Easter is always exciting
Saturday, March 30, 2013 8:00 PM
There will be plenty of Easter egg hunts today, from church yards to home backyards.
Kids will scurry about looking for brightly colored eggs - some real and some the plastic variety filled with everything from candy to money.
I remember rushing around our yard trying to find every last hidden Easter egg when I was a kid. The eggs were hidden everywhere - in tuffs of grass, in the V between branches of a tree and tucked in a watering can.
When the eggs weren't outside, they were inside. They were hidden in flower pots, on steps, under pillows and everywhere in between.
If eggs weren't used for the hunt, jelly beans were the replacements.
I love Easter egg hunts. Easter was always a great time in my family. We'd go to church, and then family would gather for great food and conversation.
There were plenty of Easter Sunday's when baseball was on the TV - tuned in to WWOR-TV Channel 9 - with my grandfather perched on a hassock or chair watching the New York Mets playing whoever was on the schedule. Mets announcers Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner were as much a part of Easter as were my aunts and uncles.
There was something else that was part of the holiday tradition in my house. When we would decorate Easter eggs, my mom would take the time to commemorate the year with a special egg.
A few cartons of eggs were already hard boiled and waiting to be decorated in all their Easter splendor. While the Easter egg dye pellets were coming to their full brightness in glasses lined up on the table, Mom would break out a tiny pan, put it on the stove and turn the heat on low. In the pan was wax that would slowly melt. When the wax was nearly totally melted, Mom would adjust the setting so it wouldn't burn.Then, she would take out the special pencil that came out put once a year ... unless she couldn't find the one from last year. Then, we'd make another special pencil.
What made it special? Stuck in the eraser was a pin. The pen would be dipped into the melted wax and then used to write on the eggs.
The first egg was always mine. She would spell out JOSEPH in bold, capital letters on one side of the egg. On the other she would write the year. The letters and numbers were always the same size with no top or bottom dangling higher or lower than the rest.
She'd continue to decorate a few more with squiggles and dashes and dots.
When it was time to dip the eggs into the dye, the egg was placed in the blue cup and left there until it was almost a robin-egg color or the color of the sky on a beautiful spring day.
Mom did that ritual for years, even after I went away to college. I know that because the last time I was in New Jersey I found a bunch of eggs from years gone by.
I guess I sort of had my own Easter egg hunt in January. I found eggs resting in coffee cups in the dining room hutch. Some were tucked in drawers wrapped in tissue.
Of the eggs I did find, there were a few from the 1960s, with most being from the 1970s.
The wax used for writing the eggs hadn't chipped off through the years. It was kind of cool because you could still run your finger across the letters and feel every stroke Mom made while laying wax to egg. The writing was as true as the day she wrote it. I was amazed the JOSEPH from the 1960s looked just like the JOSEPH from the 1980s. The colors were as true - true blue - as the day they were dyed. Even on a cold afternoon a few days into the new year, it was hard not to smile and recall the fun and happiness each Easter would bring.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.