I don’t imagine that old John made too many of these treats, since he worked alone so much of the time; but he annually took orders each spring for his special creations.
The Brat and I could always count on one of his beautiful, hand-decorated Easter eggs, thanks to our Italian neighbor. She would gift us with the rocky road eggs laced in yellow icing ribbons with bows atop. Slicing into our eggs and enjoying the old-time freshness of the marshmallow and walnuts woven into the milk chocolate was a repeated, absolutely delightful adventure! Daddy always seemed to appear at just the right moment; we would share a piece of our precious Easter egg, but rather regrettably, as we knew he would never be happy with just one slice!
Easter was still one of the year’s major holidays and planned for with as much care to detail as Thanksgiving and Christmas. At that time, candles and paper plates with Easter designs flew off the shelves; Easter Dinner demanded lots of décor and effort to make it memorable. Like my mother, I enjoyed shopping for the petite dessert napkins with the lovely spring colors! I can remember Mom’s joy at picking out some new candles for her table setting. Mom’s good set of dishes managed to miraculously change along with the seasons, its small multi-colored flowers seemingly a breath of fresh spring when placed among the pastel pinks and soft greens of the paper goods.
A few years into my Hallmark retail experience, I was watching the spring inventory just sit there. These candles needed dusting! Even mark downs didn’t urge sale-seekers to purchase. The plates, napkins and cups sat from year to year with red sale stickers on the plastic wrapping.
So, it was true. Moms like me had entered the workplace and many of us now lived miles away from immediate family and favorite cousins. If we were going to recreate any of the former Easter tradition, we’d need to work smart – cheat if you will – to accomplish the semblance of tradition. Stove Top replaced the home made stuffing; and instant mash potatoes were another kitchen miracle in a box! The Easter table would continue, but my version was a buffet without the candles; even our Easter outfits were more casual than in years before. But some traditions would remain and with a bit of creativity, new ones would be added.
Thank heaven for the small, family-owned, local candy shop! It was now this mom’s pleasure to choose a specially decorated egg each year to delight my little girl. By the time My Only was old enough to remember Easter mornings, she would awaken and run to the front door. She has memories of finding on the front step a beautifully decorated egg with her name in script among the goodies in her basket; and always, sitting beside the basket was a big box of Trix.
My daughter knew the Easter Bunny wouldn’t forget that the house rule of no sugary breakfast cereals was temporarily deferred; even a silly rabbit understood he was no match for My Only on Easter morning…