Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter rock and memories

This doesn't quite count as ephemera, because it doesn't fit well into an envelope. It's a 3½-inch-wide painted rock that was given to me as an Easter gift 45 years ago, in 1976. I'm not 100% sure anymore who it was from. But somehow it's stuck with me over the years, probably because it just sat in a drawer and then followed me around the country to different houses. It's hard to throw away a rock that has your name on it.

Painted rocks are a bigger thing now, probably bigger than in the 1970s. Folks put them in the own yards. Or they secretly gift them to other people's yards, mailboxes and front porches. Or they leave them along trails or at Little Free Libraries, as treasures to be discovered. In Montoursville, painted rocks made for a groovy school project. They're something that can be forever. Rocks stand the test of time; the opposite of ephemera. 

I'm not much of a Easter person. Today is for Christians. My memories of this holiday probably aren't much different than those of some others in Generation X. We used PAAS, crayons and vinegar to turn our hard-boiled eggs into masterpieces. Then we got up early on Sunday to check out our "Easter Bunny" baskets, the centerpiece of which was usually a hollow chocolate bunny. (There was also a lot of environmentally unfriendly plastic grass in those baskets in our day; that's one thing that's gotten better.) We searched the house for both the real eggs that we colored and plastic eggs filled with more candy. If we happened to miss a real egg, the smell would tell us our mistake a few days later. And if we happened to miss a plastic egg, it might be weeks or months before we happily stumbled upon it.

Later, Easter meant family brunches and suppers — at home, at a grandparent's house or at a restaurant. It's a nice rite of spring, bringing family together at a moment when the grip of winter has usually given way to warmth and the first blossoms. It's something to get cleaned up real nice for.

Now, Easter is a time of year when I post about holiday-themed vintage postcards and we can get nice seasonal candy, like Whoppers Robin Eggs and Zitner's Peanut Butter Eggs.

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