Rick Houser: A season full of symbols

Clermont County's Rick Houser has released a second book, this one titled "Memories from the Heart."

It is very safe to point to just about any holiday and names for several parts of the holiday that symbolize many different parts of the season. There are so many and we really do enjoy each of them. Not just the creativity of the symbol but the color and the clearness that it has brought to the particular holiday it is involved in. Halloween has many and just look at Christmas! The entire season can be occupied by identifying symbols.

But we are about to celebrate Easter. To do so one must begin by first celebrating Good Friday (the day Jesus was crucified.) Without this Easter would never get to happen. At my mom’s home it was the day she had the grandchildren in to color the hard boiled eggs. She made several peanut butter jars filled with vinegar and a certain dye color tablet. She had the entire Roy G Biv gambet of color and enough wire egg holders to lower the eggs into the jars and create a rainbow on color. (Both with the eggs and the grandkids cloths and arms.) When I came to pick up a grandchild all I had to do was sniff and follow the vinegar smell and it would take you right to where it was all happening at.

Saturday was a day for preparation I think as there was a lot going to happen on Easter Sunday. Om Easter Sunday the day began before the sun arose as we would attend sunrise services. I remember little about this as I was not very awake. Of course I recall the choir singing at its very best and the church was very dark until the sun arose. I do remember quit well after the service was the breakfast and it was a bounty of a feast that we all enjoyed and spent a huge amount of our Easter together. Now just where better place to spend Easter morning than in the church talking about the mornings sunrise serve and doing so over bacon and eggs and a strong cup of coffee.

As the morning moved toward the end of the sermon it seems that the approach to mid-day had slowed down but it was still the day to wear those new out fits. After church almost all folks headed to a relative’s home or were having the relatives at their home. This would for the most part take up the bulk of the day. All sorts of relatives from grandparents and uncles and aunts to cousins would gather in a number that is seldom reached. Of course it is hoped that the spring weather has arrived well enough so as to allow folks to Roam outside if they so desire.

With the afternoon come the events that attract the children. Also with the children comes the candy that is attracted by the children. This is where some of the symbols come in to play. Marshmallow chickens for one. What does a chicken have to do with Easter? Well the baby chick is a symbol of spring and Easter is in the spring. Then look to the Easter eggs and you see another sign of a new beginning and the resurrection is just that also. Now we lest not forget the chocolate Easter bunny. Again a bunny is a symbol of renewing life.

There are many symbols that come from the Easter season and they are used and used often and we really don’t give a deep thought to the reason they are in the plot of Easter at all. But they are.

So after a huge Easter Sunday meal is served up with a huge ham and sweet potatoes and green beans followed by a huge Red Velvet Cake we all rare back and stretch as much as is possible so we can relax our waste band as much as we can. But when children are involved patience is a virtue is seldom found or used by the young ones. So with as much poking and prodding as they can they finally win and their call for an Easter egg hunt is called out loudly. With the help of the young adults if it can be got the eggs will be hid. Now there are a few eggs that have some money in them or candy or both. As the young adults are hiding them the adults who over ate are doing their best to keep the children kept in one place and where they can’t see where the hiding is happening.

Finally the young adults report that all are hid. The children are lined up and each given a plastic bag to collect their treasure in and after being lined up they are told to GOI! This is when the wildest of wild frenzies takes place. For the most part it is a hilarious scene if there ever was one. Art Linklater said kids say the darmdiest things. Better than that is kids do the darndiest things! With mild supervision an egg hunt can be a thrill a second event if there ever was one.

To the kids what seems a long time and to the parents what was a brief period of time the hunt ends and the children branch off in all directions and as they are searching for a place of solitude they are also assessing what they have in their bags. Over the next few minutes we learn who won the eggs with the big prizes in them and sadly we learn who as they might say didn’t get nofhin. But over the next few minutes the crowd grows quieter and the sound of candy being deposed of is increasing and the children are all smiling and laughing together again just as it was planned.

Easter is now moving toward the sunset and for many folks the day began before sunrise. There have been many sections to this what most folks refer to as the holist of holidays and even though you have covered the day well and your old bones feel it you hate to say goodbye to another Easter Sunday. So as you move the family toward the car and are loading it up you look to all and just say well folks until next year!

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and loves to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.