Sunday, April 04, 2021

A Beautiful Easter In the Neighborhood

Kicked off a cloudy morning with Easter and April Fool's Day stories from the early 60's Colliers Harvest of Holidays anthology book. The one April Fool's Day story involved two boys who chase a runaway giraffe around their backyard and eventually end up getting it leaves from a tree. The Easter short stories are some of my favorites in the entire book. "Nino's Easter" is a look at spring festivities in rural Italy through the eyes of one excited young boy. "The Country Bunny and the Gold Shoes" has a mother bunny being made an official Easter bunny and getting a very special assignment...and the magical footwear to carry it out.

Watched The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town while making tasty Lemon Confetti Pancakes for breakfast. I go further into this classic Rankin-Bass springtime special at this Musical Dreams Movie Reviews entry from 2019. 

Messed around online for a little while after I cleaned up, then packed up the bread in a bag and the bubbles for the kids in an Easter basket and headed out...and then headed out again when I realized I forgot the cards for Rose's birthday and to thank her for having me over. It was an absolutely glorious day for a walk. Tiny violets and sun-yellow dandelions peek among carpets of emerald green grass. Gardens are awash in ruffled daffodils and spicy-scented hyacinths. At quarter of 1, most people were probably in their backyards, starting lunch or setting up egg hunts for their kids, except the boisterous crowd enjoying the lovely weather at Tonewood Brewery on West Clinton.

Everyone else already arrived by then. Along with Rose, her husband Craig, and their three-year-old daughter Finley and almost eleven-year-old son Khai, Jodie and Craig's mother and father chatted under a small event tent in their backyard. Cider the puppy and Kelsey the elderly mini-pincher chased each other as Finley played with her Bluey dollhouse on a fuzzy tiger blanket. Platters of shrimp, cocktail sauce, and crabmeat and crackers, cheese, sausage, golden raisins, nuts, blackberries, and raspberries sat on the table. Rose said she'd slice up my bread to go with the dessert trays later.

After we all had our fill and the dogs were taken beyond the gate around the main yard and to the area bordering the steps to the back door, Rose declared it time for the egg hunt. I volunteered to hide the eggs. I helped Mom hide eggs for Anny and Keefe in the 80's and 90's. Rose came out to help too, but she said I did such a good job hiding them, there wasn't much for her to do!

When the kids came out with their plastic Easter buckets, they roamed around the yard. They did very well, with Khai mostly helping his sister find her share. Each of them found a gold egg that contained two five dollar bills. Four long, thin eggs were filled with Silly Putty. The others all had candy. The kids traded candy for what they liked while the rest of us finished up the appetizers.

Finley and I played on the blanket in the sun while Craig worked on the ham. Rose brought out Finley's Little People Elsa's castle and her bucket of Little People toys, including a train and a platoon of Disney princesses. Cider, however, just had to see what we were doing and wouldn't leave me alone. I scratched her belly, but she still tried to climb all over me and even use my arm for teething! I had to shove her off at least three times before Rose banished her to beyond the small gate.

For a while, the older adults chatted while I messed with my phone. Mom texted at this point, wishing me a Happy Easter. I did the same. Apparently, she opted to spend a quiet Easter at home alone. 

Dinner came out around 3:30. Rose and Craig opted for ham sliders with snowflake rolls from Shop-Rite and real spiral glazed ham. They had macaroni salad, spinach salad, roasted vegetables, and potato salad to go with it. I opted for a ham sandwich with spinach salad and roasted asparagus and yellow squash. I ate a lot off the appetizer trays and wanted to save room for dessert. 

Jodie left before the dessert trays came out, saying she wanted to visit her son Jesse and his wife Dana for a few hours. That left the rest of us to enjoy the bread, a pineapple and strawberry fruit tray, and a tray of mini-tarts and eclairs from Desserts by Design in Audubon. I had pineapple (I have plenty of strawberries at home), two tarts, and two slices of bread. (By the way, the bread came out perfectly, sweet and moist. I'll do that recipe again for Easter next year if I have the time.)

Strolled home minutes after I finished my treats. It was past 4:30, and I wanted to get some writing in. Went right on the computer when I got home. The other bandits take advantage of the remaining smoke from the explosion to duck out the door, but their leader's hand is bleeding too heavily. Gene arrests him while Bill comforts Patti Deustch the frightened bank teller and Richard and Gary go after the thieves.

Jodie knocked on the door to the main house as I worked. She's going away with her friends again for a few days and once again cleared out her fridge. This time, I got a complete steak dinner, including baked potato, in aluminum containers. 

Broke for a very quick dinner at 7. Watched The First Easter Rabbit while I drank a strawberry-banana smoothie. Stuffy the Bunny was once the favorite toy of a little girl named Glinda, until she came down with scarlet fever. Calliope the fairy rescued him from being burned by making him the Easter Bunny, symbol of spring for all children. With the help of three con-bunnies he meets in the woods, he tries to get back to Glinda and avoid Zero, who wants to make April Valley snowy all year round.

The Peanuts have their own holiday preparations going on in It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown. Peppermint Patty tries to teach Marcie how to color eggs, but Marcie can't figure out that you have to boil them first. Charlie Brown takes Sally shopping for spring shoes, while Snoopy looks for a new birdhouse for Woodstock. Lucy just wants to color and find her own eggs. Don't bother with all the fuss, says Linus. The Easter Beagle does all that. Sally's skeptical after the no-show with the Great Pumpkin on Halloween, but Easter morning brings more than one surprise to the gang.

Finished out the night watching Easter Parade on TCM. I go into this classic 1948 confection with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland at the 2019 Easter entry for my Musical Dreams blog.

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