Easter and April Fools Day are memorable in my life, although not combined, since today is the first time Easter has fallen on April Fools Day in my lifetime.
My paternal Grandmother, who I am named for, my middle name is hers, passed away on April 1st 1971 and I miss her very much. She had 12 children and 27 grandchildren and umpteen great grandchildren of which I was grandchild number 20. I am proud of this fact. I’m happily squished in the middle of a large and, for the most part, happy Clan.
a small contingent of us Southern California cousins got together recently…
I derive my self image from this group, being an only child means that, for me, my cousins are my siblings, and luckily for me it’s a positive take on self in every respect. We are still a close knit family and we all miss our Grandmother. She was serious but not in a bad way. She was a German Immigrant who came through Ellis Island in the early 1920’s, she never became an American citizen and was a Registered Alien until the day she died. I know this because my father filled out her resident alien paperwork every few years for her to submit to the Government. English was her second language. She was fluent in English but it did cause some of her seriousness. She tried to understand jokes thinking they were something other than the ‘mach spass’, translated ‘making fun’, that they were. Much of humor, it is said, is lost in translation. She was however unintentionally funny herself because she was so serious, like when a grandson taught her some American 60’s slang and, later, when someone else told her something such as “We will come for Sunday dinner” she replied with a deadpan “Groovy”. She had very funny kids and grandkids and she enjoyed them as much as they did her. She laughed easily and talked much. A woman of great faith, she prayed in German but read an English Bible primarily. I think she was very brave, having first come to America with my Grandfather, leaving behind all her friends and practically all her family to move to a place she had never been before, and then becoming a widow in the 1940’s with 12 children and 1 grandchild and still carrying on in faith through it all. She had endless love and time for everyone, and by everyone I mean everyone! That’s a lot of everyones!
I don’t have a photo of just me with my dad’s Mom but here is one with me, my dad and both my grandmothers- Grandma Richter is the one on the right.
I can’t think of my Grandmother or of Easter without thinking of my Father. Oh, how I miss him. My father was the most fun. He loved Easter and he referred to it as “Resurrection Sunday” and I can hear him in my mind saying “He is risen, He is risen indeed” keeping the focus on the great and glorious gift of new life in Christ Jesus that all believers have – but that deep faith in Jesus Christ didn’t stop my Dad from enjoying the Easter Bunny too! What a guy!
One of my most prized possessions is a relic from when I was about seven years old. Before I went to bed the night before Easter that year, I left the “Ester (sic) Bunny” a note, written on an old, used envelope, that the Easter Bunny replied to and I found the next morning when I woke up.
To the Ester Bunny (sic)
Please Hide my Ester (sic) Basket. I Would like my Easter (look! I suddenly learned to spell Easter!) basket in the frount (sic) Room. May my cut off age be 16.
Love Karen R
(I left a blank line for the Easter Bunny to sign in agreement, [to the cut off age I’m assuming] which He did [in Santa’s handwriting I might add])
Love Sylvester M. Bunny (over)
On the other side, which had been written on already, but more about that later, it says:
Dear Miss Karen R.,
I regret to inform you that the official cut off
dateage for all blondes born in Texas is no sooner than 3 years from now or 12 years from Texas, whichever comes first. If this does not meet with your satisfaction for any reason please address your complaints to
“Complaint department, Egg plant #1, Bunnyvale, California, ZIP 00001.”
Sylvester M. Bunny,
Area Distributor, Basket division.
The ‘used-envelope-as-note-paper’ business was a gambit my father and I used frequently then and, to this day, I still use old envelopes to make lists and write notes without ever putting anything inside the envelope ever again.
This envelope was originally addressed to me on the front in an unknown handwriting and must have been hand delivered because there was no last name, address, stamp, etc,. I crossed out the “To Karen” and wrote in my best handwriting “To Mrs Morre”. Twice. I have no clue who she was but I was writing little stories and she may have been one of my characters. Around the same time as this Easter silliness, at about age 7 or 8-ish, my parents took me to Cucamonga, California to see sheep. Doesn’t every parent? No? Well mine did and that’s where I met my first Collie. Here I am meeting a real Shepherd and seeing sheep in Cucamonga, CA and there’s one of the first collies, if not the first Collie, I ever met!
We didn’t have a TV at our house but my maternal Grandmother had one at hers and she and I would watch Lassie together on Sunday nights when we were together so I knew what a Collie was.
Back to my point; on the front of the “Ester” envelope, across the “grain”, so to speak, I have written
Lassie in the dog fight
I have no explanation as to why I wrote this but . . .
. . . I have two collies today and it’s Easter and it’s April Fools!
Thanking God for his mercies, not the least of which are good memories and good fun, today and every day!
Happy Easter from the Edgehill Herb Farm crew!