cake with marshmallow crème frosting and

coconut sprinkles with jelly beans. I used to like

the lamb or bunny cakes my Mom brought home from

the bakery.

If you have a special tradition or recipe to share,

please feel free to place these in the comments’

section!

22- Earth Day

Anywhere you live, internationally we all celebrate

Earth Day. In the schools around here, they will

sometimes go out on hikes to look for nature. In

the parks, sometimes a mayor or official will dig

a hole to place a new tree to celebrate our love

for nature. Other placees, recycling projects may

ensue, cleaning up creeks and paths where paper gets

picked up, along with the mess from winter’s winds.

Also, on April 22, the last Quarter Moon will be out.

23- Administration or Professionals Day

I have an older calendar, where Secretaries’ Day is

mentioned. I used to give the women in our Principal’s

office, little pots of violets in appreciation for

all they put up with from the students and teachers.

25- Arbor Day

This may be an even better time to schedule digging

a hole to place a new tree! I like to have little

seedlings to give to homeowners. I, also, have had

someone buy miniature trees to give to friends.

29- New Moon, it will be dark tonight!

The Paralyzed Veterans of America consider the month

of April to be Veterans’ Awareness Month. Check out

your community and see if there are any ways that

are planned to help Paralyzed Vets or if there are

any ceremonies or projects. This month is to help

raise public awareness of the unique challenges

that paralyzed veterans face on a daily basis.

I like to end with a couple of positive quotes from

Thomas Kinkade:

“True simplicity begins when you learn to enjoy the

amazing abundance of what is already yours.”

“No one can decide how you spend your time, but you.”

An Early April Fool’s Day Surprise!

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I have a good friend at work, Amy. who has three horses that she has ‘stabled’

or taken care of during most of the week, when she has long hours. Amy’s horses

include an all black one with some white details, like a beautiful star on his

forehead and white “boots” on his hooves.

The black horse is from “champion breeding” and is named Spirit.

Amy’s little horse that she has her grandchildren ride on is named Lokie.

She says that horse people call him a “paint.” Not that he is painted! But he

has brown and white patches that are more like a wild horse or one that Native

Americans may have raised. Lokie is friendly and tame. He allowed her to put

bunny ears on him. Each of her grandchildren rode him and got an Easter picture

the day after an exciting escapade occurred.

The third horse is a beautiful golden one that is named Sapphire. She is a mixed

breed with a Palomino father. She has been in parades with a pretty turquoise

blanket or cape on with a side saddle which allows Amy to ride her. She is very

well trained and has no problems with listening to directions, feeling the reins pull

one way or another or the rider’s heels nudging a non verbal message or direction

to her.

Amy came into work very excited today, April 1st. I thought she was going to tell me

an April Fool’s Day joke. Amy has a great sense of humor so I did expect a trick. She

had a big smile on her face and waved to me to come over to hear her news. She told

me that a real French director had been up in Morrow County and wanted to film

country raised horses.

Amy was asked to fill out a release statement for the filming. She was very proud to

have her horses have a chance to be famous, if only in France! This occurred on this

past Saturday, March 30th and she reassured me, it was not a joke!

I told her I was excited, too, could she bring in the French director’s calling card so I

could see, or write it down and I could look it up? She said, “Of course, I should have

thought of that and brought it in!”

The French film crew were driving around the county roads and just happened to see

her horses along with the others that stable with them out in the field.

I mentioned to her the same Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day up in Cleveland.

My family had taken 2 of my grandsons to the Cleveland Art Museum and the

Westlake City Park.

At the same time, I had taken my mother to the grocery store and out to lunch. It

was such a lovely Spring day for being out and about.

Amy told me that Spirit was very curious about the cameras and went right up to the

group of people involved with filming the horses. Once Amy mounted him, though,

he became his usual, ornery self. He even tried to buck her!  (Yes, this was caught

on film also!) She put him through his paces. The director asked, “Can Spirit jump?”

Amy answered, “He is not well trained and is ‘oppositional in his behavior.'”

