Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A to Z April Challenge: E is for Easter

Genealogists and family historians get a lot of satisfaction from chasing their ancestors’ stories. Finding a diary, a message on a postcard, or a photo with a name attached is like the sun coming out after a storm. One day we will be somebody’s ancestor. We need to leave our descendants a little bit of sunshine too. So here is my story told alphabetically, not chronologically: Growing Up in Cradock.

is for Easter.

If Easter had fallen in April this year instead of March, this post would be timelier. Next to Christmas, Easter was my sister’s and my favorite time of the year. Our mother was an amazing seamstress, so we always expected to have a beautiful new dress. That meant new shoes, a purse, a hat, and gloves were coming our way too.
Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1960  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Wendy and Mary Jollette Easter 1960
Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1962-63  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Easter 1962 or 1963 at our grandparents'  house

Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1965  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Easter 1965
My outfit was a brocade dress and jacket. I wore it when
Miss America Vonda Kay VanDyke was in town.
As I was asking for her autograph,
she complimented me on my beautiful dress.

Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1967  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Easter 1967
Of course, no Easter dress was complete without a corsage. Daddy always bought us an orchid with an appropriate colored ribbon. At one time, a corsage could be purchased only at a florist, but grocery stores began carrying simple orchid pin-ons too. As I looked around in church this past Easter, I did not see a single corsage. What a pity that this custom has seemingly gone by the wayside.
Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1969  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Easter 1969
The best part of Easter though was not the corsage and not even the candy. In my younger years, the options for filling the Easter basket were chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs, chocolate-covered marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans. Except for the jelly beans, BLEH on the rest. After my sister came along the candy selection vastly improved with the introduction of Reese’s peanut butter cups. While we waited for the world to catch up with our taste in candy, we satisfied our sweet tooth with a cake egg from Caffee’s Bakery. They made the best pound cake egg with a chocolate shell decorated with our name piped in sugar icing.

Easter cake eggs and baskets 1971

What my sister and I enjoyed most was the Easter eggs. We could not wait to open the Paas egg dye kit and sort the six color fizz tablets into six bowls. We lowered hard-boiled eggs gently into the colored water and swirled them around with the handy egg dipper until each egg was just the right shade. The wax crayon was only mildly effective in helping us be creative with our designs. The introduction of stickers to make funny faces was more our speed.


Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1965  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Easter 1965
The effort we put into great egg design was worth every minute. Despite being 8 years apart in age, we could come together on a good Easter egg hunt. We played hide’n’seek with those eggs for weeks. Indoors. Outdoors. It did not matter. They would be cracked all to heck with chips of egg shells falling off in their hiding place. We would not stop playing until Momma grabbed them up and threw them out. She was probably so relieved when plastic eggs came on the market.

Wendy Slade and Mary Jollette Slade 1969  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
I cheated - I caught Mary Jollette hiding the eggs.
Boy, was she mad at me!

To Explore more Entertaining E subjects, Exit this blog and Enter the latest Edition of the A to Z April Challenge.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved

38 comments:

  1. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge - where I am part of Arlee Bird's A to Z Ambassador Team.
    April is here and I'm excited about it. Best of luck to us both on meeting our goals of posting and hopping to other blogs.
    My blog has a giveaway. There's a bonus a to z challenge each day to encourage people to visit more stops.
    http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com
    That's a fantastic story. I've never seen someone wear a corsage outside of a fancy dance (like prom), and even then it was a wrist, not a pin. I wonder what happened.

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    1. Wonderful! Arlee is my A-Z guru!

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  2. Great post! I love the pictures. When I was a child, my brothers and I also used to dress up in our best clothes. I don't think people do that anymore, do they? I do love an Easter egg hunt. Thanks for taking us on your trip down memory lane. Such lovely memories.

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    1. The past few years I have not seen any special Easter clothes among adults but children seem to be getting something special to wear.

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  3. I've done an Easter Egg hunt - it sounds as though you had great fun, new outfits and a corsage so wonderful.

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    1. We have never been to a big Easter Egg Hunt, just among family. Our neighborhood does one for all the kids.

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  4. Love the pics, the memories :D
    And those dresses!!!!!

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    1. Thanks and thanks for the visit.

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  5. Oh yes, Easter was exciting because of the new dress, the hat & corsage! My brothers in new suits and polished shoes. Going to church to show off the outfit. ha! Super blog post, Wendy.

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    1. Yes, you had to show that outfit off!

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  6. WOW! Some wonderful outfits! You were very stylish! A wonderful collection of photos :)

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    1. I thought I was stylish but I probably wouldn't win any contest.

