Easter is traditionally a time for our family to gather together and enjoy each other. Those wish to go to church do so early. The others find a spiritual quality in the closeness of our family. While the children and teenagers mostly just enjoy the food and the Easter candy and hunting for eggs among to the bushes and flowers in the yard.

This year the weather forecast worried me so much that I did not put up the necessary tables and chairs until Easter morning. One of my grandchildren spent the night at my house and she and I hid the eggs early in the morning as the day was simply gorgeous after all. My helpers came in soon after 9 and we happily began bringing chairs and tables from the garage up to the terrace because I planned to have them sit there for luncheon. Typical of this sort of celebration a short interval occurred that threw everyone off schedule for a few minutes. There was a blacksnake in the garage who scared the ladies who were bringing up chairs. I went down there with a broom and shooed the snake back into my basement because I did not want it in the yard. (well, the truth is, I did not want it in my basement either). Once it could not be seen everyone went back to their preparations without a care. It is interesting that humans are like that. They just don’t worry about what they cannot see even if it is something that could do them harm later. And of course it is sort of symbolic because there is always a figurative snake in the basement. And it is important that we not let that spoil our fun or frighten us into over reacting. (That was a “jab” at the TSA, my pet peeve)

The family arrived on schedule (early, even) and people continued to straggle in over time. 1:00pm was the scheduled time and they landed on either side of that. Everyone brought something and that made it run rather smoothly. All the ladies looked lovely even the very youngest at 7 and 8 years old respectively. The boys were colorful, the extra teenagers had lovely manners and looked bright eyed and healthy. I forgot to set up a bar, partly cause I was busy and partly because it is not a hard drinking family. Some of my sons and my ex husband set one up though with wine and Perrier and perhaps some other things, no one complained.

My oldest son grilled butterflied leg of lamb and my daughter in law, his wife brought ham biscuits. We had mashed potatos and gravy, new potatos with butter and parsley, asparagus with hollandaise sauce and salads of cold vegetables. We got all that food onto the tables and ate to our hearts content. The children ate in different areas, the grownups stuck closer to the plan sitting at the tables provided. There were 34 of us this Easter and I never heard a cross word or even a sarcastic remark. There was a palpable sense of friendliness extended to those who were just visitors and enveloping those who shared blood relationships or ties of marriage.

At the end of the day one of our guests said to me “I have never seen so much love in a room, in my life” We had been sitting in the big living room for some time after having come inside when it became too warm out in the sun. There were a lot of children and grown ups in that room and they were all engaged in earnest conversation.

She gave me a gift that I can never forget and will always cherish. That love and closeness is the reason I love to do big holidays like Christmas or Easter. I am already looking forward to the next one. Perhaps one of my daugthers in law will have us all to Thanksgiving. There is nothing to compare to family when it is enjoying itself and drawing strength and happiness from each other.

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