I believe I’ve said before that this is one of my favorite events of the year. Oh, I enjoy Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, and other holidays and special occasions. But none quite compare to Easter. We talked about ‘morning people’ this morning. I am one. Cathy, not so much. But we set the alarm for 5:00 AM and left by 5:30, getting to Fourth Presbyterian in time for the 6:00 AM sunrise service. Actually, the sun didn’t rise until after 6:50, when the service was over. It was pretty overcast, in any case, so you couldn’t really tell. We went inside for a lovely breakfast and then went to the regular 8:00 AM service, complete with orchestra and choir. As I write this, I can smell the leg of lamb that’s roasting and shortly will have potatoes in the oven to get crispy. So, I’m looking forward to one of my favorite meals. Happy Easter to all. He is risen!
Tagged With: Easter
We got up early and made our way to Bethesda for the Easter Sunrise Service this morning. The date for Easter is based on a lunar calendar, so it moves between March 21 and April 25 (in the Western, Gregorian, calendar). This year it fell on April 21, putting it towards the end of that period. Consequently, it was light enough at the 6:00, just before the service started, for me to get a few photographs. Last year, when it was 20 days earlier, it was still pretty dark at that point and a picture similar to this was taken over half way through the service. I really enjoy this tradition and also the music at the regular service, with brass and timpani adding a strong accent.
The forecast for last night and all day today was for rain. That didn’t happen and it was a gorgeous day. After getting home from church (see previous post on the Easter Sunrise Service) we took a little time to rest, as we were a bit sleepy. Then I started getting the food ready for the Easter dinner we had with family. I had bought a ham and made biscuits, Tsai-Hong brought a really nice salad as well as fruit. Other side dishes and dessert rounded out the meal. Margaret and Cathy made a lamb cake yesterday and it turned out pretty well, although they had trouble getting the eyes and nose to stay in place. Eventually we had to use a toothpick to keep the nose from falling off. Also, we only had golden raisins, so the lamb has light colored eyes, which is a little different to what it normally looks like. It cooked well, though, and was tasty.
Later in the afternoon Iris asked if I’d take a few pictures of Silas and of the three of them out in the yard. It was cool and at first Silas wasn’t sure about sitting on the grass but he got used to it pretty quickly and I got what I think are some pretty nice pictures. It’s no surprise that Silas is growing up and gaining his own personality, of course, and it’s really nice to be a part of that. He’s a happy little boy (for the most part) and is pretty easy going. This will be tested when Iris has to be away for a little while for work, but I’m sure they’ll get through it (not to say they’ll enjoy it, though).
We missed having Kai with us (and Steve and Maya, too, but you know it’s really all about the kids). Nevertheless, it was wonderful to have who we had and we’re really thankful for family. We missed Dorothy, too, and really look forward to seeing her in two weeks. She spent Easter with her friend, Katie, on the New Hampshire / Vermont border. It’s not like being at home and she missed the music that we got this morning, but she’s doing well and finishing strong. We couldn’t be more proud of her.
I bought a dozen eggs specifically for Dorothy and Abba to dye for Easter this evening. Dorothy wanted to try using natural dyes. She used onion skins (a mix of yellow and red onions) to make a brown color, beets to make red, red cabbage to make a surprisingly blue color, and turmeric to make yellow. They turned out quite well. Here you can see two of them, the turmeric and the onion skin dyes. She left the eggs in them overnight and when they came out, they looked amazing. When the dried they lost some of their intensity so she rubbed them with a very light coating of vegetable oil, which made them look remarkable again.
We didn’t go to the sunrise service today but did go to the 11:00 outdoor service at Fourth Pres. It’s the first time Margaret has been to a morning service since the shutdown began back in March of last year, although she’s been to an evening service. Dorothy went to the sunrise service and then got there early to get us a good spot in the parking lot for the 11:00 service. It was a good service and we were all glad we went. When we got home, we took pictures in the front yard before going in. We don’t have a lot of good photos of the three of us, so I’m glad to have one more.
As seen in the post from yesterday, Dorothy dyed Easter eggs using natural dyes. This is what they looked like after soaking in the dyes over night, being allowed to dry, and then being rubbed lightly with a little vegetable oil. The colors were really very intense. I especially like the blue, which came from boiled red cabbage leaves. The other colors were from beets (the red), turmeric (yellow), and onion skins (a mixture of red and yellow onions, producing brown).
In September of 2019 we bought and planted a hawthorn, Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’ in the bed that used to have a Colorado blue spruce. Then in April of 2020, we added a Viburnum carlesii to the same bed. Over the years I’ve also planted quite a few daffodils in that bad. The hawthorn isn’t shown in this photo but the viburnum is, to Cathy’s right (left in the photo). The daffodils in the foreground are called ‘Lemon Beauty’. And the ‘stone’ rabbit came from Cathy’s parents’ yard when their house was sold.
In 2020 there was not Easter Sunrise Service, cancelled because of the lockdowns in response to the Wohan Flu. In 2021 we went to an outdoor service but not at sunrise. This year, things have progressed to something approximating how it was in the past. The sunrise service was at the regular 6:00 AM time and we had a breakfast afterward in the Upper Room. It was a wonderfully beautiful day (although Cathy was a bit cold when we first arrived). I had really missed this the last two years and it was great to be back. As usual, I took a few pictures, which I try to do unobtrusively toward the end of the service.
Sadly, I’m way behind posting my photos. I’m writing this on May 8, nearly a month late. I seem to get nearly caught up and then don’t manage to post for a while and I’m behind again.
Anyway, on Easter morning Cathy and I went to the Easter Sunrise Service at Fourth Presbyterian. It’s one of my favorite things and Cathy is nice enough to be willing to get up before 5:00 AM to get there before the 6:00 AM start of the service. With Easter moving forward and back from late March to late April, the time of sunrise varies from after 7:00 AM to about 6:20. It was at about 6:40 this morning so there was enough light towards the end of the service to get some reasonable photos at ISO 1600 at f/3.5. In order to get the entire steeple in the picture, I have to use a fairly wide angle lens (10mm) which gives it that characteristic tilt.