She thought Spirit may be interested in the audience so she tried to get him to do

some of his lesser tricks. He did not cooperate with jumping, though, and

went right up to the hurdle (she may have called them a different name…) and

stopped short of jumping. The crew filmed him with and without her, since he is

very attractively marked for over 30 minutes.

They were excited to see what Lokie could do because he is so gentle and appears

so unusual. I have seen pictures and I think a little boy with a cowboy hat or a

Native American feathered headdress would look so natural while riding him.

He is good at prancing and he can jump little hurdles. They spent 20 minutes or

more watching and filming him.

Then, her “pride and joy” due to her very charismatic behavior is, of course,

Sapphire. Amy explained that she does not have her gear and costumes for the

horses kept at the barn. She brings them over for pictures and for special events

and that the horse is parade trained and does well with noise around her.

I asked her if she ever had to ride Sapphire near a marching band? And she

responded,

“At the Delaware All Horse Parade.” (It is a misnomer because they do have

bands and wagons in it.)

Sapphire soared over tall hurdles and did all her stunts, even getting down

on her “knees” to show how she can really follow directions and ‘show off.’

They filmed her for over 40 minutes. At this point in the story, I had to ask,

“Were you getting tired, Amy?” She said she often on Saturdays goes over by

herself and ‘plays’ with her horses for hours. So, in other words, “No!”

When they were finished filming her on Sapphire, she dismounted and went

over to tell them that although they wanted to see country raised horses there

is a very wonderful program especially designed for children with disabilities

and special needs, called the Flying Horses. This program is one I had known

about as a preschool special education teacher and had 2 or 3 students with

Asperger’s Syndrome and one student who was diagnosed with Autism, take

advantage of this remarkable program. Sometimes, with state funding or local

donations, the cost is minimal or free.

I appreciated that Amy offered the French filmmaker and his crew that option

to include the program in their film. They were polite and actually said they

would like to check it out, if they had time.

When the filming of all the horses running around, eating their hay and just

plain standing around was a “wrap” Amy told me almost 3 hours had elapsed!

She had offered to brush out the horses or to demonstrate other everyday activities

like mucking out the barn, but they were satisfied with their choices and declined.

I am hoping to find out the director’s name, just so I will be able to recognize it and

keep my eyes open for next year’s Academy Award’s Foreign Film category or the

Academy Award’s Short Film category.

It would be wonderful for Amy’s family and their horses, Spirit, Sapphire and Lokie

to become internationally famous!

Fun Plans

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Since this weekend, from Good Friday until Easter I will be without

a computer, I thought I would post a summary of my fun plans!

I am going to be working a six hour day on Friday, darn it!

Then, I will be picking up my grandsons, Micah and Skyler with their

Mommy who is turning 33 on Friday! Wow, have the years flown by!

We will be singing and playing a game called, “My father owns a grocery

store and in it he sells… (then you say an initial or two, like “R.K” which

then the others in the car guess questions, like “Is it a cereal?” “Yes!”

“Is it Rice Krispies?” “Yes!”) This can all go awry when my sweet, creative

Art School graduate cannot spell! She one time when she was in elementary

school had us guessing (her little sister, little brother and I) for a fifteen

minute dragged out long time! She had said it started with “G” and guess

what it was? Jello! I am not kidding, poor thing! (We asked have you not

heard the t.v. ads that say and spell out, “J E L L O?”) Another time she

had us for a long time with the letter “P” and we knew it was not an edible

item at the supermarket but guess what that was? “Pansies!” Wow! Guess

it could have been much worse, with “panties!”

Another all time favorite car game is “I Spy.” The object has to be one that

everyone can see and won’t be leaving before it is guessed. This is a challenge

to the little ones because they want to say, “I spy something red…” and the red

barn can be miles behind before it is guessed or the red car can have turned off

at the next exit.

We will be singing a lot of silly songs that Nana used in her preschool

classroom, some more common than others. My boys’ favorite is, “I had

a little turtle…” and my girls’ favorite right now is “Five little monkeys.”

