Reflections of Easter Past

 As Easter Sunday approaches my family back in Texas is preparing, what might possibly be, the state’s largest Fish Fry. It is an Easter Sunday tradition. The men (and some of the more-skilled lady folk) take to the river and fish to their heart’s content. Sometimes, in particularly “slow” years, we supplement their fishing-frenzy with store-bought goods, and, actually, this year, I hear they are buying it all…(shhh…don’t tell my Maw Maw, ok)??

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?

 “No, it can’t be…it isn’t melting in my hand.” (I took the M&M commercials to heart.)

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)


11 Responses
  1. j

    This reminds me of my grandmother who used to make Italian Easter bread (catsuba?) with Easter eggs in it. I haven’t had that since she died. I wonder if they still have that in Catanzaro on Easter.

  2. cheeky

    I know what’s it like to miss the wonderful family traditions when you move away. Your family gathering sounds like a great time. I’m sure they are missing you quite a bit as well. It’s nice your students are sharing the love, making you feel special. That’s endearing.

  3. Louise

    Great memories!! I love Easter for all the fun of the egg hunts too and now with little kids it is even better!! Hope your Italian Easter will bring fun, love and special memories to hold dear.
    That chocolate sounds amazing!!!it was making my mouth water!!

  4. Nadine

    I love the cartoons especially the last one just made me laugh. What nice memories of Easter past, but now you get to make new memories that you can hold dear to your heart.

    The chocolate egg…yummy hitting all the happy buttons. Happy Easter.

  5. Cherrye

    KC, Louise,and Nadine – I thought the pics were toooo cute. I received two separate emails with them yesterday, so thought…why not share?

    J- I heard something about a cake and eggs. I will ask Peppe to elaborate.

    Cheeky – you are right. I am lucky here to have good people reminding me of the holidays.

    Oh yea, and Louise – the chocolate WAS good… he he

    Meredith – I “here” ya girl..accent and all!

  6. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    I miss the family traditions as well.

    I found your blog via Shelley in Rome’s La Mia Italia rounded. I have really enjoyed reading it.

    Happy Easter.

  7. Helene

    As a French expat in America, I get always more homesick around Easter than any other time of the year. My dear American husband has come to understand it, and respect my silences. Most importantly he lets me remember moments and gatherings “out loud”. He’ll sit there and listen while I go on and on.
    Happy Easter!

  8. Giulia

    Last year’s Easter was the last holiday that I spent with my family back home . We moved 4 days later. 🙁
    It was great to read about your family traditions. I’m sorry about your cousin.

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