Memories of Easters past stick around
Writer’s note: When I was 8 years old, I lived with my devoutly Southern Baptist aunt and uncle for a year. They already had five kids, so I guess one more wasn’t that big of a deal. The following is an excerpt from my diary for the days leading up to Easter in 1974.FridayThe principal of Greenville Christian School just told me that I can’t sell rocks to the other kids anymore. Some of them I’m pretty sure were fossils, and I was letting them go at amazingly fair prices. I worked hard picking those out of the driveway, too. I accidentally bought some of those new weird-flavored Doritos for lunch today, and I nearly gagged. I don’t even know what a “nacho” is, but from the way it tastes, I think it must be a type of gym sock.Tomorrow we get to dye Easter eggs. There is nothing more fun than dyeing Easter eggs, except hunting for them.SaturdayWe dyed eggs tonight! That smell of vinegar in the house always takes me back to those carefree Easter days when I was 6. I can’t believe I’m almost 9 now. Where does the time go? I didn’t dye as many as Andy (cousin, same age as I am) did because he just threw them into the coffee cup of vinegar and dye and left them there. I tried to do multi-colored eggs, dipping them gently halfway in the purple and then doing the other half in red. Andy thought it was some kind of race, apparently, because he stacked all of his eggs up in a basket in front of him and made a point of counting them aloud each time he drug a new one out of the cup. If you take a white crayon and draw a picture on the egg before you dye it, that part of the egg will stay white. I drew a picture of Andy on one, but didn’t tell him it was him. He knew it was him, though, because I made the ears real big, so he told on me. As always. I considered “accidentally” knocking his little egg basket off the table, just to teach him that “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” saying, but that didn’t seem like a good way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Although he did die for my sins, so why not at least make it worth his while, right? Easter SundayAhhh, blessed chocolate. There’s nothing quite like the taste of chocolate bunny head first thing in the morning! When the first nibble of rabbit ear hits my stomach, I am happier than ever that Jesus rose from the dead. Amen.Church was about the same as usual … boring. Except one funny part was when Miss Williams (Sunday school teacher) did her feltboard story about when the stone was rolled away from the cave that Jesus was in, but her “stone” was just a piece of brown construction paper and she couldn’t get it to stick to the felt board. She would say, “And the stone sealed up the cave entrance and it took five men to move it,” and the non-adhesive “stone” would keep falling on the floor. I giggled a little bit too loud, and she asked me what was so funny. I told her that I was just appreciating the irony inherent in her demonstration, since it’s pretty well known that most of the Christian beliefs and practices are based on earlier Pagan beliefs – the virgin birth, the resurrection of a god-man, the egg as a fertility symbol, etc. … then we can safely assume that the early Christian clergy merely inserted the character of “Jesus” into stories that had already been around for millennia, meaning that most modern religious claims, not unlike the construction paper stone, just don’t “stick.” She thought about this for a second, then grabbed some Scotch tape, taped the “stone” to the felt board, and continued her story.After church we went home and waited in the bedroom while the adults hid eggs in the yard for us. Andy found more eggs than me because he kept on tripping me when we were running. I bet we have deviled eggs with supper tomorrow night.