Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Memories Part 2: Easter - by Donna Alward

I love Easter.

When I was a girl, Easter always seemed to mark the TRUE beginning of spring. I used to love getting up Easter morning to see what the Easter Bunny brought me, and it was usually a basket with treats and fun stuff like a new skipping rope or Frisbee or ball along with a healthy (or unhealthy) amount of chocolate and jelly beans. I didn’t even mind the chocolate-covered marshmallow stuff. It was AWESOME.

But my favourite part of Easter was the new dress and shoes. 

In our family, we took the “no white shoes after Labour Day but okay on/after Easter” thing very seriously.  I almost always had a new dress to wear to church on Sunday morning, probably in a pastel colour with some ruffles at sleeve, neck or hem.  You did not wear that dress before Easter.  And of course last year’s shoes wouldn’t fit, so it was off to town for a new pair of white ones. The best Easter Sundays were the ones where your white shoes were open toed or sandals for summer and it was warm enough that it made sense to wear them.
When my girls were little, Holy Week was fairly crazy. I sang in our church choir, which meant services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and again Easter Sunday. Our pieces on Thursday and Friday were always somber, and one was usually a version of “Were You There”.  In a darkened church on Good Friday, the sound of that hymn being sung a cappella by the choir in 3 part harmony was haunting. We would dress in winter clothes…dark trousers or dresses and black shoes. But then, Easter morning would arrive, and my girls would be able to wear THEIR Easter dresses and new shoes (usually courtesy of Payless) and we’d head off to church where we’d smell Easter Lilies and sing bright and happy songs to celebrate the Resurrection. I remember one year the girls had new dresses in lilac and golden yellow, with cute little box pleats and matching wide-brimmed hats. Oh my, those were the days (these days it’s more about heels and eyeliner).

I definitely understand that not everyone celebrates the religious holiday of Easter, but I think most can relate to a day where we leave the darkness of winter behind and celebrate a bright new season of life and colour.

Do you have a “Rite of Spring” where you throw off the shackles of winter?
Donna’s latest book is THE HOUSE ON BLACKBERRY HILL, out on April 29th and the first title in her new Jewell Cove series from St. Martin’s Press. Catch up with her on her website at and don’t forget to enter the Blog Hop contest for your chance to win a great box of books, chocolate, T-shirts, a Tote bag and more!

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