As Time Goes By

Stephen me and Sarah...I obviously want whatever is in Stephen's basket, 1985

I have to work on Easter. It sucks, but I’m taking off this month for the Manfre visit and home for Lauren’s wedding; not to mention I need off for the next holiday: Memorial Day, when I head down to Palm Springs for Rich and Tara’s wedding. So unfortunately, I have to work, even though Tara invited us over for dinner.

Last year was the first year I wasn’t home for Easter. Mike and I spent the day together in Hoboken. I had off, but I had to work the night before and the day after, so I didn’t want to drive home for less than 24 hours. It’s always depressing to come home and have to drive right back after such a short period of time.

Mike and I had a good day. The roommates weren’t around, so we had the apartment to ourselves. We started the day with a bubbly rose and homemade personal tomato pies. We listened to good music and played cards; we watched Casablanca and another movie – Last Night. I made dinner at night – homemade crab cakes and linguine with shrimp and asparagus. A scrumptious chardonnay to go with it. I did give Mike a mini Easter basket. It was a good day. Did I miss being home? Yes. Always.

Sarah, Allison Spain, me, Stephen, Eric Spain, Courtney, 1993 at Grandma Stetson's (Christine? Napping? Most likely)

Easter at my house has changed over the years. When we were young, we’d go to church, have a big Easter egg hunt in our backyard (eventually in the house because too many squirrels ate the plastic eggs outside), and then we’d go to Grandma Stetson’s in South Orange for dinner. Pile into the blue Buick – four across the back and one up front in the middle of Mom and Dad. (A Buick was a smart choice.) It felt like the longest ride ever, but I think it was only just over an hour. By the time the twins were 7 years old they knew the way to Grandma’s house. I still don’t. They’ve always been amazing with directions and I’m the complete opposite. Once in college I was home for some break and got lost when I was driving. Embarrassed, I called one of the twins. How do you get to Old Navy? “Lindsay, what? OK, where are you?” I don’t know. Somewhere near Gateway High School.

One Easter, we had an egg hunt at Grandma’s house AND at Brian’s house. That was awesome. Dinner was an ordeal with seven kids: The Spain’s were friends of the family. Sarah and I always wanted to play with Allison and pass Eric off to the twins. Then there were all the adults; aunts and uncles and friends. It was a full house. I always had to sit at the kid table. I hated that, especially when Stephen and Sarah got to sit with the adults. I pleaded my case one year, so Uncle Bob challenged me. “You want to be an adult? OK, well if you want to be an adult you have to eat a creamed onion.” Ew. Those slimy eyeball looking things? That is nasty. This went back and forth for a while, with others joining in that it’s what I would have to do. Finally, I gave in and ate one. It was as gross as I had imagined. Or maybe it wasn’t. Either way, I’m sure I was very dramatic about it. Who decided to make creamed onions anyway? OK, there, I’m an adult now. I can sit at the big table. Uncle Bob was quick to correct me. “I think you misunderstood me. You’re a dolt. Not an adult.” What?! That’s not even a word! “Yes it is.” What does it mean? He makes this face like he doesn’t want to tell me. “Idiot.” Uncle Bob is a verbal freak so he probably said the entire definition like, a stupid person, a simpleton, a loggerhead. I didn’t believe him. Dad thought it was hysterical. When I was finally allowed to sit at the big table, I was bored, looking over at the laughter and loudness at the kid table.

Grandma sat at the head of the table, and every year, made a toast to her last Easter (or maybe Aunt Jody did?). Yes, I think she always said, “To Eleanor’s last Easter!” Weird that she referred to her Mom as Eleanor. I don’t think the adults found this as funny as the kids, but we always gave her a loud, Cheers!

Aunt Jody in awe of our Easter baskets

In later years, Easter became less and less of an event. We still get awesome Easter baskets that include not only candy but a bathing suit and maybe even a whole outfit. Merry Easter! It’s a family fun day of games and drinking and food. By games I mean cards; Oh Hell, to be more precise. Oh Hell is a Stetson game that we learned when we were young. I’ve never met anyone outside my family who knows how to play, but we love teaching people (Mike knows how to play now. Whether or not he enjoys it is another story). Of course we weren’t allowed to say the word Hell when we were little, so it was Oh Pishaw. Best game ever. Sometimes we play Trivial Pursuit, but Dad always gets all the wedges and I’m lucky if I can even get one question right, so really it’s not that fun.

*Dooley Wilson

One thought on “As Time Goes By

  1. I remember well Lindsay, always toasting to El’s last holiday. We use to do at every holiday dinner around the dining table. And, as the years went on, we had to add telephone books and pillows on your Grandmother’s chair so she could see over the table. Our toasts would be “Here’s to Eleanor’s last XXXX, the incredible shrinking woman”! A great legacy….

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