Easter Schmeaster - Pass the Lamb of God

It was an exciting day, Easter Sunday, when I was a kid. New white patent-leather shoes with a matching purse, a new frilly dotted-swiss dress, a little hat, and white gloves. Truthfully? I was like Idgie Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes. I didn't want to wear that crap, but my grandmother worked as County Clerk at City Hall and spent a lot of money on my new Easter outfit every year. As I posed with my mom and brother in front of the willow tree, my dad opened up his Polaroid Land Camera and took a picture of us and then it was off to church. Afterward, we'd come home and I'd hunt for Easter eggs in the yard. Of course, I'd woken up earlier to find an Easter basket full of candy and that clingy green plastic grass...

We weren't a devout family until Mom found Jesus in Solvang. That's when the Easter fun was over. Then it was about her trying to save my Dad's soul and me trying to wiggle out of spending two hours listening to a sermon about slaughtering lambs and singing songs about being washed in their blood

"Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless,
are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

When I figured out they were actually singing about a human sacrifice, it was all over for me. That was, and is, just grizzly and sick to me, and I couldn't figure out how my new Easter garments could be white as snow if someone had spilled a bucket of blood all over me.

This was all forgotten, though, when Mom put the Easter ham dinner on the table. I remember asking her once why people eat ham at Easter. Her answer was, "Because we can. We're not Jews. Jesus changed the law when he rose from the dead." When I was a teenager, I saw this as a kind of slap in the face the Jewish people, sort of a "Neener-neener", and it pissed me off. It still kinda does.

Nowadays, our family celebrates both Easter and Christmas more like my family did before the evangelical bug bit us in our collective ass (we had a large, close family until my mom became a born-again and alienated us from everyone). They're cultural holidays for this new family, time to be together enjoying a lovingly-prepared meal amid much laughter and smiling faces, as we count our blessings.

Today in Stillwater, there will be no Easter eggs hidden in lush spring grass because it's raining, and our refrigerator broke down yesterday so Nettl is buying bags of ice to keep things cold until I can call the landlord tomorrow. But Dr. Kielbasa is coming over we'll all be together.

May you have a wonderful day today, however you celebrate it, or not.