Saturday, April 23, 2011

OMary Don't You Weep


julie said...

Perfect for this weekend. Thanks.

Mizz E said...

Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson stopped drawing his iconic comic strip nearly 16 years ago. Since then, he hasn’t produced a single piece of publicly displayed artwork. Suddenly, out of nowhere, comes "Petey".

Petey said...

Now you know why I don't mind being disembodied.

SippicanCottage said...

That there's some Improvisational Orthoparadoxical Neotraditional Retrofuturism, isn't it?

Happy Easter, Bob.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, and before it became a cliché!

Mrs. G said...

Happy Easter!

I am new to this, so would love to know what Easter traditions you guys have, either with your kids or when you were growing up.

I'm going to the candy card... I filled a lot of plastic eggs with various chocolate candies and will tell Tristan that if he finds a golden egg, he can turn it in for a basket with lots of treats and a chocolate bunny. And I threw in a small lego set.

He's six, so this should go over very well. And maybe he'll share some of the candy with me :)

But would love to start some Easter traditions. And I just enjoy hearing about how you guys celebrate special holidays.

Have a wonderful Easter!
Mrs. G

julie said...

Happy Easter to all of you, too!

My family usually decorated eggs a day or two before, then my parents would hide them on Easter morning, along with the baskets (and candy). If we were lucky, there'd be an Easter egg hunt in the neighborhood somewhere, too. Sometimes there would be a big family dinner to finish the day, but that depended on who was close by.

I hope you guys have a great day tomorrow :)

will said...

Mrs. G -

Ah, memories of Easters past. Growing up as I did in a manicured suburb, our family did the traditional dye-and-hide the egg thing - sense of smell being the memory-trigger that it is, that vinegar-ish scent of egg-dye comes back to me, and with it, a flood of non-linear memories.

Anyway, being the little greedhead that I was, on Easter morning I outhustled my two younger sisters in finding the hidden eggs. Then my parents stuffed me into a suit and tie while the traditional Easter ham was prepared for an afternoon consumption. Time went slowly, slowly. As we awaited our guests, I recall spending a lot of time contemplating the grandfather clock in the living room. Its ticking seemed to get louder by the minute, and I began to have the impression that if the ticking suddenly stopped, the universe would fold up and disappear. I also suspected that there were people living in the grandfather clock, but that's another story.

So the guests began to arrive in the early afternoon. All family relatives, of course, aunt, uncle, their children - who seemed to me to be of a different species of human all together - and my personal favorite, my great-uncle Harry. Doesn't everyone have an uncle named Harry? Harry was the black sheep of the family - brilliant, blustery, bombastic, Harry had survived the trenches of world war one, returned to Chicago, ran for the US Senate on the Vegetarian Ticket or something, helped to design the locks on the Great Lakes, and started his own visitor's tour of Chicago's seamier parts. The never-married Harry was almost totally deaf, of course - he regarded hearing aids as a sign of moral weakness. The slightest verbal transaction with him had to be shouted out. "COULD YOU PASS THE BUTTER, PLEASE, UNCLE HARRY!!" Needless to say, Uncle Harry scared the crap out of me. All my relatives did, actually - it was as if they were hung in the attic and, smelling musty, brought down once a year for Easter dinner.

But Harry, old craggy-faced Harry was something else. "YOU THINK THERE'S GOING TO BE A NUCLEAR WAR?" my father once asked him. "GOT TO BE, IT'S INEVITABLE!!" Harry replied. Great, I thought, a damp chill coming over me. Happy Easter to you, too. "SO WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE BEATLES", I asked Harry to make a little conversation. When Harry finally figured out what I was asking, he replied "THROW THEM UP AGAINST A WALL AND SHOOT THEM!"

Then, finally, the feast. Ham with complimentary pineapple, yams, green beans, the works. I ate myself sick. Tradition, you know. I think I ate rapidly because I was scared Uncle Harry would start asking me questions. I often excused myself from the table, claiming a stomach ache which really wasn't a lie. Then finally, the feast was over and the guests drifted away, leaving me alone in the bubble of an endless Sunday.

All the spiritual significance of Easter was lost on me, of course. Even if mention had been made of the Resurrection, I, little smarmy cynic that I was, would have sneered. Looking back at Easters Past, I see that I was in heaven and did not know it. The glory of the Easter tradition now makes me want to beg forgiveness for my dullard ignorance.

And Uncle Harry who so terrified me? I take after him, I think.

will said...

Happy Easter, by the way.

julie said...

Will, that was awesome. Thanks, and Happy Easter!

Mrs. G said...

Thank you Julie! I think I'll have him do some egg decorating next year. He is over the moon right now and trying to decide if I'm the Easter bunny :) Maybe because he knows I have as much of a sweet tooth as he does...or maybe he has as much of one as I...

Hope you're having a beautiful Easter.

Mrs. G said...

Uncle Harry didn't run a bordello, by any chance? In Scranton?

Except for the violent references, he sounds a lot like my Uncle Harry! And that we called him Ming Ming. And he wouldn't have been confused with someone brilliant.

I wonder what your Uncle Harry would have thought of the Rolling Stones.

