Posted tagged ‘jelly beans’

“As long as there is chocolate, there will be happiness.”

April 19, 2019

The morning is warm despite the wind. It was sunny, but now it’s cloudy. It rained last night and may rain again today. I’m not a fan of on again off again spring days. Here on the cape the wind keeps us cooler than the rest of the state. In the summer the wind is welcomed. This time of year not so much.

When I was a kid, we always had Good Friday off from school, but sometimes the nuns would make us sign up for an hour vigil at the church. I remember the statues were all covered in purple. I remember watching people doing the stations of the cross. I remember being totally bored.

I never knew where the Easter baskets and all the goodies were hidden. I thought maybe my parent’s closet, but I had no excuse to go rummaging. We used to get chocolate rabbits, the universal basket candy, jelly beans which back then were big and all of them pretty much tasted the same. The Easter Bunny also included small toys like my brother’s balsa plane while I got toys like jacks and the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached by an elastic. My sisters got stuffed rabbits or ducks. I don’t know how ducks horned in on Easter. All of a sudden there were ducks. We also got panoramic eggs with a scene inside. I know they were edible, but they tasted awful so we saved them. We, of course, ate the rabbit’s ears first. I think that was an unwritten custom.

Good Friday has always been meatless. My mother sometimes served fish sticks and French fries. Our favorite was fried dough. My mother couldn’t fry fast enough. We slathered the fried dough with butter and sprinkled salt on it. I remember all of us crowded around the dish waiting for more.

My laundry is put away. The trash is in the trunk so the dump is on my to do list. I called for an emergency eye doctor’s appointment. It is at 1:30. My eye feels as if something is in it.

I woke up at 8:30. I was shocked at how early it was.

“But mothers lie. It’s in the job description.”

March 26, 2016

Today is a bit bleak and a little chilly. The Easter Bunny better bundle up tonight to make his rounds. I’m imagining the Bunny wearing a warm jacket, wool socks on his feet and matching mittens on his hands. In keeping with the season, he’ll also be wearing a brightly colored bow tie. It is, after all, spring.

When I was a kid, we always took baths on Saturdays. When I was older and into multiple baths each week, I wondered why only one bath a week back then. We were kids, we got dirty playing outside. Washing hands and faces couldn’t have been enough. I’m thinking we had a layer of dirt the other five days, not six because on Sunday we started out clean.

I always thought we were lucky Easter was on a Sunday. I was young. I believed in the Easter Bunny. What did I know of lent and the liturgy? I figured we were lucky because we only had to take the one bath which served two purposes, our Saturday night ritual and getting clean for Easter.

We never hounded my mother about letting us go to bed early on Easter Eve the way we did on Christmas Eve. The Easter Bunny seldom brought surprises. We knew we’d find a few small toys, maybe a coloring book and crayons and a stuffed animal, mostly a rabbit. There was always a giant chocolate rabbit. I remember once I bit into my rabbit and found it was hollow. It was a mere shell. I complained to my mother about the rabbit being a bit deceptive. She agreed.

All the jelly beans except the black ones tasted the same to me. That’s probably why black jelly beans are still a favorite of mine. I don’t like black licorice so it is a bit of puzzle why I like the black jelly beans. I think they must be most people’s favorite because now you can buy a package of just black ones. I remember looking at my tongue in the mirror after I ate the black jelly beans. My whole tongue was black. I thought it was kind of neat.

When I was a kid, my mother had a way to make us tell the truth. It had nothing to do with morality. She’d ask us if we had done whatever like breaking a dish or a glass and all four of us would say no. My mother would say it must have been the ghost. We’d all nod in agreement and hoped it ended it there. It didn’t. The test was next. My mother told us our tongues turned black when we told a lie. We’d check in the mirror, but she also had that covered. Only mothers can see the back tongue she told us. She’d then ask each of us in turn to show her our tongues. The guilty party wouldn’t. He’d put his hand over his mouth so my mother couldn’t see. Nabbed! I don’t remember how long that worked, but it was a wonder. My mother always found the guilty party. I thought she was amazing.

“You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those chocolate bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere.”

March 21, 2016

First we had rain then we had snow last night but only a dusting to an inch. The weather today is in a weird cycle. The snow started to melt earlier so most of the branches are no longer covered. Right now, though, it is snowing again, big flakes falling straight down or from the north. The snow cover on the ground has slush underneath it. My shoes would leave only a hole, not a footprint if I walked in the yard. The day is dark and uninviting. It is a read a book day or a day to do that project I need finished by Easter. The problem, however, is I have little ambition, not even enough to turn pages. Cozy under the covers on a dark and snowy day seems just about right.

