All my “good eggs” have scattered this year.
My husband’s in Saudi Arabia. My daughters are in route to Chandler to visit their father. My sons have holed up at their respective residences. My oldest, I hope, will spend the day resting from a busy tax season… while my youngest, if I had to guess, is working on book number seven of his science fiction series.
Which means, in part, that the approach of Easter has never felt less Easter-ish. I had no big meal planned. No special dessert. No company invited. So it comes as no surprise, I think, that I should wake up today… waffling on whether or not to attend church. In the end, I went. Not out of guilt, though. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I attend only when I want to.
Today ended up being more than a “wanting to” sort of day. Today, I needed to go. Maybe because the day began too much like any ordinary week day. Meaning, I woke up early, as I usually do. I did a little housekeeping. I fed my dogs and then myself…. and worked through some assigned reading until it was time to get ready for church.
And here, even needing to go, I fumbled at the commitment line. I don’t know why except that it’s likely tied up with my introverted nature, but I find it difficult to go anywhere by myself. Today, to avoid going solo, I sent out a “Hail Mary” toss of a last-minute text to my youngest son… inviting him to come with me. Only when he didn’t respond, did I give in and go by myself.
I arrived to a full parking lot, snagged one of the last two programs for the service, and squeezed into an empty space big enough for one. In other words, I was far from being alone. And by the time I walked out the old cathedral where I worship — more weekends than not — Easter had found me.
When Kyle and I connected three hours later, he caught me preparing a traditional Easter ham luncheon for one. He quickly apologized for not getting my invitation in time…while I was just as quick to assure him that all was well. We didn’t visit but a minute — just enough time for him to turn down my offer of lunch. “I don’t know why,” he said. “But it just doesn’t sound good to me.” And enough time for me to turn down his invitation to go to an unnamed movie. “No need,” I said. “Thanks though.”
It strikes me that it takes a lot of love within a relationship for the parties to feel free enough — free of guilt or whatever, I can’t say — to speak a simple “no, thanks” to one another. Lord knows I am not hurt by Kyle not wanting to come over for lunch (or be available to go to church with me, for that matter); Why I’d rather him come only when he wants to come… and the same goes for all my other good eggs, as well. I pray Kyle feels the same about me declining his invitation to the movies. By the same token, I believe God feels the same way about me and my fair-weather attendance at weekend worship services. Surely, God wants me there… only when I want to be there.
Funny thing about today, though. I ended up making a nice traditional Easter lunch for myself, even without a big meal plan. I ended up inviting Kyle to join me, even though it didn’t work out. And while I had no plans for dessert, somehow, I found myself making one.
I’m not sure when the latter decision happened. Maybe it was on my drive home from church. I only know that whenever the idea found me, it came softly and fully formed, as if there all the while, a colorful Easter egg lying in soft, green grass, just waiting for my notice. Because as soon as I walked in the door, I was ready to bake a coconut cream pie.
It didn’t matter that I had no homemade pie crust ready for use. Nor did it matter when I discovered only one egg remaining in the refrigerator. No, I wasn’t about to give up my favorite dessert, the one that most reminds me of Mother and all the many wonderful Easter lunches that I’ve been privileged to experience. In the spirit of serving a Easter luncheon for one, I simply decided to cut the recipe in half. I mixed up half the cream filling, made do with the graham cracker crust that Mother actually preferred, and served it up in ramekins. They turned out so pretty I think I’ll do it again sometime.
It seems that all I needed for Easter to be Easter… was one good egg.
Coconut Cream Pie
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Separate egg white from yolk — set aside yolk for pie filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high until foamy — add sugar gradually, beating until stiff and glossy. Set aside.
One 9″ Baked Pie Shell
Graham Cracker Crust – Mix 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbsp sugar, 3 Tbsps melted butter. Form into crust and bake at 375 degress for 7 to 8 minutes.
