When I was a kid, we would receive a special gift on Easter, usually consisting of new clothes. These clothes were the nicest we would get all year -- something that used to be called Sunday Best. But for us, a non-religious, non-church-going family, these clothes were our Easter clothes. We would don them for a special Easter outing: Easter breakfast.
We didn't have much money, but Easter was one of the few times during the year that we would go out to eat. My parents chose the best restaurant they could afford, and would take all of us out for a wonderful, dressed up breakfast.
Then we returned home. We removed those beautiful clothes, hung them up, and put on our regular daily garb.
That's when Easter really began. The house would begin to fill with the scents of Easter dinner. Eggs were boiled, peeled, and either cut up for potato salad or sliced for deviled eggs. Ham was baked. Corn was steamed. Strawberries were sliced and sprinkled with sugar to make the juice come out.
Sometimes it was a picnic. Sometimes it was dinner at home. No matter where it took place, the meal was special because there was an importance placed on it. Family was together and sharing in the making of a meal. As it was presented, sliced ham, homemade potato salad, corn on the cob, strawberry shortcake, it became more than food. It was family. It was love.
Today, when I'm 1800 miles from family, I am creating my own Easter feast -- because it reminds me of home and those I love.