Today marks my first Easter EVER that I missed being with my family. A few memories that make up my typical Easter include:
+ waking up before the sunrise, but the sun actually being up by the time we make it to the church parking lot
+ The Home Moravian Band playing music for Old Salem’s Easter sunrise service via my parents’ alarm clock while we get ready for sunrise service
+ a country breakfast after sunrise service, including scrambled eggs, incredibly salty country-fried ham, biscuits and milk gravy
+ candy in my Easter basket (yes, thirty-plus years later)
+ Easter lunch with the Merritt family
+ my aunt Jeannie’s bunny cake, which I admire, but never eat because I don’t like coconut
+ an impromptu Easter egg hunt with the kids
+ reading the paper and watching golf with the family
+ moving from one table to the other during dessert and coffee
+ at least one discussion with Robert about how much he loves peeps
This year, I decided long ago that Shannon’s wedding/my baby shower/birthday weekend would be my last trip home pre-baby. I had two friends on bed rest (Taylor and Sarah) and I didn’t want to make any assumptions. Plus, I seem to recall that Corey had her baby a month early when she went home for a baby shower. So I was not ready for a six-hour trip simply for the sake of tradition. (And I am WAY big on tradition!) Plus, I’m a big girl. It’s nice to do something new.
I was pleased to have a church that we have regularly attended since we moved to DC, so that even though I couldn’t be with my own family, I was at least with my church family. The church was packed and, no, Obama wasn’t there despite speculation in The Washington Post and The New York Times. Henry commented on how much of the service we would miss if we had to be frisked by the secret service first. I didn’t spot any snipers in the balcony, so I just assumed. But this article confirmed it.
One of the highlights of today’s service included the baptism of several new members of Calvary, which reminded me of my own. My last trip home marked the twenty-second anniversary of my Baptism, which was on my thirteenth birthday. I had thought about getting baptized for quite a while before I actually did. But I didn’t really like the idea of having to go under the water. I wished that I was a Methodist, because they get sprinkled. I also tried to convince another girl/classmate, who visited church infrequently, to join me. She wasn’t too keen on the idea. So I didn’t really have an impetus, until I realized that my birthday was going to be on a Sunday. I did the (faulty) math and decided I wouldn’t have a chance to be baptized on my birthday again until I was 21. I didn’t really want to wait that long, so I was going to go for it.
Long story short, Mr. Philley, my pastor, was not able to attend service. Joanne, his wife, was sick with cancer. There was a guest speaker that day, whom my mom can identify without hesitation. He told me to relax. So I listened. Then I stepped down into the water of the baptistery at the front of the church. He dunked me backwards and my feet quickly floated to the top. I had no idea what to do, except kick my feet to try to get them back on the ground. I will never forget Billy Mitchell laughing and telling me that he thought I was going to drown. It took me many years to live that down. So it was only appropriate to spend my most recent birthday at my church baby shower with at least a few people who still remember that day.
So today, after a delicious pot luck lunch with my church family, we are back home, watching golf, reading the paper, drinking coffee and discussing peeps. Thanks to the Washington Post for inspiring some real creative thinking! Wow! Enjoy! And, Happy Easter!