Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ghosts of Easters Past

HAPPY EASTER to all those who celebrate!

When I was a child, my mom made all my and my sister's clothes, including play clothes (shorts, pants, tops), school clothes (skirts, blouses and dresses because you NEVER wore play clothes to school), and even our special occasion clothes. This latter category was pretty much limited to Christmas and Easter.

Easter Sunday was a BIG DEAL at our house. In some ways even more than Christmas, because at Christmas you stayed home with your family. At Easter, you went out and paraded your finery for all the world to see. In addition to our Easter dresses, my sister and I always wore little white hats, usually with silk flowers and ribbons, and short white gloves, which I'm sure we fidgeted with during the entire church service. We also got new shoes, usually white patent leather.

Like I mentioned, my mother made our dresses and her own, too. I remember for several years the most popular dresses for little girls were made of a nylon tulle material with flocked flowers, kinda like dotted swiss fabric but with flowers instead of dots. You wore a colored satin slip under the dress and those stiff nylon net petticoats to make your skirt stand out. The dress buttoned up the back and had a satin or velvet ribbon for a sash, tied in back with a big bow.

This piccie I found on a vintage clothing site looks almost exactly like the Easter dresses my sister and I wore for several years. Alas, none of our actual dresses survived. After Sunday services, we always went to the park for a picnic and Easter egg hunt with all our cousins (about 14 of us kids total).

Yes, all in our "good" clothes. Any dress that survived the grass and food stains intact was eventually passed down to some of the younger cousins or kids of friends who didn't sew (almost unheard of in those days!).

Since my sister was a blonde and I was a brunette, my mom inevitably dressed her in blue and me in pink. :P tongue To this day, when I select clothing, pink is the absolute LAST color I chose.

One Easter that was particularly breezy, I remember the wind blew my hat off my head and into the lake. Much crying ensued.

There were always plenty of eggs. My grandmother and at least one of my aunts had chickens. The eggs, however, were brown which made for some interesting colors when mixed with the Easter egg dye.

Please share some Easter memories with Aunty! What did you do as a kid to celebrate that you wish you still did?


Jen Tanner said...

My cousins used to host a big Easter egg hunt behind the house. I remember dyeing dozens of eggs for the hunt the day before.

My mom sewed my dresses too. Back then, girls weren't allowed to wear pants to school. I wore them with ankle or knee socks with buckled Buster Browns. Black patent leather Mary Janes on special occasions. Maybe that's why I developed a love for patent leather handbags.

I miss those days. I wish girls wore dresses more often and looked like girls instead of pre-teen wannabees.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Jen,

You are sooo right, NO PANTS for girls. That was the rule for all my school years. And sometimes it was D*MN COLD in the winter with the wind whistling up your skirt! :-P

I wore saddle oxfords to school and HATED 'em. Loved anything in patent leather and I still do.

Thanks for sharing and hope you enjoyed your Easter.


Patricia Rickrode w/a Jansen Schmidt said...

Fun post Aunty Cinty! I can't imagine you in a frilly pink dress! Much less a white hat and gloves!

My mom used to sew my clothes too and when I was about 8 I started sewing too; first my Barbie doll clothes, then eventually my own clothes. My closet was full of gunnysax dresses I sewed myself.

I can't relate an Easter story because I never celebrated holidays as a kid, but I enjoy watching the little kiddies all dressed up in Easter finery these days.

Thanks for a glimpse into your childhood!

Patricia Rickrode
w/a Jansen Schmidt

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Patricia,

I know, hard to believe I used to ENDURE frilly pink anything, but I did.

I used to sew but I was too impatient to do anything fancy. If I couldn't finish it in 3 settings (1 cut out pattern, 2 sew pieces together, 3 do handword) then I didn't wanna bother. I made all of Colin's clothes when he was a baby/toddler, and lots of cute frilly things for my two oldest nieces.

Sadly, I don't even know where my sewing machine is at the moment. I know it's around here somewhere...