3 egg yolks
3 cups milk (I use 5 oz of Carnation Evaporated Milk mixed with milk from my refrigerator, usually 2 percent)
1/3 cup cornstarch – scant (minus 1 tsp)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/8 tsp vanilla
2 tsp coconut flavoring
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
In a bowl, hand mix eggs yolks with milk, then set aside. In a large sauce pan, mix all dry ingredients with a whisk. Stir in milk-egg mixture. Mix well and heat on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken in 5 to 7 minutes. When thickened, add flavorings, butter and coconut, mixing well. Remove from heat.
Pour filling into baked pie shell, top with meringue, then lightly sprinkle with coconut flakes. Bake in a 375 oven for 5-7 minutes, watching closely, until golden browned.
Missing you my friend! Enjoyed reading about your day. Happy Easter!
Happy Easter, to you, too! Would you believe I’m still editing this post? I’m so out of practice with my writing. Been thinking about you and Litha, off and on this week.. maybe because, it’s been a year today since we set sail on our cruise. Pondering a lot of my life these last few days. It feels similar to being on spiritual retreat. Being alone…and yet, not alone.
We are looking forward to October…. Think we’re going to rent a beach house for the week! Love you.
Annie McCauley said:
Loved your post. We talked about you this week. I am at my mom’s for the last week. Spontaneous trip driving from the east coast. He’d home tomorrow. My sister lives here in Denver also so had a great time playing cards and eating. You know my mom is a great cook. Had brisket today so good. Sorry you had to enjoy Easter alone. I agree about the church attendance. Jesus is with us everywhere and every day.
A spontaneous visit and road trip sounds perfect, Annie. I don’t know why I don’t give into the grace of spontaneity more often. I’ll consider this another thing to ponder. Lords knows, I have plenty of time to do this while Don’s away. He’s due back May 2nd.
Glad you are having a good visit. It’s nice to find myself one of the subjects that you and your mom visited over. Tell her I said hello…. and ask her whether pizza is on the menu this week!
May you enjoy the balance of your time together. Happy Easter, my friend.
SE Pagach said:
I hadn’t expected much from Easter either this year. It hasn’t been the same since my mom passed. No big plans. But a friend from work had an extra Ham and it just developed from there. Even my husband, who isn’t a church goer went with me and the boys. Wonderful day.
I’m sorry to hear of your loss. So sorry.
Please know that your sharing of words, and Annie’s words from above also, underline for me the grace that pours forth from spontaneity. I’m glad you enjoyed your day, and that you took time…. here… to share your loss and yesterday’s unexpected pleasure.
You’ll remain in my thoughts and prayers…
Happy Easter season to you! It’s always good to see a post from you. It’s too bad I didn’t know you were alone yesterday. You could have joined a friend and me on our picnic. We drove down to Colony Lakes, stopped by Nash prairie, then went over to East Columcia. We’d brought along a picnic lunch of chicken salad, cold veggie salad, and strawberries Romanoff.
Eventually, we found the perfect place for a picnic – right on the covered patio of the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian church. There was a bench there, and it did perfectly well. The weather was perfect – light breezes, blue skies, mild temperatures. There were birds and butterflies, and not a person anywhere in sight, except for one old fellow who drove by in his pickup and gave us that wonderful, two-finger Texas wave of acknowledgement.
Now, I’ll start my week this morning with a trip into Houston to let the eye doc check my glaucoma. Then, it’s work every hour possible. The whole week’s going to be perfect weather, and I’ve a lot of catching up to do from this winter.
I hope all of your day was lovely, and that the coming weeks give you plenty of enjoyment in the garden.
Your Easter picnic sounds perfectly glorious, Linda. Being outdoors, surrounded by nature… with a good friend and good food. Who could want for more?
But what is this… about your eyes? I didn’t know. How are you doing with this? You make it sound so routine… I hope that it is.
Thanks for all the good cheer and lovely hopes you’ve sent my way. One can never have too many of these…. nor prayers, for that matter, spoken on our behalf.
A lovely story on love, commitment, and good memories. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Thank you… for encouraging words and your visit.