Easter Gathering! Family parties can be fun.
Easter morning was shot through with sunlight and still a bit chill from the night cooling. But the promise of a warm day was in the air along with the scent of flowering trees and shrubbery. What a Day!!!! Lucky for me, because 24 people were expected for lunch at 1:00 pm. All of my five children and their mates, plus my ex-husband and his wife Julie and ten of our grandchildren (plus 3 young men who were dates for 3 of my granddaughters) arrived by 1:30. But the party really began at noon when a trio of grandchildren arrived early. I set them to arranging the Bloody Mary bar. It was accompanied by so many trimmings you would not believe me if you saw a list, but suffice it to say they were plentiful. They included bacon, all sorts of pickles, hot peppers, and celery of course. There was even some sort of pretzel balls. See photo. Someone made me one and it was the best Bloody Marry I have ever tasted. Apparently, there is an art to this…
In some ways, my children are very similar. They are handsome and beautiful and smart and funny and they have manners. We raised them all in the same wonderful atmosphere and with equal amounts of love, same values, and yet they are all completely different in personality and viewpoints.
They like each other, though. And they all have fun as couples, parents and as aunts and uncles. Their laughter is like a tonic to me, or heady wine, as it made me feel light and cheerful to see such exuberance coming from their conversations, Their memories of Easters past and their plans for the future all made cheerful conversation. Gratitude flows, no courses, through me watching them.
The youngest of the group was Tom, Charles Tompkins Matheson III who just turned 10 years old on March 23rd. He spent a great deal of time on his iPad but he was dressed in colorful clothes and seemed to be in an Easter party mood. My children and grandchildren were clad in pretty colors and summery-looking dresses. Many wore hats. They are each one more beautiful than the last, not a single one lacks physical beauty. I find them all immensely charming and intelligent and well-read. Discussing life in these times with them is fascinating. I am more and more aware of what it is to become a “relic” of another time.
Everyone needs to know about that time before now, though. And who better to hear about it from than someone who lived through it. Often I discover that there are gaps in my younger grandkids’ knowledge due to the things that teachers leave out of education these days. I always learn something from my grandchildren and I hope they also learn something from me.
My menu for the Luncheon was pretty extensive. There were racks of baby lamb chops with two types of mint jelly, a spiral cut ham, loads of asparagus and silver bowls full of Hollandaise sauce, pickled beets giving a note of deep red/purple to the repast. There was a huge Ceasar Salad and Lilla brought a broccoli salad with raisins and bacon strewn throughout. Andrea brought the best deviled eggs I have ever seen or tasted. Helen brought roasted, baby potatoes with skin on in a great big serving dish. Susie and Murdoch brought a half case of wine and so did David. Of course, I already had a good amount of wine on hand from Chisholm Vinyards. The wine from Andrea’s vinyard is beginning to win many prizes. The red wine that recently won was as good as any French wine I have tasted, Very impressive.
For dessert we had a cake shaped like an Egg with chocolate frosting decorated with stripes of many colors. This was surrounded by macaroons in an array of spring colors. And of course, there was lots of Easter candy. Everything was decorated with dyed eggs and lots and lots of flowers. My beautiful house shimmered and came alive with festive family fun.
When everyone had their plates filled to the top with food from the buffet I started to sit at my place. But David said,”Now Bonnie is going to say Grace!” He thought he would play a bit of a trick on me. But I quickly said “I am NOT. Charley will do it!” Smiling broadly because in a way this was an inside joke having to do with the first year of our marriage when some Mormon missionaries asked me to say a prayer and I completely froze up. Without a word, Charley said a prayer for me, as he could see I was completely at a loss for words. It was a kind thing to do. And on this Easter Day, I knew he was up to the task as always. He was. In moments he came up with a traditional Grace plus some kind words about the lovely family get-together.
And then we all dug in! No one was thinking much about religion then, but I was. It was apparent to me that our whole family and our beautiful gathering were due to our Christian values. We were raised to believe in the Golden Rule and know in the deepest part of ourselves to be grateful to God for our blessings. No one speaks of this much these days except for those who profess to be born again and often talk about God in every sentence. We are much more “lapsed” than that. But we all understand the Judeo-Christian value system and are grateful for it.
I spent the rest of the day in gratitude so deep I could barely keep the memories in place. So now when trying to remember it all it shoots through my mind like a fast-paced slide show. Image after image vies for my attention. Tiny purple checks on Susie’s dress, David’s shirt, and several other people, but I can’t keep it straight. Hats topping my daughter’s pretty heads, Charley Hilliard with that Bloody Mary including a deviled egg on top. Tom with the bright blue Easter egg in his hand. Magnus, one of my dogs laying in the grass. His head rested on a discovered hard-boiled Easter egg which he planned to play with for a while before eating. The boyfriends of my lovely granddaughters all looking very spiffy and appearing to feel completely comfortable and welcomed. I was also very thankful for Adela and Miley, in the kitchen, who were helping with all of this, plus the clean up. The last guests left at 6:30 which I took as a huge compliment to me. They were relaxed and happy and well-fed and grateful. What more could a Mother ask? Can’t wait for next Easter!!!
Copyright©. 2021 Bonnie B. Matheson
4 thoughts on “Easter Gathering! Family parties can be fun.”
Memories made! What a lovely day you had.
Your descriptions were vivid, and I felt joy and happiness reading it.
Truly a beautiful day for your family.
Thanks for this lovely story
Loved your writing! Thank you for sharing a beautiful day with all its family finery!