Easter Parade

The weather was iffy at best in west central Illinois for spring clothes on Easter.  Usually the outfit had to include a coat.  I do remember a few warm sunny days, one in particular that commanded shorts between the sunrise service and the main service.  Of course, one shouldn’t wear the much anticipated Easter dress for the sunrise.  I can’t remember why.  You just can’t, that’s all.  So on that one Easter morning, it was just too nice to do anything but put on some shorts and bike around town.

The Mother was not in support of spontaneous adventures between services.  If the dresses were hand sewn that year, I can pretty much guarantee she was finishing up into the wee hours and wasn’t in the mood to handle a sweaty rag’o’muffin’s tousled hair minutes before church.

Easter was and wasn’t a fashion parade.  Maybe the song Easter Parade did influence our society enough to make Christians competitive.  That saddens me a little that a mere custom could be important enough to obscure why we wore our finest.  Today I wear my best every Sunday to show respect to the Lord I am worshiping.  That’s me.  Others are comfortable in jeans.  I like to have a new outfit on Easter partially due to my childhood — subconscious habit — partially because I am anxious to put away the winter stuff.  Living in Minnesota dampened the excitement due to lingering winter weather.  For my friend from central Missouri, it just wasn’t the same taking a picture of the boys with a snow drift in the background.

I don’t mean to paint a picture of Mom that seems overly stern.  She wanted us 3 girls to have nice things because she didn’t on the farm in Michigan.  She bought us doll after doll, I think I had 13 total, because she had only one little beat up doll and wished she’d had more.  So, Mom, I give you a break on the Easter outfits.  This was sometimes difficult since we had little money to spare for fashion.  Now multiply by 3 for new shoes, new dress, coat, and (you really didn’t have to, Ma) the dreaded hats and gloves. More than one year, we did our shopping at the Resale Shop, a small house with used everything smooshed on racks.  Some would call that good stewardship and so do I.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.  I don’t remember hearing complaints.

Check out the Easter pics. Notice a few things: ankle socks, saddle shoes, dip-dinghy hats.  Awwwww, Mo-o-o-om!! NOBODY ELSE is wearing a HA-A-A-AT!! If everybody jumped off a cliff…… (turn around and let those eyes roll).  And if I took it off she was johnny-on-the-spot putting it back on!!!

Sisters, you are on the Internet!  1952-murphy-girls.jpg


I don’t think this is Easter, but it’s too cute to leave out.


I couldn’t resist the tummy shot. (hee hee) 1954-murphy-girls.jpg   1956-murphy-girls.jpg


Of all the things I’ve saved, this ruffle plate hat is not one of them.  1958-murphy-girls-hat.jpg

Speaking of hats, this one is recycled from the previous year.  And finally! Finally! I talked Mom out of anklets but couldn’t convince her of the need for grown-up nylons. 1962-murphy-girls-jane.jpg I have a question.  Whyyyy does God grow the feet before the height and not evenly during the total growth process? I was 5’2″ and a 9 shoe.  Ka-flap, ka-flap, trip! I eventually topped out at 5’9″ and still ka-flapped in flats.  So I wore heels and stood in the back row anyway with or without heels.

On Good Friday Mom wanted us to know why it was called Good.  Every year the Lutheran church closest to the downtown shopping district put on a passion play.  She would insist we attend and then afterward we would shop for our shoes or whatever else we needed to complete our new outfits.  Being the 50’s and therefore safer then than now for little girls to walk around without adult supervision, we would tolerate as much of the production as we could and slip away to scope out the stores.

We had a couple of egg hunts over the years.  I don’t remember a lot of house decorations or coloring eggs.  We did enjoy dressing up in brand new pastels and of course, eating lots of food, Mom’s trademark.

Before I move on, here is Randy’s first Easter, 1976, and my first as a mommy.  randys-first-easter.jpg

And here’s Brenda’s first Easter.  brendas-first-easter.jpg


Yes, yes.  We did the baskets.  Notice the stuffed animal instead of the evil candy.  I think that over the years, partially because I lacked enough organizational skills and cash to make a huge deal out of the bunny and eggs routine, the kids did ultimately comprehend the real meaning of Eas — uh — Resurrection Day.  (Gimme a break.  Old habits die hard.)

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