Front Porch Stories: Easter baskets and patent leather shoes

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By KATHY BOHANNON, Special to The Weekly

The aged photos tell the story. 

My two sisters, brother and myself, standing in front of some sort of flowering bush, perfectly adorned for Sunday morning. 

Not just any Sunday morning, Easter Sunday morning. 

My immediate recollection of those days involved an Easter basket I wasn’t allowed to touch until after church, the forever crisp, starched Easter dress and patent leather shoes, little white gloves and a tiny purse to carry. 

Back then it was all about the finery and something about Jesus. I wasn’t sure, probably because of that Easter basket waiting on the dresser at home. 

On the occasions that we were visiting mom’s North Carolina family, my Uncle Buddy would tell us of the Easter Pig. The Easter Pig was ruthless in stealing jelly beans. We would awaken to a basket overflowing with goodies only to return a few hours later with all of our jelly beans stolen. For some reason the Easter Pig always shared the candies with Uncle Buddy and he had pockets full of them. 

The dress and accompanying slip were scratchy. I have no idea what fabrics were available in the 1960’s, but they have improved tremendously. Though I was always focused on getting that dress off and play clothes on, I probably should have been more concerned with open flames. There’s no doubt a small bonfire would be the result of even the tiniest spark hitting that dress. 

Those patent leather shoes were murder on polyester socks. Serious murder. Even though there was lace around the ankle cuffs, those Mary Janes would begin their slow kill within the first few steps. If theme music were playing, we’d hear “Jaws” throughout Easter morning. The little socks would begin with a slight bump inside the arch of the foot, only to continue with the entire ankle and sock foot being mercilessly chewed until every part of the sock was inside the shoe. That lace at the top? No match. I’d see that lace slipping under the strap on top of my foot and I knew it was over. No matter how many times I’d reach down and pull them up while skipping on the other foot, and mom correcting me for goofing off, that sock was gone. GONE. 

Kids today have no idea the amount of suffering the little girls of yesteryear had to endure when church was over. There would be that Easter basket full of chocolate and jelly beans calling my name, a brother or sister smashed up beside me in the back seat and a stolen half-melted chocolate Easter egg being devoured by a sibling. 

With all of the innocent distractions of childhood, I didn’t know the true reason of Easter until I was older. 

Suffering through an Easter service with discomfort and wanting my Easter basket was nothing compared to the suffering our Jesus endured on the cross. 

Though we will never know the depth of the suffering, we can rejoice in the resurrection and promise of His sacrifice. Matthew 20:17-19 tells us some of what He had on His heart before He was crucified. I am thankful for this and all scripture that taught me the truth about the life of Jesus, His suffering, His promises and His rising again on Easter Sunday. 

Kathy Bohannon is a Christian humorist and inspirational speaker and writer. She can be reached at [email protected]

2 comments

  1. chere mortensen 16 April, 2022 at 08:23 Reply
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    This made me smile and laugh out loud. Those socks and shoes. Also how slippery the shoes were on Easter morning. It was like walking on glass. I had to sleep in curlers the night before because my Mother wanted blonde curls. My Mother would dress each of us, in her slip, and make us sit on the couch until everyone was ready to go to church. You did not dare get up or heaven forbid get dirty. Kathy, thank you for bringing back all the wonderful memories.

  2. Barbara Steele 26 April, 2022 at 04:45 Reply

    I love this great blast from the past memory. It’s all true too. And WHY were those lacey socks so tasty🤔

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