I actually find it a tad ironic we have fish on Easter. Most of us are Catholic (hence the big ‘ole family gatherings), and have committed ourselves to nothing but fish for the last six Fridays. Yet, we always have fish for Easter Sunday. Well, to be completely honest, we’ve tried other things. BBQ didn’t cut it, it is too hot for Gumbo or Chili, and an old-fashioned “covered dish” just doesn’t do the taste buds right on this day…so, we went back to fish, and I doubt we’ll ever look back.
I sure am going to miss that this year.
After the fish fest we hide brightly, if not so delicately, painted eggs. There are so many kiddos, we do two runs. We hide eggs out in the open for “the little kids,” then hide ’em hard(er) for “the bigger kids.” Sometimes we help the kids look for the eggs that we hid, but even that is in vain, since the Easter Egg Hunt is always in the same area of my grandparent’s yard, and the eggs find themselves in the same crevices year after year. (Did I mention there is nothing else to do in Honey Island?)
We walk around with each other, we take pictures, we eat chocolate bunnies before they melt in the Texas sun. The kids re-hide and re-hunt, re-hide and re-hunt, until the eggs are all cracked and split and full of dirt.
Two years ago Easter fell on March 27. In the early morning hours of that Sunday, my 24-year-old cousin, Lee, was involved in a fatal alcohol-related accident. Although I know my aunt and uncle will never recover, and will probably never look at Easter with the same enthusiasm, I was never more proud of my family. The way we came together to help those most affected. The kids didn’t whine or complain about the Easter Egg hunt, although I am pretty sure someone went outside and hid some eggs for them…We cooked, we cleaned, we answered the phone…Everyone found a role to play, and it worked.
This year won’t be the first Easter I’ve been away from home, or undoubtedly the last, but I’m going to miss everyone the same.
Admittedly, I don’t know much about Italian Easter celebrations (other than the fact you buy palm leaves on Palm Sunday). But, yesterday I received my first Nerf football-sized chocolate Easter egg as a present from one of my English students. The packaging boasted a “sorpresa” hidden inside…I couldn’t wait! I toyed with the notion of waiting for Peppe and enjoying the egg with him. After all, couples should share things, right? But, then I started to think about it, and, the bible doesn’t say anything about sharing chocolate, so I figured I was in the clear on this one.
I opened the plastic wrap to find a giant dark brown egg sitting in a clear plastic cup.
“Hmmm…,” I thought, “Is this plastic, too?” I thumped it.
I picked up the egg and tried to turn it. Nope. It won’t turn.
“Is this chocolate,” I thought to myself?
I pressed once again with my thumb in an attempt to twist the egg in half and low and behold – a piece broke off…
The whole giant over-sized egg was a chocolate fantasy.
I punched inward with my thumb two, three, four more times. It kept flaking off…Finally, I see a plastic container inside the egg…My SURPRISE! And, there, ladies and gents, inside that chocolate wonder were 4 pieces of Perugia’s finest…
My Family’s Easter Egg Hunt
My grandpa hiding the eggs…
My mom, my sister, and me (that is me on the left)