Easter never had the anticipation Christmas had. It didn’t have any rules about the necessity for good behavior but it didn’t have any wishes either. We knew pretty much what we’d find on Easter morning. The only surprises were the small toys and books my mother tucked into our baskets. A tall chocolate rabbit was always the eye-catcher. Around it were jelly beans, big round hard colored candies which were white in the middle, a few small pieces of chocolate and some yellow Peeps, wild out of the box. I remember if I ate a piece from something, like the ears from the big rabbit, and put the rest of the rabbit back into the basket, it would stick to the grass at the bottom. Later, before I could have another bite, I’d have to pull off the grass shoots.

We didn’t have a giant rabbit at the mall the way they do now. We just had Santa at Christmas. Seeing Santa made a lot of sense but seeing the rabbit doesn’t. What do you talk about? What do you ask him to bring? He doesn’t care if you were good or bad. You’ll get an Easter basket regardless. I suppose you can always fall back on the sort of stuffed animal you want, the one usually sitting beside the basket, but beyond that, I’m clueless.

“Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem.”

April 6, 2015

A howling wind, falling snow or icy sleet battering the house and yard wouldn’t matter. Today would still be spring. Today the Red Sox play their first game of the season. I dream about today on the worst winter days when I need dreams the most. On the coldest of days I let baseball give me hope. I see in my mind’s eye the Green Monster and the fresh grass of Fenway. I think about cheering for the home team, eating hot dogs and popcorn, watching games on warm summer nights and throwing my arms into the air as I scream at a home run or moan at an error. The Sox have stumbled of late. Two out of the last three seasons my Sox were in last place. In the middle of those two seasons they won the World Series. Today they are perfect.

Sometimes Easter was at the start of spring vacation while other years, like this one, Easter was early and Monday was back to school. That was always the worst of Mondays. Our energy had been spent over the three-day weekend. By Sunday night we were exhausted from the excitement of wearing new clothes, finding our baskets filled with chocolate and small gifts and spending all afternoon with the cousins. Getting up, eating breakfast, putting on our uniforms and then walking to school were arduous tasks. It was a day of lethargy when turning the pages of a text-book took far too much energy. The classroom was unusually quiet. No rustling sounds broke the silence. The only signs of Easter were the jelly beans, the big ones where every color tasted the same, wrapped in wax paper in our lunch boxes. We’d finish our sandwiches then put the jelly beans in our coat pockets to eat outside during recess. I remember they all had a bit of lint from my pocket. I didn’t care.

Easter was the best. Dinner was spectacular. We were given the same table by the window we’ve had for three years in a row. Our blinking bunny, from an Easter basket three years ago, joined us for his third time at the table. That he still blinks we find amazing. Outside the window the view was beautiful. The sky and the ocean were different blues. The water, the deepest of blues, had a greenish tint while the sky was light blue along the horizon and darker blue above. Small white caps tapped the shoreline. The beach grass was brown, its winter color. We toasted the day and sat for a bit savoring the moment before ordering dinner. My drink had blackberries. It was delicious. I had lamb, mashed potatoes and onions infused with soy sauce. Little was left on my plate at the end of dinner, but I managed to squeeze in a chocolate dessert, the perfect ending for the best Easter ever until next year’s.

“I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs… but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. “

March 27, 2015

Home again, home again jiggety-jig! My connection problems are a thing of the past. Happy, happy!

The weather is getting colder. I was lulled into a false sense of spring when we actually reached 50˚ on Wednesday, but Mother Nature is now cackling and rubbing her hands in glee at having duped me. They, as in weathermen, are saying possible snow showers on Saturday so spring is still in the wings.

It is raining again today, and the dampness chills the bones. Francisca and I, however, are intrepid souls, and are going out when I finish here to a few shops and to the Zion Union Heritage Museum.

I give my two friends an Easter basket and have already bought trinkets for them and am hoping for a couple of more when I shop today. Some are useful while others are just whimsical. The candy I’ll buy next week. I think I’d be too tempted to eat it if it were already around the house. We, as kids, always had inexpensive chocolate. We didn’t care. Candy was candy. Now, I buy it all at the candy store.

Our Easter baskets were the best. There was candy: a chocolate rabbit which was a tradition and a necessity, jelly beans which always tasted the same no matter the color, big, hard colored beans with white in the middle and the filler candy like a little rabbit or a chocolate egg. Small toys were also in the basket. I remember yo-yos, paddle balls, a box of crayons, an Easter coloring book, a stuffed animal, usually a small rabbit, and even a pail and shovel. The grass which covered the bottom was always plastic and the rabbit with missing eaten ears used to stick to the grass. The adult me thinks it sort of gross, but the kid me didn’t care and just pulled the grass off rabbit.

Easter will come as it must, but it will not be in spring unless all of the vestiges of winter disappear.