Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Parade at Home

I brightened a gray Easter morning with stories from Collier's Book of Holidays. "Nino's Easter" describes a typical Easter Sunday for a young boy in Italy in the early part of the 20th century. "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes" tells the the tale of a mother rabbit who becomes one of the Easter Bunnies after the elder bunny sees how well she takes care of her children. Her first assignment is to get up a mountain to deliver goodies to a sick child, but she has help from a pair of gold shoes. There were also several Easter poems and an "Easter Hymn." Switched to the Disney 60's anthology Storybookland for the brief "Grandpa Bunny," supposedly based after "Funny Little Bunnies." Grandpa Bunny was the beloved Easter Bunny for many years. When he passes on, the other rabbits mourn him...but the little ones know where his legacy can be found...

Ran It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown as I made Coconut-Lemon Pancakes for the quickest holiday breakfast I could manage. The Peanuts are brimming with springtime preparations. Peppermint Patty tries to teach Marcie how to color eggs, with little luck. Snoopy buys a new birdhouse for Woodstock, while Sally and Chuck go shoe shopping. No need for all the fuss, says Linus. The Easter Beagle does all that. Sally's skeptical after the Great Pumpkin incident at Halloween. So's Lucy, who would rather hide and find her own eggs.

Work was...surprisingly steady the entire morning and early afternoon. After we were mobbed last year, I expected more of the same today. Not this time. We had perfectly normal crowds for a regular Sunday in late March, with longish but not overwhelming lines. This year, not only does Easter hit at the end of the month rather than the beginning, but the gloomy weather wasn't exactly conductive to random rides out to run errands. There was one very obnoxious older woman at the beginning of the afternoon who complained loudly because the cashier in before me had been talking to a customer about his flowers for too long. Otherwise, there were no problems, and my relief was on time.

When I got home, I made a few calls. I never heard from anyone on the Cape May side of the family today at all (though I did get an Easter card from Mom yesterday). Dad said he and Jodie were going out of town to visit family, and it sounded like Jessa and Joe were going to be at the movies. I was on my own.

That wasn't a bad thing. After all the craziness the last few weeks, a day to myself, with no one downstairs or anywhere else, was fine by me. I worked on writing for a few hours after I gave up on the phone. Luke, Wedge, and Biggs are attacked by two more younger dragons following the older one. Biggs goes after one, Wedge and Luke after the other. Wedge is knocked off his horse, which is blasted into cinders, along with his sword. Luke sends Wedge back to the Rebels on his horse to get help. He follows the remaining dragons into the woods, hoping to find Biggs before he gets toasted...

Returned to holiday programming as I started my dinner. I threw sweet potatoes and a bruised apple into a pan with my turkey ham and a brown sugar-chicken stock sauce into the oven, with honey-glazed carrots and a broiled grapefruit half for fruit and veggies. Made Carrot Coconut Cookies with the last of the carrots for dessert.

Did The Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town while preparing the ham and potatoes and starting the cookies. Sunny Bunny is raised among the orphans of Kidsville and hopes to bring their beautiful eggs to the outside world. He inadvertently creates many Easter traditions as he attempts to get his colorful springtime treats around prudish Lady Lily Longtooth and to her nephew King Bruce.

Went into Easter Parade while making the carrots and grapefruit and during dinner. This classic 1948 MGM musical takes us to New York in the early 1910's. Vaudeville dancer Fred Astaire is devastated when his partner (Ann Miller) takes a solo role in The Ziegfeld Follies. In a fit of drunkenness, he chooses a girl from a bar chorus line (Judy Garland) to be his new partner. He tries to to make her into a copy of his original partner, but she's not a ballroom dancer - she's a comedienne. His best friend (Peter Lawford) pursues her, while his original partner pursues Lawford. All romantic complications are cleared up in time for New York's big parade on Easter morning (and so Garland can perform the title song).

Cute Technicolor fluff is short on story but long on great numbers, including two classic solos for Astaire ("Drum Crazy" and "Steppin' Out With My Baby"), the adorable duet "A Fella With An Umbrella" for Lawford and Garland,  and the hilarious "A Couple of Swells" for Garland and Astaire. Fun for fans of the big MGM musicals or the stars.

And I hope you had an equally lovely and quiet Easter day!

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