Surrender 67: Vintage Easter

One of the items, on my list of things to do at the Arkansas house today, was to gather up the Easter decorations. I don’t normally decorate for Easter, choosing instead to flow with the seasons, and focus on spring. However, I recently discovered Mimi Leta’s ceramic Easter pieces. The girls shared fond memories of those hand painted beauties, when they were at the house two weeks ago. I decided to bring the decorations home and use them in my vintage wooden sieve.

The two pieces painted by Leta are themselves vintage. I’m grateful she signed and dated the bottoms. The Easter egg covered dish and the rabbit were created 55 years ago.

I was nervous as I gently washed up the collection, lining my sink with thick dish towels, in case I dropped something. I saved the dish and rabbit until last, after gaining confidence as I washed the other pieces. As I cradled the clean rabbit, I noticed something I had never seen before…a hairline crack encircling his right ear.

I felt so relieved, as I realized this rabbit had been broken before, and glued back together. It’s endearing, knowing this brave little rabbit has survived a fracture. He’s wabi sabi, beauty in imperfection.

                                                    I’ll fill the egg dish with Jelly Belly jelly beans. 

In a few minutes, I had a fresh vignette in the wooden sieve. Every piece, except for the white footed bowl, came from Greg’s mom. I love the colorful shirred fabric eggs. The kids hid those when they were young. The delicate pink hankie and crocheted doilies I found tucked in a drawer. The fabric duck pillow, made from an old quilt, adds an interesting contrast to the ceramic pieces. And the little jewel green candle holder is the perfect finishing touch.

I brought back enough pieces today to create several vignettes throughout the house. Stay tuned for more delightful bursts of Easter!

Day 110: Easter Dinner at Jon and Ashley’s House

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This is certainly not the first time my extended family has come together for an Easter Dinner. In the past, when this gathering has taken place, it has been at my mom’s house. This year, for the first time, my niece, Ashley, and her husband, Jon, hosted our lively and boisterous group at their home in Broken Arrow, OK.

What a joy to celebrate together in Jon and Ashley’s new home! And by new, I mean, brand new. Ashley and Jon recently moved into a house that they had built. It’s a big, attractive home, made beautiful and enchanting by those who inhabit it and use it as a backdrop for their creativity and passion for life. My sister, Debbie, lives with her daughter and son-in-law and their two adorable sons, Ethan and Kaleb. Debbie has her own suite at the top of the house, with her own mail basket and even her own doorbell! I love the way this little family shares space, living and playing together under one roof.

Today, this sweet couple opened wide their arms and the door to their home, and welcomed in 10 other members of the family. While each of us brought something to share for the dinner, Ashley and Jon did the majority of the food prep and cooking, working as a team. As they put the finishing touches on the meal, the rest of us pulled up chairs around the kitchen island, munching on veggies and a venison sausage roll while we chatted and laughed. One of the things I love most about my family is that when we gather, we share our stories, the good, the bad, the sad, the hilarious. My mom, as the matriarch of this bunch, presided over us all. It was a special treat for her today to NOT be cooking the meal. She did bring her famous chocolate meringue pies.

Jon joined two dining tables together so that we could all eat in the same room. The two youngest members of the family present today shared a little table nearby. But soon, they had joined us, sitting side by side at the head of the larger table. We felt a little like the Walton Family as we passed around the wonderful food. Everything was delicious and Ashley made sure there was something for everyone, even those of us limiting our sugar intake. Conversation flowed around the table along with the homemade noodles and mashed potatoes.

It was a great Easter day, spent with amazing people. We missed those who couldn’t be there, because of work or other commitments. Everyone in our family knows there is always a place saved for them and they join in as they are able to. Erica Lorraine Scheidt says, “It doesn’t matter what story we are telling, we’re telling the story of family.” As our family grows, the stories shift to include the spouses, the children that are loved as completely as those born into family, and of course, the new babies. The stories are links to the past, and build bridges to the future.  And at the heart of all the tales, and this family, abides loyalty and strength and a deep, sustaining love.

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Kaleb and Weston