By Judy Reiss
For me, Easter meant spring and spring meant new shoes! My grandmother used to take me, my brother and my cousin to Cristandi’s Shoe Store and we each got a new pair of “Easter shoes”. And for me that meant a new pair of wonderful Mary Jane’s. I can still remember the happiness that I felt when I looked down at my feet and saw those beautiful black, shiny shoes. Of course, now that I had my new shoes I also had to have my grandmother make me a beautiful Easter dress, too. On Easter Sunday, I looked wonderful in my new dress, new shoes a little straw hat and of course, white gloves. Many times I have wondered where those days have gone!
Easter and or spring all meant wonderful flowers. When we went to church every one in the congregation got a small plant to take home in celebration of the holiday. I can vividly remember the year I got a hyacinth for my plant and the wonderful smell it had. And when we walked home, both my brother and I used to look at all the flowers that were blooming. Many times I had to keep my brother, who was 3 years younger, from picking tulips, daffodils and even crocuses from other people’s garden.
Back in those days, warm weather, flowers and of course hats, were the way spring presented itself. I am sure many of you can remember looking for the green shoots that meant that the spring plants were on their way. No matter how hard you thought the winter was, the thought of spring and the buds of spring flowers could bring a smile to even the most hardened person’s lips.
Did we have spring this year? If we did I must have missed it. God forbid I should have new shoes or taken my grandsons to get new ones. The snow would have completely covered them and my money would have been wasted. And can you even imagine seeing your family or a neighbor wearing a straw hat with flowers on it this Easter? For one, they would have looked ridiculous, but more than that, they would have gotten pneumonia! And truthfully, Easter or party shoes have gone the way of the Dodo. Nowadays, children have a million pairs of shoes for every occasion imaginable. If they thought that they could only have two pairs, party and school, they would assume that their parents should be imprisoned for child abuse!
But let’s get back to something that we all will agree on. Do we, in Vermont, no longer have the season of Spring? I don’t know about you, but we still have a pile of snow by our door. It is true that most of the snow in our yard as melted but there is still some if you look. But, trust me, there is nary a flower poking its head up through the frozen ground or the mud. As I sit here today, the 25th of April, the temperature is about 32! No wonder no flowers are poking their heads through the frozen mud, I wouldn’t either if I was them. In fact, if I could escape and go somewhere where spring actually exists, I would go.
As Town Meeting day came and went, I did wonder about the sugaring season. We do have a number of sugarers near us bur I am not sure when they actually started this year. Malcolm talked to one of our neighbors who said the sap did run and one day they got 4,000 gallons of sap and then had to boil until the wee hours of the morning. What I don’t know is how often they had to do that. A lot, I hope. Because there is nothing I like better than Vermont Maple Syrup!
I know that over the 50-plus years I have lived in Waitsfield, spring never really comes. We seem to go from winter to summer with almost no break in between. But this year I am not sure that even this will happen. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine anything worse than having little or no summer. A nice, warm summer is the only way I can live through the hard winters, like this last one! Am I right or am I just getting so old that my memory is more like a fantasy or a fairy tale?
Well, when you read this I hope that spring or whatever you want to call it is here and that we are all just able to think of cold and snow as a scary memory! So, take care and if the weather is nice and the sun is shining, go outside and enjoy every minute of it. You never know when winter will be back.