Oh, what a morning. It's Easter
Growing up in a family with a foundation of Christianity church-going, Easter Sunday was no different than any other Sunday as far as going to church. We always went. But Easter brought a newness of thing around us. Spring had arrived there there was new hope for tomorrows.
My sisters and I usually wore the new Easter dresses Mama made and sometimes we had new shoes for spring and an occasional Easter bonnet.
We dyed Easter eggs sitting around the kitchen table on Saturday afternoon. Each of us had a coffee cup where we put one of those little hard tablets that made the boiling hot vinegar/water turn colors and then ever so gently we'd place the Bantam (bannie) eggs in the cup. Our grandparents had Bantam chickens and always provided the eggs.
Egg dying was a big deal and usually a big mess. It seemed every year after Easter we had a new set of dye-stained towels.
After church we visited grandparents to hide eggs and have a meal. Sometimes families would come to our house and on other days, we go on picnics to the mountains.
Trout season always opened the first of April and on some Easters we'd load up in the family car with fried chicken, our Easter baskets with eggs and corn niblets for bait to catch tourt.There is a photo of my sisters and I — teenagers at the time — dressed in our Easter dresses, holding our Easter baskets, hunting eggs along Cedar Creek.
Easter time was usually the days for spring planting. Depending on when Easter came, there were some years when Good Friday was spent planting the garden.
It's been interesting in the past few days to see a few garden plots around that county that are broken ready for planting. Almost made me want to go to the seed store.
New dresses, colored eggs, picnics, enjoying family meals together and gardening are all such good memories of Easters past.
I also recall the spectacular Easter sunrise services from high atop Chimney Rock as the sun arose from a dark earth, bringing light across the Hickory Nut Gorge. There's nothing like singing, "Up from the grave, He Arose" during an Easter sunrise service and believing every word of it.
Today is the greatest day in the life of a Christian as believers around the world come together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, affirming our beliefs that the Son of God arose from the dead and promises eternal life to all who believe.
We celebrate the forgiveness of sin and eternity with our family and friends.
A favorite song of my entire family, "Because He Lives," written by Bill Gaither is almost always sung at the memorial and funeral services of our family. The message comes directly from that first Easter Sunday morning more than 2,000 years ago.
"Because He lives I can face tomorrow. Because He Lives all fear is gone. Because I know who holds the future, this life is worth the living .. just because He lives," Gaither writes.
Life is very hard when tragedy strikes and the course of lives are forever changed in an instant. But I believe that first Easter gives me — and you — hope today for an eternal life — a new world is coming.