Pops and Irises

Today is Good Friday and I just boiled 14 eggs. I will dye them tonight after work at the shop in Old Colorado City and the concert at First Pres. It’s 35 degrees out…a cold front moved in from the West and I hope it’s the last for a while. I don’t have any plans for Easter except to place 3 colored hard boiled eggs out on the doorstep across the hall for Eliana, Jacob and Rebecca and work in the shop in Manitou. We share holidays with each other. They shared unleavened bread and brownies with me for Passover the other day.  Not sure if I will go to church as I am going tonight…we shall see.  Easter used to be sooooo fun.

Most Easters as a child were spent at Pops and Mama’s big old house on a hill in North Little Rock, Arkansas. They were my “adopted” grandparents, parents of Daddy. My parents and Laurie, Janet and Joe  would load up the station wagon with our Easter baskets and suitcases in Tulsa, OK and head out for the 4 hour drive to Little Rock.  Pops would be waiting for us in his rocking chair smoking his pipe on the front porch which also had an awesome porch swing which swung over the huge bed of a gazillion gorgeous Irises if you swung it high enough! I love those irises…really a gazillion in a long flowerbed along the entire side of his yard, which was very big with a giant pear tree, a great mimosa tree for climbing and a huge black rock which we all took turns spraying water on (it formed like a big shallow bowl and would hold water) so the birds could drink and bathe.  This home was Daddy’s childhood home before he left for college, married Margaret, became a petroleum engineer and adopted Laurie, Janet and me when our mother, Marilyn died in 1960 in New Jersey where my sisters and I lived before Oklahoma.

We had the motherload of Easter egg hunts in this awesome iris filled yard! I can smell the pear blossoms and irises right now. It was so fun and we were pretty competitive kids hoopin and hollering when we would find one first! Chasing each other and bumping the other with our hips as we bent over to claim our victorious eggs. Back then we hunted dyed hard boiled eggs and a really sweet pastel colored sugar covered candy egg wrapped in clear wrappers. They were almost as good as Peeps and also had a  marshmallow filling.  Oh my God were they sweet.

Pop’s sisters would come over for the hugest dinner (afternoon meal in the south) bringing their gifts for cooking. Aunt Effie would not just cook one meat for the dinner but three. Roast beef, fried chicken, ham….and Aunt Marge would bring her famous cakes. German chocolate was my favorite. Aunt Josie would bring Aunt Irene, who was blind from their big cluttered plantation house near a huge commercial greenhouse.  Aunt Josie and Aunt Irene liked to tickle Joe when he was little and I can still remember their laughs. We also had huge big bowls of mashed potatoes, gravy, black eyed peas and green beans. We would all sit at the huge round antique table…no,,, the kids sat at a card table in the living room. So much food that it flowed on to the buffet under the beautiful grandmother clock.  Pops had a neat cuckoo clock that we would love to watch.  I’d give just about anything for a meal like that this weekend….

Things are different now. Marian invited me over to her family’s house for leg of lamb, however, I’m working. The tourists are beginning to trickle in and after their big meals with their families they will come to Manitou Springs to drink from the 9 Springs, get ice cream, bask in the bright sun beneath the Peak and wander in to the shop where I will greet them with a smile and talk about the beautiful Day!

Sister Laurie in Miimosa tree on Easter at Pops

He is Risen Indeed!


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