Happy Easter!

easter

I had a draft of this post ready for publishing when I heard the tragic news from Brussels. Christian world has been targeted once again. My heart goes out to all the people of Belgium, and the families of the victims. The Evil wants to destroy everything that is good in this world with word and weapon. You can use religious or philosophical, or even scientific terms to give a name to that evil. It exists, and it is feeding on fear and its derivatives.

Fear not!


This set of Easter Eggs is dyed and ready for painting. Two pairs of little hands took care of that, and did a splendid job. When I was young, we used to dye eggs with onion skins. The skins were collected all over the winter.  “Don’t throw out the onion skins!” I heard this phrase often enough to always remember of Easter. When the time came, the skins were placed in a huge saucepan, and the eggs carefully arranged so that each egg was well covered. There was always a smaller saucepan for ‘special’ eggs. My mother tied different flowers and leaves to these eggs to create patterns. When she got older and lost her creativity, she only used the flowers and leaves from her Geranium plants.  Here is a link to a blog that will give you a good idea of the process.

Easter has a nostalgic feel to me. It even has a fragrance – my aunt who stayed with us every winter, always baked a special cake with rum and raisins. All the house smelled divine. I also remember some chocolate eggs and bunnies in shiny foil, but they didn’t taste great, and were mostly used as toys first. We would also receive postcards from our distant relatives – pictures of fluffy bunnies and cute lamb.

Some ‘old style’ pictures seem appropriate for the memory flood.

lamb

Another aunt always came over for Easter. She has never been married and never had children. Every summer she would take me home with her for a couple of weeks, and staying in her house in the dunes is another bright memory of my childhood.  We exchanged letters since I learned to write until her death in 2000. In this photograph, we are holding wild anemones. We would walk about a mile into the woods, to a special place, a blue lake of flowers. Our Easter dinner table was always decorated with wild anemones  – they are in bloom from March to the end of April.

Our house is on the left, and the lake is on the right, down the hill.

anemones

These photographs from my 2013 project were taken in the place very similar to the one where I used to spend summer breaks with my aunt. All these houses were built in the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the beautiful summer houses are restored and with certain investments turned into great modern homes.

home home home home home home

What is memory without music!

One of my beloved pieces of music is a chorale prelude Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ by J.S Bach. There are many brilliant interpretations, both for organ and piano, but I want to share the one of a Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva. A slow tempo (almost one minute slower than any other interpretation, for such a short piece of music!) has an expressive and poignant effect.  Every note breathes and lives.

And this one is a truly magnificent piece of music. 2500 individually submitted videos of singers are combined with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the virtual performance of “Hallelujah” from Handel’s Messiah. Among the submitters are Donny Osmond,  Alex Boye, Tiffany Alvord, Madilyn Paige, Maddie Wilson, Firefly, and various vocal ensembles. The finished video premiered on March 12 this year.

Nestle and Cadbury have  removed the word ‘Easter’  from their chocolate eggs. I don’t know about Nestle, but Cadbury have removed something else from their Cremes, because they don’t taste right anymore.  Here you can learn how to make your own Easter Chocolate Eggs 🙂                                    

inesemjphotography  Happy Easter! Love and hope to all!

121 comments

  1. A great, complete look at how special not just Easter is ~ but holidays and family. The photos with the added texture add so much along with your words (and music). A great rhythm with this post…and I cannot help but return to the opening shots of the kids with the Easter Eggs. Making Memories indeed 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! Holidays always have memories attached to them, and it is great when someone with a camera is around to capture the moment.

      Most of the buildings have been restored these days, but I remember them in a worse state, and even in decay. A few textures and brushes helped me to go back in time 🙂

  2. Picturesque buildings. I’m seeing you had a great Easter. We didn’t have any because nobody was up to doing something. Oh well, too much of routine.

    1. I didn’t have any Easter, Inese 🙂 Wasn’t feeling well, went to Church, and then to bed with a book. I took pictures of the houses in Liepaja, in 2013. There is an old park that was planted some 40 years before the houses were built. I was staying with a friend that summer and did a lot of traveling. I will post something from that trip soon.