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  7. I remember those days - especially my mum in one of those hats - and the dresses we wore as little girls! Leanne @ cresting the hill

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    1. I should have posted a picture of my grandmother's hat. Thanks for the visit.

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  8. Great memories and pictures you have from those Easters of your youth :) My mom never liked hiding hard boiled eggs so she would hide the little foiled wrapped chocolate eggs. She would always count how many she hid and then we would count what we found and then if it was the wrong number, she would have us look again until we found them all. One year she must have miscounted because in July we found a very melted chocolate egg high on a windowsill. Plastic eggs are the best way to go I think :)

    And you are right about the corsages; every year hubby's mom would get a corsage to wear at Easter and Mother's Day. Didn't see anyone with them this year.

    betty

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    1. Betty, when my kids were growing up I used to have to make a list of where I hid things because I used to forget myself!

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    2. What a funny story about the egg on the windowsill. I know everyone was glad it wasn't a hard boiled egg. Ew

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  9. A wonderful testimony to your mother's dressmaking skills - and even better that you have the photographs to remember them by. I remember getting a new outfit for going nt church on Easter Sunday. My mother also made hard boiled eggs and we enjoyed painting them, but we enjoyed our chocolate eggs even more. Easter egg hunts are Evey popular here now, but I didn't recollect taking part in any as a child.

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    1. We never went to any BIG hunts sponsored by the town or church, just our own little hunts. Our neighborhood has a big hunt for all the little kids.

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  10. Your dresses are absolutely gorgeous, and the hats really complete those outfits.

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    1. I have vague memories of shopping for those hats.

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  11. Love the Easter pictures. We used to get hats too. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for the compliment and the visit.

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  12. Oh boy have you sparked some memories for me.

    First, I remember meeting Vonda Kay Van Dyke! In fact, somewhere I probably have an autographed picture of her. I haven't thought about her in years but just googled her and am happy to see she is alive and well.

    Second, corsages. What I remember most about those was that they were sold at the "Big Game" (Stanford vs. Cal) every year in school colors and I always longed to have one for my very own.

    And the names on cakes? I remember a hard sugar egg with an opening at the end so that we could look inside and see whatever decoration had been put in there. And I think they might have been personalized upon request.

    Thanks for the memories!

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    1. Wow -- we both met Vonda Kay VanDyke. Better yet, she met both of us!!

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  13. Although we got new dresses for Easter and hats and gloves, I don't remember corsages. We dyed eggs too but I don't remember any egg hunts until my own children came along. I remember eggs turning up months later. Blech! Finding Eliza

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    1. I don't remember ever losing an egg for long. I was conscientious about the number.

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  14. We also got new dresses, gloves and hats. My Mom is an avid hat person, me not so much. It was my job to make the center piece for the dinner table and I had a huge book called "The Make It Book" with lots of crafts for holidays. We hunted for chocolate on Easter morning too.
    Dianne at My Genealogy Challenges

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    1. I meant to post a picture of a centerpiece my mom made. It includes egg candles made in actual egg shells.

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  15. What lovely memories. I still get me and my little girl all dressed up for church at Easter but I've not seen any corsgaes.

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    1. I guess people view corsages as a waste of money. Better to spend it on extra candy! Thanks for the visit.

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  16. Girl, we are precious!! hahaha!

    I miss hiding eggs, I can't wait for Miss A and Mr. E to be old enough to look for an egg!

    I see EVERY year accept one, we have rollers or pin curls in order to have curly hair.

    The 1971 Easter Basket for Barry next to ours with a note explaining that Momma ran out of Easter Paper! hahahaha!

    We were so lucky!

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    1. I know - won't it be fun to hide some little plastic eggs?!?!

      And yes, we were precious. Still are!!

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  17. Yay for Mom's who make amazing Easter Dresses! LOVED seeing your Easter Parade through the years...including the rollers! Great memory post. We are still enjoying Easter Egg Hunt with our youngest grandson...he's six, so hopefully we will have a few more.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

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    1. I can't wait for my grands to be big enough to hunt for eggs.

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  18. I am sad that corsages went by the wayside, too. My father always bought them for my mom, my sister, and me. I'm impressed at how close you and your sister seem despite the difference in ages. And it seems as though your family always had a camera at the ready. Lucky you to have so many photos!

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    1. What a funny thing to say about the camera - I feel like my family missed the mark too many times by NOT having a camera.

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  19. Now I'm feeling deprived ;) No Easter egg hunts and no one here had corsages (except for balls, formats/proms). Even as a very religious child I disliked Easter because we seemed to be constantly at church. I did however often have a new outfit to wear, or at least a relatively new one. I suppose the change of season to Autumn made a difference too as you would have been getting new Spring outfits.

    @cassmob from
    Family History Across The Seas

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