Most of you are too young to remember Archie Bunker's "All in the Family" sitcom from the 70s and 80s. But I distinctly hear Edith singing these words:
"Those Were The Days" by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days. Didn't need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight. Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days. And you know who you were then, girls were girls and men were men. Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again. People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent. Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days. Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win. Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin. Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song. I don't know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days. ---------------------------------------------------------------
As Easter approaches, I'm reminded of my childhood days on Easter Sunday. They went a little bit like this:
The night before Easter Sunday, my mother would throw me and my little sister into the bath tub, scrub us from head to toe -- we were urchin children, really, always had dirt under our nails from digging trails in the woods and rarely wore shoes during the summertime -- washed the leaves and woods-y things out of our hair, and sat us down on the floor of the livingroom where she proceeded to meticulously roll our hair in curlers.
These curlers weren't your modern-day curlers. These suckers were hard plastic curlers with spikes all around them in every direction. The spikes were meant to hold your hair on the curler better. Which they did. But man, those spikes felt like I was playing Jesus in a Resurrection play. Ouch!
Sometimes, the curlers would get loose and begin to fall, so Mom would grab those really long Bobby pins, bite them open with her mouth, and stab them into our skulls and curler, where they would stay in place, hopefully, while we slept.
Sleeping was awful on the night before Easter. As I said, those curlers would sometimes hurt my head so bad that I would toss and turn all night long. Even the soft pillow I slept on didn't take away the pain I felt.
But it was worth it. Because in the morning, after my hair had spent all night drying around these plastic child abusers, my hair would fall out in beautiful spiral ringlets. My little sister and I were transformed overnight. My sis and I would dance around the room, watching our curls bounce up and down like the girls in the shampoo commercials.
Then it was time to put on our Easter dresses, purchased in matching styles but differing colors. Then came our white gloves, our white polished church shoes, and then our Easter bonnets/hats.
We'd giggle at each other, knowing full well that we weren't looking at the same person who'd just spent the morning before digging trenches in the damp, rich soil back in the woods, or the girl who'd climbed trees to the very tip top in bare feet.
We were little ladies for a day.
Off to church, then back home for roast and potatoes with gravy. Easter baskets set out proudly on the buffet with beautiful Easter-colored ribbons and brimming with candy and jump ropes.
Awesome Post! My mom rolled my hair on Saturday night too, but at least we had the pink foamy rollers! I remember going to church with my parents, grandparents and my great grandparents on Easter. We all had to have gloves, hats, and new dresses. We also wore Orchid corsages to church. After church, all my cousins would come to my grandparents house and we would have dinner and a big Easter Egg Hunt!
Man, I thought you were going to say they were cloth curlers! We had some of those, but we also had the foam type. My mom used them (may still, actually). I think she did have a set of the spiky kind, too.
We never had to get so done up for Easter, just a nice dress, maybe a hat, but then again, we lived in a city, and sure, you can get dirty in a city, but less space to dig around in and no woody things to get in your hair.
I never realized people gave corsages on Easter. What a beautiful thing!
I am hoping that when my children grow up, they will be able to "blog" something about how their mother made them dress up in matching dresses and wear dress shoes as they sat in Easter service. How Mom cooked a lovely Easter meal and they had beautiful baskets sitting on the buffet....
Oh, now you did it, you went and stirred my emotions so I have to share my story. When I was a kid my Dad's work was sporadic my family didn't have a lot of money. For one particular Easter my sister, who is 15 years older than me, was working and decided to play Easter Bunny for my family. She bought nice new baskets for all of us, I really remember how great the treat was. BUT, she bought one for my parents that had an orchid corsage. My Mom was too timid to wear such a beautiful thing to church and that upset my sister. My sister confronted her about it later within earshot of me and said "but I bought the corsage especially for you to wear to church" Wait, what, you bought the corsage?!?!?! I thought the Easter Bunny left the corsage for Mom, you mean there is no Easter Bunny, and does that mean no Santa, and no Tooth Fairy, oh man! Needless to say that was a bad, bad day for me!
It sort of makes me sad to look back at my childhood and NOT have those memories with my mom, kwim?
I'm so glad to know there are people who DO have positive memories of Easters past, and of time with their mothers. And it makes me more determined than ever to make sure all 4 of my kiddos never have to ~wish~ things had been better.
Your memories made me smile.
My mamaw used to make me sleep in those darned spiky curlers. OUCH! lol
I think "traditions" are so important in a family dynamic. Something that is passed down from generation to generation and forms a bond, even when the elders of the family pass on.
and it's not even about having the best time ever, but about the ritual of routine on those days: like knowing you were expected to wear Easter dresses and have curled hair and the lovely meal to follow.
Because as I was lying in bed last night remembering things, I also remembered that my father was a drunk.
so sad times come to everyone, and not everything can be perfect, but it's those traditions in life that bond and bind us together.
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