  3. I read your words about the events in Belgium with a heavy heart, Inese, and agree that the only word for it is ‘Evil’.
    Your post about Easter memories was lovely. These wonderful, family occasions always trigger fond thoughts of yesteryear in us – especially for those of us with more than a few years to think about! Your photos are fantastic! The one with your aunt is a real treasure and those of the old houses are so interesting – amazing designs.
    I read about the use of onion skins in decorating eggs when I was writing my own post about Easter eggs. I didn’t delve into methods of decorating them, though, because there are so many, especially around European countries. The onion skin method is fascinating.
    Regarding the Cadbury’s Cream Eggs… I’m told the change in taste is because it simply isn’t Cadbury’s chocolate any more! How disastrous is that! It happened after an American company took over Cadbury’s. A big fuss was made over it in this country last year – petitions signed and so on. I don’t know why this company has done this, but changing to an inferior chocolate was not a popular move with long-time Cadbury lovers in Britain.
    I hope you had a lovely happy Easter. Summer will soon be here now. Yippee! 🙂

  4. Actually, I read another post today where somebody mentioned dyeing eggs with onion skins. I’d never heard of it before. We used to use food dyes. At least, I think that’s what they were. (I was pretty young at the time.) Rolling the eggs down the hill was fun too, but the best of all was eating them at the end.

  5. Oh, I missed this Easter post but glad I found it today! What wonderful memories you have with your aunt – love the picture of you and all the old houses. The children are adorable. I miss having little ones to dye eggs. I made my children dye eggs until they were in high school. Now even my grandson is too old to dye eggs but I did pull out a few old baskets for Easter. A lovely Easter post.

    1. Thank you so much! Holidays always trigger memories.
      You are right, it won’t be long before the interest for the egg dying fades away 🙂

  6. Lovely memories with beautiful images! Sadly the Easter this year ruined by people with no tolerance and with greed to power by threatening others, the bombing also happened in Pakistan on Easter day – which was targeting Christians Pakistanis who celebrated Easter 😦 Sometimes I am not sure anymore what is going on in this world.

    1. Yes, it is so terrible – these Pakistani Christians didn’t do any wrong to no one. I know people of many nations, and I am only happy to celebrate their holidays with them. What is wrong with people I don’t know, if they can take away someone’s life that easy.

  7. A belated Happy Easter to you, Inese, although it’s still officially Easter for several weeks yet in the Church calendar. I’ve been so busy with music the last week, plus singing at a funeral today, that I’m only got around to reading your post now.

    By the way, I’m married to an organist. This means sharing the house with all manner of keyboard instruments (a three-manual organ, harpsichord, virginal, theatre organ, and piano!).

    My mother used to give us big shiny cardboard Easter eggs with pictures on them and put gifts inside them, like yellow fluffy chicks and a few chocs and maybe a threepence or two!

    Thank you for your lovely post. And, by the way, I think you look very like your Aunt.

    1. Happy Easter, Sarah! If you are married to an organist, you sure know the Bach’s song I have just posted. It is one of my favorite pieces of music. You are so lucky being surrounded with all these instruments! I used to live in the city where they have free organ concerts every Sunday afternoon – some 45 minutes of music. I will write about this place some day.

      It is so wonderful that you sing in Church. My daughter and I, and a small group of friends sang on my mother’s funeral, and it is a beautiful and cherished memory.

      Thank you for the memory about the cardboard egg! How could I forget? My mother taught me how to make these eggs from the old postcards and yarn. I will google, and hopefully find the pattern.
      Have a wonderful week! xx

      1. I used to be a cantor at my last church, plus sing solos at weddings and funerals. I also did solo lunchtime song recitals. But then I had a series of throat viruses that left my voice not as strong and lower in pitch. I’m now a mezzo rather than high soprano, and sing in a 4-part choir, as well as training the junior choristers. I enjoy encouraging the next generation to sing. Two of my original choristers that started with me when they were aged 7, are now choral scholars, so I’m very proud of them.
        You have a wonderful week, too. xxxx

  8. Happy Easter, Inese. In the Anglican church, this post-Easter period is Eastertide, so since I missed your post earlier, I should now wish you a happy Eastertide. Thanks for sharing the lovely Easter memories with us.

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