by Kiki Nelson | Apr 19, 2017 | Ettiquette, Holidays, Host, Hostess
What’s worse than overzealous security personnel on a United Flight? Little Bunny Flu Flu!
Little Bunny Flu Flu,
Hoping through the air ducts;
Jumping on the passengers;
And giving them a bug!
My husband came home from a trip to Colorado with some extra baggage, a really nasty virus. That left me to take care of him and prep for Easter weekend and a cabin full of houseguests, one of whom was a Home Ec teacher. This wonderful lady actually made a career out of home making and is really good at it. She does not judge, but I can’t help making sure my home is extra polished for her visits. As if that isn’t intimidating enough, she’s also an amazing cook. Here’s what she brought for the weekend:
- Homemade cheese;
- An assortment of meats;
- A bundt cake;
- Two dozen pastries;
- Fruit Salad;
- Green Salad with homemade dressing;
- Asparagus-feta tarts;
- Shrimp ceviche;
- Two bags of thick-cut potato chips;
- Butter in the shape of a bunny; and
- A Partridge in a pear tree!
This doesn’t even include a wide assortment of beverages both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. As you can imagine, this lady is in high demand as a house guest. She and her husband are booked months in advance.
My husband managed to rally a bit by the time the first guest arrived, but was still pretty weak so I volunteered to drive with one guest to the Easter vigil at the Catholic Church on Saturday night. That sucker lasted two and a half hours. There must have been a lot of grace going on in there.
When we got home from church at 10:00 pm, we found the oldest and youngest cousins had discovered my stash of Easter candy for the next day and were hunched over it like zombies with a particularly plump corpse. Did I mention these cousins are 26 and 49? Apparently they also tucked into the stash of Gin, because they thought this whole scene was hilarious!
The good news is we all had a fantastic time with great conversation, great food, an amazing session of star gazing, and a lot of laughter. This Easter was another hosting opportunity that made me truly grateful for the blessings of my family and friends.
The bad news is, as that last guest pulled out of the driveway I felt that tell-tale tickle in the back of my throat. I now have the flu. Thanks a lot Little Bunny Flu Flu.
Thank you for visiting,
by Kiki Nelson | Apr 12, 2017 | Ettiquette, Host, Hostess
The Blessing of the Baskets
I was not raised as a person of faith. The closest thing to an Easter miracle in my house was the invention of Peeps. My husband was raised a Catholic and when we got married we agreed to raise any children we might produce as Catholics. We did produce children, two of them, and we did raise them as Catholics from Baptism to Confirmation. At the age of three when we taught our daughter the sign of the cross she dutifully repeated, “Fader, Son, and Hobie’s Ghost.” Hobie was our dog. Whether or not the training “stuck” is my children’s story to tell.
Along the way I learned a great deal about Christianity, Catholicism, and organized religion in general…but that is for another blog. Suffice it to say, there are some beautiful traditions that help to illustrate Christian ideals, one of which is the Blessing of the Baskets.
I was introduced to the Blessing of the Baskets by my sister-in-law whose Catholic faith has provided her with a great deal of sustenance in good times and bad. The bad times include the loss of a child. It was the power of her faith that convinced me to keep our promise to the Catholic Church. I saw the strength it gave her and her husband, and hoped it would be a resource for my children.
The Catholic Blessing of the Baskets is especially popular among Polish Americans. Traditionally it includes the following items: eggs to symbolize new life; bread for sustenance; meat to symbolize Christ’s victory over death; horseradish to acknowledge that in life one must accept the bitter with the sweet; vinegar for the bitter wine that Jesus was given on the cross; salt for its ability to preserve; cake to represent the sweetness of life; and butter in the shape of a lamb to watch over the basket and proclaim life over death. The food is usually prepared on Friday and taken to church on Saturday to be blessed. It’s a short ceremony that is not considered a mass and does not include communion.
We have celebrated Easter with my sister-in-law and her husband in Central Pennsylvania for the past few years and they have invited me to attend the blessing.The first year was especially memorable. The priest had just began the service when someone’s cell phone rang. It was the priest’s phone, which he dug out of his vestments and answered. “I need to take this,” he explained, then disappeared into the hallway. Needless to say I was gobsmacked by this turn of events.
When the priest came back a few minutes later, her explained that a young priest had just lost his mother and was in dire need of comfort and advice. Then the priest went on to bless the baskets. He also asked us to pray for firefighters with whom he would be visiting later that day at the local station. He talked about their sacrifice for the greater good and their ability to overcome fear, much like Christ. Again, I was gobsmacked. It just so happened that my son was in training to become a professional firefighter. Along with a few tears, these words gave me a great deal of comfort and pride.
I guess the lesson here is, when you’re a guest in someone’s home and they invite you to take part in a tradition (religious or otherwise) give it a chance. You might get more out of it than you expect.
Thank you for visiting and Happy Easter,