Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Different Kind of Easter Gift

As a child, I remember our Easter Bunny brought baskets with fake grass (different colors for each child) filled with chocolate eggs, jelly beans and always a delicious Mr. Manuel's Sweet Shoppe Chocolate (lop-eared) rabbit. The baskets always were hidden outside, and we would get to hunt for them in the morning. Then we would gorge ourselves on Easter treats.

One Easter though, it snowed. It was much to cold and snowy to hide or find eggs outside. Besides we might be able to follow the bunny tracks in the snow and find the baskets really easily. So guess what? The Easter Bunny came inside. We had a lean-to porch by our kitchen door, and the porch floor was wooden and painted a John Deere Green. The reason I remember this so clearly is because that Easter Morning the Easter Bunny had left snowy paw prints from the outdoors to the inside across that green floor. Apparently his feet got dry after he got inside, because he didn't have exit tracks. Somewhere along the line, years later, I found out that my Daddy had painted those bunny tracks with some sort of white paint that he was able to wash up right after we saw the amazing phenomena . It was so magical though, and we naturally went and found our Easter baskets inside that year. We also got a darling stuffed duck, chick, bunny or the like. My mom was so careful picking out the most beautiful stuffed animals. Mom and Dad always made the holidays so special for us.

As I grew up and became the parent, I took my job of Easter Bunny really serious. I tried to carry on all the cute and sweet traditions my parents did, plus teach the children the true meaning of Easter as well. We didn't grow up with any religion until I was 10, so our version of Easter was watching The Ten Commandments, Ben Hur or that other one they showed every year on TV about Christ dying on the cross. I knew about Easter, and why we celebrate it. But I loved the playful side of Easter as well. As my Mom became a Grandma to my kids, she would send candy. After several years, it became a check to buy the candy, thus alleviating the postage costs. Always a carefully chosen card came from Grandma. I am not that great of a grandma when it comes to Easter. There are so many birthdays in the spring, I have a hard time keeping up with them.

But this weekend I found a new kind of Easter "basket". This year instead of bringing Easter Baskets to my children, I brought one of them myself, time and service. This Saturday before Easter, Sailor and I went to S2's house and helped him pour a concrete slab in his back yard. He is trying to sell the house and thought that this deck slab would be a good selling feature.

We went up the night before to celebrate D1's birthday, then spent the night at S2's. He fixed us breakfast then we got to work. Making the form, ordering the concrete, then hauling it back in wheelbarrows and tapping the cement down and leveling it. I guess we did 2 cubic yards. The slab is about 10' x 18' and about 4 inches thick.

I have always watched the cement process from the side, while my daddy frantically did the whole thing with a bunch of helper men. I kind of knew the process from the recesses of my mind, but we are talking many, many moons ago when I was only 7 or 8 years old. To be actually in the midst of the workers was a new one for me, and I could feel my Daddy's spirit near. He was an amazing man. I miss him. I hope you're proud, Daddy.

Sailor recalled his own experiences of pouring concrete with his father, and I'm sure his dad's spirit was hovering nearby as well, because his Dad's idea of a wonderful day was when everyone got together and worked, hauling hay, pouring concrete, the like. I think he had a warped sense of fun.

But then again, I felt so satisfied after we were done. It was pretty nice to see this slab of concrete nicely curing as we pulled away from our son's house. We had a really wonderful one-on-one visit with our son. Maybe Sailor's dad has a point after all. . .

It is an Easter Weekend I will always remember. And I am glad I got to participate.

Happy Easter Everyone! What did you do for your Easter Weekend?



Andrew Hahn said...

Thanks for the help! Not only do I have a great looking patio now, I had a good time with you guys!

Grandpa did have it right... :)

RisibleGirl said...

Service to others is the best gift you can give, and I know you know that.

That's the great thing about kids getting older is that you can give them nontangible gifts and they really appreciate them.



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