Easter all about traditions

Easter was once a great selling season.
I remember walking into Wilkin’s Flower and China shop located on Scott Street and walking to the rear of the retail space and choosing either an Easter Lilly for my mother or a pink Hydrangea. They were, and continue to be, traditional flowers to exchange.
Last week someone posted on Facebook a picture of a group of young women dressed in their Easter finery that they wore as teenagers. It reminded me of how Easter and its preparations were a significant fashion event.
Sunday morning, our family would head to church and my sister, mother, and grandmother all had new outfits to wear and a new Easter bonnet. The pews were filled with other mothers and daughters in their new Easter finery. The dads and sons wore new white shirts and our best suit coats.
Wearing white gloves, and dressed in soft pink, yellow and green and white dresses, the women filled the pews like a bouquet of fresh spring flowers. Spring had arrived.
Preparations for Easter began weeks in advance. Most of the new women’s finery was sewn by mothers well in advance of the day. New coordinating fashion shoes were acquired for the outfit.
My parents had loaded the house with chocolate eggs and treats to be found by my brother and sister first thing in the morning.
During the week leading up to Eastern, my mother had a traditional egg-coloring evening. The eggs were hard-boiled and with crayons, we began designing patterns on the eggs and dyeing them in multiple colours.
Meanwhile, our Ukrainian neighbors laboured for weeks creating great works of art. My mother still has two of those traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs.
When Marnie and I had travelled to Bratislava, Slovakia, we acquired a hand-carved duck egg of a pale blue color. Eligible young women who are seeking a male acquaintance hang the eggs at Easter just outside their homes or they offer an egg to a young man.
Preparations for the Cumming Easter dinner began immediately after church. My father had always acquired a full leg ham that he began cooking shortly after church and pinned pineapple rounds and cloves to the leg and then glazed the ham throughout the cooking a brown sugar sauce over the meat.
Those Easter colored eggs that we had previously made were shelled and transformed into classic deviled eggs. The tradition of dyeing eggs continued as my sons grew up.
A cheesy scalloped potato casserole was put into the oven mid-afternoon after the ham had been removed. Green beans or peas and a fresh coleslaw completed the table meal.
Many of those old family meal traditions continue on.

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