Easter Morn & Easter Afternoon

I went to the earlier (9:15) of the two services at church this morning and heard Steph sing with both choirs (combined) and heard Susie read as part of the Flower Communion.  We’re all home now; Steph and I have prepared the food for the Easter fete (ham and a green bean casserole) we’re serving later this afternoon, and Susie is on an errand.  I had breakfast at church, although my stomach was still full from the marvelous food at last night’s Seder.

I never attended church on Easter until I started attending the Unitarian Universalist church in Marietta, so my first Easter Sunday in church would have been probably 1979, just before turning 16.

This is a bizarre confession from someone who attended a Catholic middle school and who, for two weeks in seventh grade, considered becoming a priest or a monk.  (My vocation went by the wayside when I looked up the word celibacy in the dictionary; I thought it meant to always be in a state of celebration.  I am not kidding.  That’s not the only time I’ve guessed wrong about a word–For years I believed a pedophile was someone who had a foot fetish.)

I’ve written earlier in this blog (in the LiveJournal section) about the Easter Sunday when I was about eight, when Marietta was caught off guard and buried in almost a foot of snow, much to the delight and financial betterment of many doctors and chiropractors treating the broken bones of elderly people who insisted on going to church that morning.

My most productive secular Easter was Easter 1976, just before I turned 13.  The date was April 18, and I had not been to bed.  My dad was at my stepmother-to-be’s apartment, and Channel 3’s All Night Theatre was preempted for an Easter Seals telethon.  I went outside just as the sun was rising.  I wandered toward the Marietta College campus and saw 10 or 15 people, including the Dean of Men, wandering the campus with large plastic trash bags.  The campus’ annual party and festival, Doo Dah Day, had started at noon on Saturday with an open mike and concerts on the library steps, and beer flowed from then until probably about midnight.  When the sun rose on the campus Easter morning, the grass was almost invisible under all the strew of empty plastic beer cups, cigarette butts, food wrappers, napkins, paper plates, and plastic utensils.

Since I had a pronounced aversion to manual labor in my early teen years, I surprised myself when I waded through all the debris and said, “Need another pair of hands?”  There didn’t seem to be a real leader of this work party, but someone who heard me nodded enthusiastically and handed me a huge trash bag.  I picked up cups and trash for the next several hours, until fatigue finally overtook me.  The campus wasn’t immaculate when I left, but we had greatly improved its appearance.  I headed home for bed, feeling good about the work I had done.  I didn’t suddenly become a lover of hard work, but it did register that when someone is appreciating your work and is grateful for it–whether you’re compensated monetarily or not–goes quite a long way.