Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Austria calling. Courtesy of Heinz, these pictures were of lovely Vienna and Saltzburg, Austria, were emailed to me. They seem to speak Easter and the loveliness of Springtime. Ah...the Spring. Too bad its frigid as hell outside here in Pennsylvania. It snowed yesterday morning, with about an inch accumulation, in my area. However it quickly melted, once the temperature rose a few degrees, but its still chilly outside today.

I've never been to Austria, but I hope someday to travel across the pond again and visit Europe. The UK was wonderful and unfortunately I was only in France long enough to say I was there. Alas, that's the trouble with traveling as a high school exchange student, you never have enough time to do proper sightseeing.

Traveling is one of my favorite passions. I love visiting different places and experiencing life through the culture of someone else. I have to, like I admitted to Heinz, I'm a bit ignorant when it comes to detailed knowledge about some European countries. My awareness regarding Austria is limited to Mozart, the Von Trappe Family, that it was a part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the crucial role the assassination of the Archduke jump-started World War I. Actually, that's plenty information for the average American. We tend to be a be self-absorbed. That's not a put down, be who doesn't have cultural pride. it's just a statement of fact, right? Most people I know personally, hate studying American history, let alone any other country's history. Me? I adore studying history, so much so, I had higher marks in college in those courses than my major.

When Heinz sent me these photos as a cheer-me-up while I was sick, it brought warm memories of Spring. Yes, I love the springtime. Warmth returning to Earth, days getting longer, the promise that Summer soon will be here...the Spring holidays like Easter open doors to life's past. Things, when remembered, that put a broad smile across my face.

Each Spring, I used to go with Miss T to get flowers, herbs, and vegetables to plant in a garden. It was tradition. I maintained the veggies and herbs, while she did most of the flowering plants. Each year I would search out a different type mint tea or some creative vegetable I hadn't planted the previous Spring. I'd grow squash, pumpkins, zucchini, patio tomatoes, acid-free tomatoes, antique tomatoes, string beans, cabbage... you name it. It was exhilarating! My favorite thing to do in Spring and Summer is to have my hands elbow deep in dirt!

So, what does planting and dirt have to do with Easter? The promise of life reborn, renewal of the spirit...gee, doesn't it sound just like Easter? Let's not forget Easter is built upon the renewal of life and the sacrifices Jesus made for mankind. I won't mention the pagan holiday of Ishtar, but keep in mind people have been celebrating hope and rebirth for thousands of years. Still, there are certain Christian traditions that never go away.

Last night I watched the 10 Commandments with mi familia, an annual tradition I gladly participated in. It's been a few years since I actually came home to share Easter festivities with my family instead of friends.

What surprised me was how a movie that I enamoured as a child, bored me to tears as an adult. The 10 Commandments was and is a cinematic masterpiece, yet I never realized exactly how terrible the acting was until my niece pointed it out, then my eyes were opened. I started dissecting each actor's performance. Even the great Yul Brenner seemed over the top. (Mind you, I won't say anything about Mister "Not From My Dead Cold Hand." His cheesy acting goes without saying. Damn you! Damn you all to Hell!)

My nominee for Hammiest 10 Commandments Actor Award, though, goes to the actress who played the Israelite woman who screamed "Ah! The Chariots! Run, run." when the Israelites were feeling the Pharaoh's army crossing the Red Sea. Oy! Such acting talent. ¡Ay Dios Mio! LOL.

OK, I promise to behave myself now.

Today I plan to sit around the table with my folks, sister, niece & nephew and graze...ahem, eat well. No one in my family is big on eating the traditional Easter ham dinner, so we'll be dining on seafood, namely lobster tails, fish, and scallops. Mmmm. I forget when my family started this tradition, but it's one variation to Easter traditions I can live with! Of course there are some traditions I won't allow to die. We'll be having that old African American dinner staple of macaroni and cheese (served at every holiday) too. And just to be clear, not that crap out of the box, the kind somebody's mama slaved over the stove and baked for an hour or more. Y'all know what I'm talkin' about!

Easter will be about the joy in my heart at being home with family who love and care about me. It'll be spiritual too, but on a personal level I find difficult to describe. In any case, I hope however you celebrate today, I hope Renewal of Spirit, in however you wish to interpret that meaning, is within.

I bid you peace. Happy Holiday.

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While this blog is not really intended to show adult content, I can't guarantee that an occasional image of male nudity won't appear. Be advised that this blog is intended to be read by people with an open mind. I don't claim any rights to the images nor do I have any knowledge of the sexuality of persons featured (unless they are openly gay...duh). Enjoy yourself and take a small step in my every day life and pondering... Feel free to email any comments or opinions.

President Barack Obama!