Please Don’t Let It Rain for Easter

Colorful Easter eggs decorated with flowers in the grass on blue

For me, the approach to Easter weekend was marked by the smell of farmers burning out irrigation ditches, fingers stained by Easter-egg dye, hopes my Easter basket would include jelly beans with mostly black ones, and fervent wishes for good weather on Saturday.

Good weather on Sunday would be nice as well, but not essential, because it was a day of solemnity mainly spent indoors: lilies decorating the church, a flow of meaningful words, thoughts about the importance of Easter, and an appreciation of the day’s significance.

Saturday, in contrast, meant unbridled revelry as my classmates and I assembled on West Mountain near Utah Lake to shriek and throw hard-boiled eggs at one another. We asked our mothers for lots of dyed eggs. We said we wanted to race them, hide them, even eat them, and intended to do so; but year after year we yielded to temptation and hurled them at each other’s heads.

I grew up assuming children everywhere scrubbed eggshells and bits of yolk from their hair in preparation for Easter services. Now I realize that maiming one another with decorated eggs was an aberrant Lake Shore custom.

We interrupted our melee only for lunch. Baloney sandwiches and carrot sticks remained untouched while we gorged on chocolate eggs, jellybeans, and yellow marshmallow chickens—best eaten by stretching the head away from the body with your teeth until the neck snapped.

Soon a group of boys would race by, lobbing eggs at my friends and me, and the battle would begin anew. I’ve never forgotten the satisfaction of throwing a solid hit that smashed into the ape-like forehead of Billy Franks, the school bully, and then outrunning him down the mountain.

Since that glorious moment, I’ve been inordinately fond of the feel of an egg in my hand. I even collect them.

 

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36 thoughts on “Please Don’t Let It Rain for Easter

  1. How different this would be today! “Helicopter parents” would worry about the food dyes – Are they safe/organic? Someone would have to supervise – and there goes the fun. As for wasting food- what about the starving children in Africa – or the planet’s scarce resources? And you would have to record your triumphs on social media, soon realising that your Easter Saturdays were pretty unusual. Even the gorging on chocolate eggs, black jelly beans and the yellow marshmallow chickens ( I love your description of eating these) would be frowned on or forbidden. Aaah, the good old days!

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  2. No egg throwing up here…Easter memories, the only time Ma hid our baskets I skidded on the pantry floor, nasty old cedar and drove a huge sliver deep in my foot, the year my brother got a Lab puppy- we were dragged off to church, drooling for candy the whole morning, getting home to the puppy having eaten all our baskets, chewed them up, gorged on a pound of butter and ate my sisters stuffed toy piglet. Methinks he had worms, the dog lived, ever greedy well into old age. We always had a turkey if Ma got two in the Christmas Hamper. Good Friday was our solemn day, always rained and mean Auntie showing up with a lily, which Ma loathed and would leave out in the dairy shed to freeze. Ahh, Happy Easter to you and Joel.

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    • So you, too, have an Easter tale, and quite a tale it is: especially the devouring of the stuffed toy piglet. I’d like to hear more about mean Auntie sometime. Happy Easter to you as well my friend.

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  3. great last line, and this made me laugh out loud. Such dry wit here: ” Now I realize that maiming one another with decorated eggs was an aberrant Lake Shore custom.”

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  4. Great story. I too am recalling Easter traditions. I am sure we were not allowed to touch our Easter candy or eggs until Sunday after the Lord had been resurrected. Good Friday was definitely a solemn day but celebrating definitely did not occur on Saturday. I every much enjoyed your story.

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    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m not sure our parents knew the amount of revelry that occurred on our Saturday outing; but then again, as an adult I realize my mom knew far more about me and my activities than I realized.

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      • I don’t know either how much my mother knew. I always told my daughter to not think she could get away with anything because mothers always found out. Fortunately she did not give me a lot of issues. But I think if my mom knew everything I would still be grounded…not that I was a bad kid you understand.

