Sunday, April 12, 2009

Did everyone have a good Easter?

Well, another Easter has come and gone.

That makes 40 of them for me now and that seems like a pretty big number. Apparently, such thoughts occur to a man who is about to turn 40-years-old. A few friends of mine who have hit that magical age told me this would happen and they were right. It sucks.

I hope everyone had a great time with the holiday. An increasing number of people don't observe Easter, of course, but the holiday still holds quite a bit of meaning for a lot of us. It is, after all, the holiday that does define Christianity and ought to be played up a lot more than it is. Christmas is the dominant Christian holiday, to be sure, and that's somewhat of a shame.

I grew up Baptist, but my wife and I turned renegade years ago by joining the Methodist faith. While out driving today, I saw a sign in front of a Baptist church here in Benton, Ark., that pretty much pegged where we ought to be focusing our attention on Easter (that sign, of course, is pictured here).

I never much cared for the legalism that was common in Baptist churches I've attended over the years. There are times, however, when they'll sum something up perfectly in just a few words. Often, those bits of wisdom are posted on lighted signs near busy roads. There are times they are eye-rollingly bad, times when they're an absolute hoot and times when they are right on target.

You've got to give them credit -- the on target messages make the rest of them forgivable.

I tend to think of my Baptist roots on Easter as I learned what I know about religion at the First United Baptist Church of Benton. While my knowledge of Christianity was refined and sharpened through hours of comparative religions classes at Hendrix College (a Methodist institution, by the way) and I'm less worried about being right than trying to live well, my outlook was shaped by those Southern Baptists who used to holler at me on Sunday morning.

The Bible I carry with me to church is the same Army green one that was presented to me at the First Baptist Church back in 1977, in fact. The leather bound cover has more than a few tears in it and the edges of the pages are more than a bit faded. It's showing its age, to be sure, but I've lugged that Revised Standard Edition along with me through childhood, college and law school, two marriages, two children and more moves than I can remember easily. I think I'll keep it around for awhile.

That old Bible, see, is familiar and I do love the familiar. Easter has always been one of those holidays that celebrates the familiar. I spend it with my family, hear the same story of the Resurrection, deal with getting stubborn children who'd rather play with their new toys and eat candy than deal with church and dread the start of the week.

The only change, really, is that I used to be the stubborn kid who wanted to duck church on Easter and hated putting on dress clothes and heading to church. Now I'm the parent who has to deal with unruly kids. My mom and dad have more patience than I realized. Another change is that I now dread heading to work rather than going to school. I really should have enjoyed those school days a bit more. Perhaps my children will. I somehow doubt it.

This Easter was familiar, of course, but there were some unique things about it that are worth mentioning. The most significant thing is that our children managed to dye Easter eggs without fighting. That's right -- they were able to stay near each other for close to an hour without bickering. That's worth mentioning.

Speaking of the kids, they put a set of bunny ears on Winston, our 140-pound Boxer-Rottweiler mix. Once again, Winston proved that he's a good sport. He did look miserable until they were taken off, however.

Also, it rained all day long. I can't remember an Easter that wasn't sunny. Ideally, Easter should be sunny and warm, but we had no such luck here in central Arkansas this year.

Finally, my wife made the best lemon icebox pie on the planet. That woman can cook like nobody's business. I'm a fan of just about any citrus based pie, and that one she made to day blows everything else out of the water. We're going to buy a new refrigerator in a few weeks and I've about decided that we need to get one that's large enough to store plenty of those things.

See, I saw a refrigerator that is the greatest thing ever because it's got the ability to make shaved ice. Who wouldn't want such a refrigerator on a hot summer day? Just grab some syrup, put the shave ice thingie to work and you've got instant refreshment. So what if the refrigerator with the ability to crank out that treat costs $1,800 (a significant number when you never use credit to purchase anything, by the way)? If there's another refrigerator that gives my wife the space to store up plenty of those dandy pies, I can do without the shave ice making machine.

At any rate, I hope everyone had a great Easter. Hopefully I won't be mired in self reflection when Easter rolls around next year.


Sara said...

1)I love lemon pie!

2) I must have the model number of this refrigerator that makes its own snowballs!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Updated so you can click on a link and head right over!

I love lemon pie, too. You don't know how happy I was when I got some of that lemon icebox pie...

Denford said...

Sounds like you had a cracking time! 'cept for the rain, of course.

Here in Zimbabwe it did not rain and Easter was quite good: Mugabe only killed twelve people in the rural areas!!! Cause for celebration this.

As for the lemon pie...hmmmm, for some reason, here in the tropics it is a definite NO-NO to cook ANY fruit. My mom says fruit is supposed to be eaten raw.

Her neighbours agree.

I did eat Apple Pie when I was at college in Calgary, but when my mom heard about it later, she made me wash my mouth out with soap. Three times.

Still, Happy 40th, The Hawg, and I hope you continue with this cracking site for ages to come!

HealthNutWannaBeDad said...


We went to my mother-in-law's house for Easter. I have to be careful while around family, since they don't comprehend much sarcasm or humor. Just talk about the weather and play nice.

As for that fridge, I sent the link to my wife. She loves crushed or shaved ice! She calls it the 'good ice'! We currently have a side-by-side that makes crushed ice, but that's just not good enough.



Eat Well. Live Well.

Anonymous said...

Denford - the pie is not cooked, it's an ice box pie. It takes the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of 1, 2 8oz packages of cream cheese and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. mix together until smooth and put it a graham cracker crust, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It is very good.

"The Hawg's wife"

Jude said...

Looking back turning 40 was my roughest year. Every year now seems like a bonus and I haven't been troubled since. Glad your Easter was pleasant with the children. I think I'll try your wife's recipe, thanks sounds good.

Sherry said...

I actually enjoyed your self-reflection regarding Easter.

Harrison said...

Religious signs is one thing I don't think I'd ever get used to.

Karen said...

That pie sounds heavenly about now. I am with you on not liking the legalism. I was raised in an Assembly of God, hell fire and brimstone church. While the church I go to now seems a little too quiet, it fits where I am at the moment. Sounds like you had a nice Easter. Your dog does look a bit indignant. LOL What a good sport.

Lynne said...

I love the message on the sign, that's right on target!

I felt sick all day yesterday and had to work. I did manage to get our annual cake baked, but never even got around to decorating it. We didn't even have our traditional ham dinner. I think we're going to try to make it up in a few weeks when we're all feeling better. We always celebrate Easter by appreciating each other and spending time together (and eating), that's what I missed out on yesterday.

Happy belated Easter!

The Natural State Hawg said...

Denford -- Well, there's a cause for celebration, huh? Perhaps Mugabe was in a good mood. Y'all have a mess going on over there for sure and certain. Good luck!

Yep. I'll be around for awhile. I figure on getting good and surly when that 40th birthday approaches in June, however.

Paul -- My wife's family is all about sarcasm. No problems there.

I hope your wife likes the refrigerator. I doubt we'll pay $1,800 or so to get something that makes shaved ice.

Jude -- It'll probably work out for me that way. 40 seems so, you know, old.

Enjoy the pie...

Sherry -- Such reflection is not characteristic of me. I don't like it at all...

Harrison -- Heh. They're just part of the landscape here.

Karen -- He is a very good sport. He towers over the other two dogs we have and has the best disposition. People are afraid of him, we've learned -- he limps (got hit by a car once -- never healed right), drools and just looks mean. The rat terrier, however, is the hostile one.

I like a more subdued Methodist church. Folks are enthusiastic, sure, but they're not quite as intense. Works for me.

Lynne -- Sounds like a great way to spend the holiday. I hope you get to do it soon...

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