Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

I made a little video of the house set up for Easter before eveyone arrived. I meant to take another one from the same place with everyone eating, but I forgot! It always surprises me we can get 26 people sitting down for a dinner. The only thing I had to borrow was silverware, and I'm going to use this as an excuse to get eight more settings of my silverware for the future.

Our dining room table and chairs, just refinished by Steve this winter, is a Heywood-Wakefield set from his grandmother. There are two leaves, expanding the table to seat eight. We hauled in a large folding table from the barn that seated eight in the living room, and four kids can sit at the island once all the food has been served (buffet style of course). We set up one more small folding table in the entryway for four older kids, and two girls decided to eat on the porch.

I like the video because it shows how clean and simplified our living room/dining room/kitchen are. There are still Christmas lights lying on the top of the hutch, but overall everything is pretty spare.

Four years ago, I first met this family when I went with Steve to Tim and Annie's for Easter. We had been dating less than a month, and the people on the farm knew we were dating, but everyone else was to treat me as a friend of Steve's who just didn't have anywhere to go for Easter. Which was absolutely true-- and I had tried inviting myself into Easter with two other families.

I remember sitting next to Kevin, who said: "Wow, so you got into a Minnesota family Easter celebration. That's a big deal." I had heard from others who moved to Minnesota that people can be clannish and don't really invite others to family gatherings. And that had been more or less my experience. I thought maybe he was saying in a way, "This must mean you're more than a 'friend,' right?" but it didn't seem like it. Kevin is not nosy like that. The others-- Steve is the oldest of eight children-- were all friendly, and his mother was especially solicitous. No one made me feel put on the spot or pressured or odd. This family is very laid back and easygoing.

In no way, however, did I think then that three years later I'd be hiding plastic easter eggs filled with candy and helping get the patio furniture out and cleaning to host Easter. And now, my second year, I'm happily thinking it could be a long tradition. I like hosting meal-based holidays, and this one seems particularly nice. Ham is easy, and the menu can be simple but satisfying. It comes at a really nice time of year, when Spring cleaning is called for and it's nice to open up and air out the house a bit. This year I was tired afterward, but not as tired as last year. And I have Easter Monday off to recover. In a way it's a highlight of life on the farm.

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