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      • I, too, wasn’t a bad kid; I just enjoyed the rough and tumble of life now and then.But in general, Mom just had to give me her “I’m disappointed in you” look to correct my behavior. Sometimes, though, I sensed a giggle about to interrupt her look.

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  5. It’s wonderful to hear the origins of your egg collection! What fun!
    I wonder if you still decorate eggs in preparation for Easter. My memories of Easter Sunday, were always of sunshine, usually following dull days. 🙂

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    • I no longer decorate eggs, Barbara, nor do I throw them, but my interest was always more in the throwing than the decorating. I like your memory, because I, too, see Easter Sunday as filled with sunshine, though I know the weather in the mountain west and doubt that was always true.

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  6. I do think your Easter ritual unusual, but it sounds like lots of fun! As for me, I hoped it wouldn’t rain (or snow) in Easter because if I was lucky enough to get a new Easter dress (and that was an infrequent occurrence), I didn’t want to cover it up with a coat. I can guarantee you that my Easters weren’t nearly as fun. However, our summer water balloon fights sound similar–and we had lots of those.

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    • Weren’t new Easter dresses wonderful? My mother made mine and I always thought they were beautiful. And thanks for reminding me about water fights. I think there is another post in those memories.

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  7. I enjoyed your description of eating those yellow marshmallow chicks—even though they were my least favorite Easter candy!

    Easter Saturday was always a favorite day of mine because that was the day the local Lions Club held their egg hunt. If you managed to pick up a colored egg with a number on it you got a special chocolate bunny. The Lions are still doing their hunt on Easter Saturday, but I think they give out chocolate bunnies to everyone now whether you’ve “earned” it or not. (What fun is that?)
    Also, the eggs are plastic (sacrilege!) and so not as good for throwing.
    Happy Easter to you and Joel!

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    • i didn’t care much for Peeps chickens either, Rita, but I loved snapping their heads off. Where I grew up there were no “official” Easter egg hunts, and I always wanted to participate in one. I agree with you that the fun has gone out of many things with the idea that everyone gets a prize, a trophy, a ribbon, etc., and I also agree that plastic eggs aren’t up to much.

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  8. Ha- Things I forgot, remember Easter Bonnets, and do you eat Hot Cross Buns down there?. My Aunt Bud was no brave, caring Beulah, a bigoted shrew my Uncle Jack, whom she loathed called “The Dead Rotten Polar Bear” She had big white hair, and penchant for fur coats. A silly question, do you when traveling, feel the affects in change of altitude?. Thanks Janet- your post made me laugh.

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    • I’ve never eaten a hot cross bun, but have wanted to do so. I also never wore an Easter bonnet nor admired those who did. I think “The Dead Rotten Polar Bear” is a wonderfully terrible thing to call somebody, and it gives me a good idea of your aunt. My answer to your question I didn’t find silly at all: no, I’ve never noticed any reaction to changing altitudes. And I’m glad I made you laugh after all the guffaws you’ve given me.

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      • I to, love black jelly beans, Hot cross buns are good lightly toasted, used to have fruit inside, but now the bought ones use colored, candied rutabaga bits…yours in guffaw, as always.

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  9. I’m a fellow black jellybean aficionado, which means we’re either mortal enemies or kindred spirits, I think. Oh! The satisfaction of connecting an egg to the bully’s forehead! I cheered out loud when I read that. Coming to you through yeah write.

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  10. There is a frightening side to you dear Aunt Beulah that I was totally unaware of. I would be the cowering child hiding behind the lilac bushes until the all the eggs were thrown! And black jelly beans were much too strong for my taste. i think my chicken came before the egg!

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  11. Delighted to hear from you, Sue. And the truth is, today I marvel at the child I was. On this Easter Sunday I’m with my grandchildren in Illinois, and not one of them has thrown an egg. Their system is to decorate and then ignore them. I’ll call soon.

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