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63 Bunnies

Springtime is all around…birds chirping, trees and flowers blooming…little kids carrying spring/Easter crafts home from school, and marshmallow peeps are popping up all over town.

It reminds me of so many Easters while growing up…mom must have spent hours fussing over each of our baskets. The unsung artist, she made each one special…not just piled up with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, mom made every basket look like its own little garden scene.

The weeks leading up to Bunny Sunday were full of preparations! Mom usually took us shopping for our Easter outfits…. Lit Brothers, J.C. Penney’s, and Gimbles in 69th Street, a stop at Kresge’s Five and Dime for a soda at the snack counter then on to home for cleaning and cooking, unless it was one of the Holy Days Of Obligation. If that was the case, it was off to church before going home. Talk about a full dance card!

One year, Mom decided to make my Easter outfit.  She sat at that sewing machine day and night and produced a beautiful outfit in my favorite color at the time…lilac. That might have been one of the years my birthday actually fell on Easter Sunday….which hasn’t happened in quite a while! Well, anyway, lilac was as close to purple as I was going to get, so I was grateful.

For a few years, my sister and I got peek-a-boo eggs, not the cheap plastic things that get passed off for peek-a-boos these days, either!  The ones I’m talking about looked like sugar candy, decorated with “icing” piping….at one end was a little round hole and inside was a wonderland of bunnies and baby chicks, flowers and painted eggs!  I loved those things!

In our house we went to church for all the holidays, all the seasons leading up to the holidays and all the seasons past the holidays, too.  I loved the smell of incense, the organ music, the pomp and ceremony of the High Mass’s opening procession….the one where all the priests and altar boys  (now altar girls, too) walk up the aisle in their finery, candles and incense burners filling the air with spiritual import….then Father O’Donnell’s booming voice showering down on our heads from the angel encrusted marble pulpit as he read the Stations of the Cross.
Between Jesus and the Easter Bunny and God and Santa, The Tooth Fairy and the Virgin Mother my world was full of icons! I held on to the notion of Peter Cotton Tail for a long time, even though I knew it sounded improbable, because it was just plain fun.  It was fun believing in magic! 

My brother Bob, still baby, had several more Bunnies, Santas and Tooth Faries under his belt to contend with before having Childhood Mythology pulled out from under him.

I celebrated my first Easter as a former “Believer” by helping put the bite marks on the carrots Bob left as a snack for his seasonal hero. My sister was grateful to have someone else take over that task because she hated raw carrots!  Thanks, sis, for all those years you helped keep the magic alive for us younger kids! Knowing how you loathed raw carrots, I appreciate the sacrifice!

Anyway, for today Fifty-Five is the New 63, because Easter fell on my birthday that year and I feel in the mood for a good Bunny Hop!

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