Monday, April 13, 2020

Scenes Of An Ordinary Easter

This year's Easter was anything but ordinary. 

Covid-19 got us all in lock down, of course, and for better or worse, at my house, we are taking that stay-at-home order in its strictest sense. 

I've noticed that plenty of friends and neighbors are relaxing the draconian standards just a bit, especially this weekend, allowing for visits back and forth with close family and friends.

Maybe it's because my husband works for a medical research institute that has taken a rapid and deep dive into studying Covid-19 that we take the warnings from not just government but also scientists to heart. An exponentially growing airborne contaminant is nothing we want to fool with. We're willing to just stay home. 

But for Easter, that means that not only did my Ohio-living second-born cancel her plans to come home for the holiday, but my first-born, who lives just ten miles away, also decided to pass. 

So my plans took a bit of a left turn.

My second-born's selection, to be delivered later this spring. 
She's kind of obsessed with Easter candy.

First off, there's the candy issue. The Easter Bunny still makes the rounds around here, and coronavirus or not, my daughters are still gonna want their baskets filled. In a nod toward keeping traditions alive, I spent the better part of last weekend surveying my offspring to find out everyone's latest candy preferences, and piecing together a multiple-store pick-up plan to source my goods from Target. It was touch and go for awhile, but in the end, I tracked down all the different kinds of candy I was looking for, while sitting on my computer in the wee hours of the night.

So satisfying. 

On the day before Easter, I delivered a small stash to the local daughter, as she stood by my car, petting Gracie through the open back window and keeping her distance from me.

But my Midwest daughter has been having a problem with reliable deliveries lately so - candy lover that she is - she asked me to hold on to her order until logistics are fine tuned with UPS.
A blue basket with a bunny for Daughter Number One, and a minty green version with a yellow chicky for Number Two.

When it comes to the actual Easter baskets, we are purists. When my eldest daughter approached her second Easter, with #2 due to make her appearance soon, I came across a specimen that spoke to me of everything an Easter basket should be. Happily, said basket was offered in four colors so, investing in my plan to grow my nest to include four babies, I bought them all We've used them every year since them, and added an Easter-appropriate tiny stuffed animal to watch over the jelly beans and pastel-wrapped Reese's. 

And when one of the daughters is not home to put her basket to use, I've taken to sending her a photo of her treasure to document that it is still alive and well and partaking in the family ritual.
Several of our holiday dishes seemed to go a bit sideways. The deviled eggs and asparagus were spot on, but the salmon refused to brown and the scalloped potatoes were just weird. Sometimes strange things happen in the kitchen. I ate it all anyway.  

And then there was dinner. When we set up our first FaceTime call, the Eastern Time Zone daughter was working on her meal prep, so we rescheduled for an hour later. That meant that our call extended through the cook times for both West Coast chefs, and on into our meal times. With my phone propped up against the platter of ham on the dining room table, both far-flung daughters saw our spread, asked questions about our recipes, and got multiple opportunities to observe Gracie lying obediently on the floor near my chair. 

As dinner was wrapping up, we said goodbye. Sniffle. 

The four of us hunkered down at home topped our meal with a fresh-baked Shaker Lemon Pie, and as I devoured my slice, along with a lovely scoop of vanilla ice cream, my mind drifted back through the strange ceremony of the day. 

But wait, I reconsidered. So maybe some of our rituals were a bit off, and we settled for a distance celebration rather than the face-to-face reunion we were planning before Covid upended normal life. 

Still, despite all the crazy obstacles stacked against us, we found ways to keep our traditions alive. Together, we shared in the hope of the resurrection story, which is what matters most. So maybe this year's Easter was delightfully ordinary after all.

* * * * *

Read more stories about my life with Covid-19 here in suburban Seattle:

Sitting Pretty 
Scenes Of An Ordinary Easter
Our First Church
Silver Linings

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