Here it is almost Easter and it is my favorite almost holiday in the year. When I was growing up, Easter was a bigger holiday than Christmas or Thanksgiving. The whole family gathered at my grandparents for the beginning of spring dinners featuring potato salad, deviled eggs, sweet gherkin pickles and ham. The kids ate in the Sunday school rooms of my grandfather's house and the adults ate in the huge kitchen/ dining room. There was no dishwasher so everyone had a hand in cleaning up. We were all dressed up in brand new Easter clothes and shoes. Mom took us to the hairdressers usually the Saturday before the big day and we had stylish new 'dos. The morning began with a basket of candy from the bunny and then off to church. We all went except my dad who usually did some " guy " thing and then joined us at mid afternoon Easter lunch at grandmom and grandpop's. Those were enchanting afternoons. I loved all my cousins, the flowering plant we received in Sunday school, the special lunch that marked that beginning of summer eating and the time spent with the grown ups. There was a piano in every room and we spent hours running around playing on them and pretending we were musicians. The older cousins wanted nothing to do with us - the dreaded younger cousins. The weather was usually good so after lunch we ran outside to play with admonishments of staying clean. It was hard to play in my new shiny mary janes! Times were innocent for me and I miss them. I hope, as a parent, I gave good memories to my own boys. I know I kept some of my family's traditions. Easter lily on the table, potato salad and deviled eggs, a basket of candy. All this marks the beginning of spring and today as I left for work, I felt like spring! The weather even co operated! Happy Easter! Happy Spring! Happy life!