I have one that is a Valentine’s Day one, a watermelon one, holiday food

items one,….the kids will ask for random choices. The time seems to fly

by and they also teach me their own made up songs.

Once we get half way to Cleveland, it is pit stop and snacks time. For the

adults it is “coffee or cappuccino from a machine time!” We cannot seem

to travel down the road too far without those necessary things to consume!

We will  be arriving after my mother’s dinner time at the senior living apt.

and we will take my stuff upstairs. We may stop and drop the three of theirs

over at my brother and sister in law’s house across the street. We will be

hugging them, their big dogs, a Newfoundland and a Golden Retriever,

along with one of my mother’s dogs who did not make the “grade” to stay

at the home. This is a wild dachshund and beagle mix, she is very hyper and

yet, sweet and cute. She gets away with “murder” I tell you! We will be saying

“howdy” to the other great uncle to the kids who lives there as Artist in

Residence! He is about the best artist I have ever met and has done some

major works and sells a lot of sculptures, murals (done on family room or

other room walls, along with the ceiling in Magic Johnson’s theatre in

Harlem and the Luxor Hotel’s hieroglyphics and Egyptian designs…) and

yet, loves being there with family.

Next stop, MOM’s or Great Grammie O’s home at her apartment. If you have

not read my hysterical stories, one about the flies attacking or the one about

Sofia Vergara, please go back in my archives and laugh over these! My Mom

is a hoot and a half! Character and fun is all about our visits.

We will eat lots of sugar, in form of candy, cookies or cakes she squirrels away

from her dining room. She also buys a bags of chocolate candy and makes up

baggies of these to give the servers and workers weekly in the building. She found

out she is not allowed to “tip” so this is her way of giving back. My grandsons

will ask if they can have ice cream or yogurt, too. She is fully stocked and loaded!

We will hope for great weather like at Thanksgiving where we went to the

Cleveland Zoo. Or last year over another holiday we car pooled one town

to our “home town” where there is the Lake Erie to look out at. This is at

Huntington Beach. We have taken the grandchildren to the Nature Center in

Huntington Park, also.

This weekend, we will be going to a wonderful park close by and the dogs will

come, too. Lots of playground equipment and paths to go on. The boys rolled down

somewhat soggy, grassy hills last year and came back to the house with their wet

clothes on.

“Who started this rolling down the hill?” my daughter firmly inquired.

Both boys pointed at my artistic brother who is usually the guilty party when

there is fun going on. Did I ever mention he plays volley ball, wally ball and

a game called “whirly ball?” This is so funny because it is playing volleyball

while in a rented Dodge ‘Em go cart place. I would have to be dodging and

not hitting the balls or they would slam my head from time to time! Crazy

sports loving nut! Yes, he is still single while very handsome and smart, too.

Last part of the weekend will be our family Sunday brunch and then we head

back to my only son’s house with his crew of four children, two that came as

part of a “package deal” with my daughter in law. They will have almost every

food I ever cooked or prepared for the Easter meal. They have outdone themselves

the past four years. I am impressed and gladdened to pass the reins to their much

better expertise. My son, literally, is a chef so everything is better but they don’t try

to make many new items. Just the tried and true feast we look forward to each

holiday. It is all nostalgic and meaningful to make their mother happy. (I still miss

those 2o some years of being the “hostess with the mostest.” In the old days, both

brothers, one with his wife and her 3 children, my father and mother as our guests,

while I was there with my 3 children.

I believe in the special message of Easter but also believe in so much more!

I like to repeat the sayings my grandfather and then, my Dad would say:

“Drive like a Christian!” and “How Big Is Your God?” Those will cover our

feelings of gratitude and love for the gifts and bounty provided for our family.

I like the bubbles blowing around the park, the kites flying through the air,

and the silly children being chased by parents or each other as celebration

of  the beginning of a new season.

Enjoy your holiday or your special family time or simply~ your days off from

work! Play, have fun and be like a little child at this beautiful (hopefully)

Spring time!