Your post brought back the smell of coloring eggs at a friend's house... we would put a tiny hole in each end of the egg and blow out the insides. I forgot about that!

I love hearing about your (and Julie's) memories. Our family was almost completely devoid of ritual, unless you count my dad's annual temper tantrums on Thanksgiving when he would get drunk while cooking a gourmet meal for the extended family and find a reason to focus his rage on my sister and myself at some point. These rage attacks were a regular occurrence, but since Thanksgiving was a special day for him, he saved his best for the occasion.

julie said...

Speaking of Uncle Harrys, I have one (by marriage) who also fits that bill. He was an eccentric, never married, and used to go with his brother (my FIL) to car dealers to torment the salesmen for fun. He lived in a mobile home, had a million bucks in the bank, and when he died we found money hidden in all kinds of strange places around his house.

will said...

Mrs. G -

>>Uncle Harry didn't run a bordello, by any chance? In Scranton?<<

Not that I am aware of, but who can be certain? Actually Uncle Harry was upstanding morality-wise, in that early 20th century, General Patton way. He hated riff-raff, had no use for slackers. He gifted me with morality-tale books with titles like "Peck's Bad Boy and His Dog". He often spoke to me of the virtues of military school.

Actually, Harry would have made a career in the military, but during WW One, he was ordered by a drunken superior to go on a suicide mission, which he sanely refused. There was a court-martial hearing in which Harry was exonerated, but the experience left him embittered, so he quit the military all together. In a way, too bad because Harry was smart and motivated enough to make general.

In an alternate universe, Harry out-Pattoned Patton in WW 2.

He also would have ordered a nuke strike on the Stones.

will said...

Julie, Mrs. G -

I think we have established that eccentric Uncle Harry-types constitute an all-American archetype.

julie said...

Mrs. G

while we're not doing anything traditional this year, it has been a special weekend: L finally took his first steps!

Johan said...

In my childhood we got Easter eggs filled with candy from our parents. We also painted eggs in all kinds of patterns, colors and artistic styles at the Easter family dinner. We were never a religious family.

A very new tradition from now on, will be the liturgical observations in the Catholic Church. After about year of preparations, I became Catholic Christian this Easter.

For this I would like to blame Bob for introducing me to a bunch of great catholic thinkers like John Henry Newman, Russel Kirk, C.S. Lewis, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, T.S. Elliot, René Girard, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Eric Voeglin, Gil Bailie, Robert Bolton, Robert Barron, Michael Polanyi, G. K. Chesterton, Roger Scruton and our Unknown Friend, and possibly some more.

Had they (and Bob!) not presented the case of the necessity to follow Christ, this would certainly not have happened.

Happy Easter, Christ has risen!


Gagdad Bob said...

Now, that is what I would call humbling -- like being the doorman of the world's tallest building. Or drummer of the Beatles. Coongratuations!

Gagdad Bob said...

I endorse the Pope's Raccoonish message today: Evolution, yes, Creation, yes, fundamentalism, no.

Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, No to religious and scientific fundamentalism....

Gagdad Bob said...

Our Easter tradition? The usual. But my mother would also drag us to Sunday school. Which backfired, since I couldn't integrate it with anything else I was learning, and no one bothered to explain. Perhaps the seeds of the endeavor to build that vertical bridge to the past-present-future....

Johan said...

"the doorman of the world's tallest building"

Indeed it is!

And yes, you're like the doorman handing out flyers for the eternal vertical party inside!

Gecko said...

My Mom would have little Easter baskets with a large sugared egg which you could look in and see the Easter bunny, a choclate bunny and lots of jelly beans. We were dragged to Sunday school by our governess and returned for a traditional Easter lunch.
When I became a mother I would make an Easter basket planted with live flowering plants with a stuffed bunny, jelly beans and maybe a little toy. An Easter tree from a blossoming plum or almond branch from our orchard was hung with eggs we decorated and became the centerpiece for the pot luck table. We would dye and decorate eggs a couple of days before. Adults and older children hid the eggs along with an abundance of plastic eggs filled with goodies. After standing in an ever expanding circle we would sing "Morning has Broken" (we printed words for all) Then the hunt would begin with the little ones going first, then the older children . There was a prize for the one who found the golden egg . Time for the Easter feast ; another circle, this time around the laden table. We sang grace: "For health and strength and daily bread we give thee thanks oh Lord.", sometimes in rounds ending with "Blessings on our meal and family and friends", a Waldorf School (Steiner) grace. Still don't know what I would do without OC. Thank you from the bottom of my crusty old heart.

sehoy said...


I'm so happy to hear your good news. A happy Easter indeed.

I had to laugh about you mentioning C.S.Lewis as Catholic. C.S.Lewis is my spiritual father. But it's almost so. He and G.K.Chesterton kicked me back through the door into the Catholic room of the house.

I'd been hanging out in the hallway waaaay too long.

Mrs. G said...

That sounds so elaborate! You must have such amazing memories. Was Christmas anything like that?
Mrs. G

Mrs. G said...

Congratulations! That is so cute!!
Take lots of pix,
Mrs. G