Easter was, as always, the same and different. It’s one of those times of year when all the previous years come washing back over you. Like a piece of paper folded accordion style, and all the Paschas line up together, and you think, “remember last year when…” or “when I was a kid this was always my favorite part.” And it’s somehow larger than just a memory – the other years are right there next to you. You could maybe jump over and be seven again, fighting sleep until you give in and tuck yourself away under a pew.

Recipe for a good day:

Around 3:30 am, after a plateful of heavenly Ethiopian food, snag the first Welsh cake you’ve had in years. Sprinkle with nostalgia.

(When Bronwen and I were in middle school, we would take Holy Friday off and hang out at her house. We felt very virtuous, fasting, and would drink bowls of water with spoons, pretending it was food. And her mom would bake Welsh cakes to bring to the feast. The smell of them baking? Pure torture.)

Toss in a scant five hours of sleep, and awaken to the smell of cream-cheesey puff pastries baking. Pack your Batdorf & Bronson, your French press, the buttermilk, and the pasties. Proceed to your parents where you brunch upon buttermilk pancakes, pasties, bacon, melon, and potatoes. Have your dad tell a liberal dose of Old Order stories, like the time they were punished for leaving a door unlocked by spending the night guarding the dumpster, or how when they were novices and had to fast every Friday, they could smell the pizza that the house mother & father snuck in at night. Go through at least three pots of coffee.

Return home. Bake macaroons. Prepare strawberry-mozzerella-spinach salad. Proceed to Kate’s mom’s house.

Discuss invasion by aliens, chickens, women becoming fighter pilots, who took all the mozzerella balls from the salad bowl, the glories of lamb, and whether or not God answers prayers like “please send me a laptop.”

Traipse across the street to the church for Agape Vespers. In other words, the rowdiest service of the year. Sing loudly. March across church lawn singing Christ is Risen. If you’re too old for the Easter egg hunt, take pictures instead.

Oh, and hold some bunnies. You’re never too old for that.

Then go to the basement and enjoy the bounty of the chocolate fountain – sticking the strawberries in is half the fun. And cheesy desserts, and ice creamy desserts. You must get chocolate all over your face. It’s required.