Easter is a time for family traditions.
In Valencia County, it may mean the family comes together for the annual walk to Tomé Hill.
The Good Friday walk is a wonderful way for people to take time to reflect on their spiritual existence.
Family members make the pilgrimage to the top of the county landmark in an act of faith and remembrance of the events in Jesus’ life.
Easter is also a time to rejoice at the return of spring and the renewal of life in the form of blooms on trees and flowers and the greening of plants.
When I was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, Easter had its own traditions in our family.
The morning began with a family Easter egg hunt. What child would not wake in anticipation, knowing that there were mass quantities of candy awaiting them?
One year, my mother decided to just buy jelly beans for the Easter candy. It was an early Easter, so the weather did not permit an outdoor hunt, thus she had to be creative on how to “hide” piles of jelly beans around the house.
She created a memorable event when she linked the piles of candy together with kite string, causing a web effect throughout the house.
When my brother Dave and I walked into the living room, Mom and Dad handed each of us an end to the kite string and said, “Start rolling it up, and, when you get to a pile of candy, it’s yours.”
This was one of Mom’s many ways to extend an event and make it unusual and fun.
We laughed as we criss-crossed the living room and dining room to find piles of jelly beans everywhere, from behind the easy chair to on top of the piano.
Mom and Dad must have had their own fun the evening before as they created the string maze.
After the annual candy haul, it was time to dress in our new Easter outfits — Dave in his new suit, and me in a new dress, with accessories of hat, purse and gloves.
For some reason, these annual new clothes remain in the memory more than other new clothes. It could be because of the events which followed on the way to church.
As we headed to the car for the drive to church, Dad insisted he take the annual Easter morning photo.
Some years it was of Dave and Jane, standing on either side of Mom, who was holding an Easter lily.
Other times it was posed more artistically, with the three of us sitting on the front porch steps.
But, in all of them, we had a look of agony on our faces.
As we waited for Dad to focus his new 35mm camera, our frozen smiles became looks of aggravation as we said between clinched teeth, “come on and take it.”
The final Easter tradition in my family is purchasing an Easter lily to help decorate the church. To this day, I donate money to my church for a lily in the memory of my loved ones who have passed on.
I have started a new tradition for these plants. They are brought home from church and decorate my home until their blossoms die.
Then they are planted in my garden’s lily area in hopes that they will return next year as the earth awakens from its winter sleep.