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Easter Sunday, April 1, 1888
I was digging around in the dresser drawer to find something cool but “Easter” looking for Jared’s first Easter. He’s nine months old and outgrowing everything. By accident, I pulled out an old journal (the first one I ever received, actually) and tossed it on top of the bureau. It slid across the slippery surface, fell off, and flipped open to a journal entry from six years ago. I was just a month shy of turning fourteen, Macy Walker had not yet invaded my life that spring, and I was rejoicing in the births of my two beautiful foals, Shasta and Sunny.
Forgetting about getting Jared ready for Sunday services, I sat down right where the journal landed and read my entry for Easter Sunday 1882.
April 13, 1882
Today is the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It’s a grand day, and sunny, hot, and bright. Everything seems fresh and new. We head for Sunday services, and even the horses seem to step lively while they pull the surrey.
But I can’t help laughing at some of the silly extravagances I see at church. I know, sometimes my mind strays from thinking of Christ, but honestly! Some of those rich, snippy folks at church (including Patricia Newton), wear the most outlandish bonnets! I bet they ordered them weeks ahead of time.
I saw this ad in the Fresno Expositor last month. Miss Alice E. Wilkinson has a large stock of handsome spring millinery which will be sold at very low prices. Easter bonnets. No. 5, Third Street.
Melinda ordered one of the simpler designs, but Mother let me wear my straw hat with a wide ribbon from last year. I wanted to wear my wide-brimmed hat (the boys did!) but Mother said no.
When Virginia Foster greeted me Sunday morning, she looked surprised, and a little concerned. “What’s the matter?” I asked her.
“Why, Andrea,” she said. “You’re not wearing anything new.”
“Well, I just read this the other day in the Chicago Tribune.” Then she quoted to me, verbatim, the following. (She could do this because she is a whiz at memorization.)
Speaking of superstitions, one had almost forgotten that there is one as old as the hills, in which all women believe even to this day. It is that a person will have no luck for a year who does not wear a new article of dress Easter Sunday. It will be observed that it is not necessary to order an entire outfit. A bonnet, for instance, will suffice, and if it is new and pretty that is sufficient. It is not necessary that it should cost a week’s salary.
She looked at me and said, “Your hat is neither a bonnet, nor is it pretty.”
“I don’t believe in that kind of thing,” I quipped and hurried off to join my family.
And guess what! Virginia, in spite of her pretty new bonnet, missed one of the steps leaving church after service. She tumbled to the ground and her bonnet flew off. How’s that for disproving silly superstitions?
Jesus Christ is King over all of that sort of silliness. He wants us to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and not show up at church to show off our new spring finery. I wonder if a hundred years from now, followers of Christ will have figured this out.
Here’s one more very strange and terrifying superstition that’s floating around on Easter. Hot Cross Buns. Have you ever heard this rhyme?
Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns.
During the 1800s, people liked to make hot cross buns for Easter. I wonder if they know the silly superstition behind it. (Nila and Luisa make them, but mostly because they taste melt-in-your-mouth good.) Here is a newspaper article from the Chicago Daily Tribune. Kind of scary.
What would Easter be in England without hot cross buns? They are made on Good Friday, and if you don’t eat them, your house will be burned down before the year is out. Thrifty Chicagoans, if well insured, will know what course to pursue.
Aren’t you glad Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords? And He is coming soon! Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Revelation 1:7
Happy Resurrection Day! Here is a collection of cards our family received as Easter Greetings from friends and family. Aren’t they pretty?
“Andi, Where are you?”
Riley’s shout brought me springing to my feet. I slammed my old journal shut and stuffed it into the top drawer. Then I grabbed a clean, white gown that I hoped didn’t look too grimy and found the baby. “I’m in here,” I called back. But then I burst into giggles.
“What?” he asked, leaning against the doorjamb.
“Oh, I just found an old journal entry about a past Easter Sunday and got carried away into the past for a few minutes.” I smiled, finished dressing the baby, and handed Jared to his daddy. “I’m ready to go.”
We left a few minutes later. I didn’t intend to stare, but that old journal entry made me look at every woman who walked into Easter services that morning. Mostly new bonnets, just like that old ad. I squeezed Jared and kissed his neck. I had the best “something new” in the whole world!