Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Everlasting, Ever Evolving Easter Party


Sunday was, I think, the 37th Easter party held down at 'the lower place.' We had smaller Easter egg hunts up at our house beginning in'76 or '77 but when my sister-in law Fay moved to the mountains and into the house where Justin and Claui live now, that was when the parties got larger and were held down there.  

And that when various traditions began. The egg hunt, of course, goes without saying. A decorated egg tree and a contest for the best egg was part of the fun till recently when fewer and fewer people took the time to craft fancy eggs. Plus the egg tree took up valuable space in an increasingly crowded barn so, a few years ago I made an executive decision -- no more egg tree.

In the early years we had a pinata but after one terrifying incident where a small child got buried under a mob of frenzied candy-grabbers and Fay and I were pulling kids off the frightened (but mercifully unhurt) child at the bottom of the pile, we decided to eliminate the pinata tradition. 


Fay married and moved to Virginia years ago but she and her family usually return -- three of her grandchildren were among the egg hunters this year . . .


Not surprising -- quite a few of the kids who used to hunt eggs are now bringing their own kids -- and in at least one case, their own grandchild. 


And as always, there were all the old friends -- some of whom we see only once a year -- and some new friends -- (Robert, the student I recently reconnected with after forty-some years, was there, making me giggle by telling Justin that I wore mini-skirts back then (not really, short, for sure, but never mini -- the prep school was too conservative for that.)


It was a fine, fine day -- and when the last lingerer left, we closed the barn doors on the scene of destruction and Justin and Claui and the remaining out of town guests adjourned to our house to watch Carolina advance to the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament -- the perfect end to three days of partying .


Monday morning and, while Justin went to work, niece Amelia dealt with kids, and Claui milked,  Fay and her son-in-law Drew helped John and me with the cleanup process -- quilts down, garbage bagged up, dirty dishes and table clothes collected to be washed.

In about an hour, things were under control; the Virginia folks were on their way home; and the washing machine was going full tilt. 

In the next few days, quilts will get returned to their owners; the coffee maker will go back to Joel at Zuma Coffee Shop; and all the party stuff will get packed away to await a glorious resurrection next year.

I love the fact that much of the work has been taken over by the younger generation. It's mostly Justin's friends who decorate and set up the barn and my niece Amelia has taken on the job of wrangling the Easter egg hunt -- so I can wander about taking pictures or sit around chatting with friends.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. We joke that the party would go on whether we were there or not. And it would. And that's as it should be.


11 comments:

Stella Jones said...

Ah the continuity of life - so important to teach and continue those old traditions. I loved reading the history of your Easter parties. I love how families come and go and return - just wonderful.

When our children were small we went to the same place on holiday most years. We didn't go at all for 8 years because we couldn't afford it but when we did finally make it, we went self catering to a small place on the East coast of England. The children loved it. They had the sun and the sea, the rain and the sand and they had us! They had earwigs in the chalet and wet soggy towels that wouldn't dry overnight but they loved it.

Now they are all grown and can travel where they will but at least once a year, they return to that small place on the East coast of England and relive their memories. So precious.

Thank you for sharing your memories with us today.

Ms. A said...

I admire that you have traditions and that family and friends actually honor them. Most of the traditions we used to have, have fallen by the wayside and the younger generation is creating their own... that usually don't include us old folks. We're considered party poopers and, quite honestly, I am a party pooper for their kind of parties.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I can't think of a lovelier way to spend Easter than with family & friends. Sounds like you were surrounded by both. I am impressed with how your family & friends pitched in & helped. Not all of us are as blessed. I think the best part is that your traditions will continue on. What a lovely legacy for you & John to leave to those you love.
Sam

Cathy Keller said...

Such a beautiful and fun filled tradition! Family is so important and makes for grand memories. We made a few ourselves this last week and and working on some new ones this week! Thank you!

Barbara Rogers said...

Gorgeous blossom pictures. Great to hear the flow of this party...through the years past and forward. Thanks.

Frances said...

Vicki, it's grand to learn how your family's Easter tradition has evolved. Pretty wonderful how the weather obliged with a beautiful day, too! xo

Jim Egerton said...

All that love spread around in those days makes spring the season it is.

NCmountainwoman said...

You must feel wonderful to be leaving such a marvelous legacy of love and friendship. Kudos to you and John. And all the others willing to carry it on.

katy gilmore said...

I love this Easter story - love the changes and the traditions - and the time moving on element. Time does move on - but this tradition looks a keeper!

Darla said...

This is a delightful reflection on your "new" tradition…and I love that it will continue through the years, providing the precious links of ancestry through memories...

Anvilcloud said...

It looks like you do Easter well and in such a nice setting too.