We did it at Halloween and then Christmas. We thought we’d do it at Easter. And so we did. Not as grandiose as at Christmastime, but effective nonetheless. And we did it to raise money once again for the hospice where our neighbour Eddie works and Mimz volunteers. Good people doing good work. Besides, what is Easter without a little colour after all the lights and decorations at Christmas and the long, grey winter in between?
And bless Poundland (Dollar Stores back in Canada) for providing cheap, but colourful, decorations for the event. Not that they gave us anything. We had to buy it all. I say we. I mean my best friend and Mimz. Eddie and I just let them get on with it. Then, when it’s all done, we sit back with a rum and coke admiring our joint effort and congratulate ourselves for giving moral support throughout the venture.
We can only do all this because we live in a marina. Out on the canal would prove difficult. We have space to work with at the end of our boats. And there were lights….solar lights. Bunnies, dragonflies (very Eastery) and bumblebees. But you can only see them at night. We also put lights (solar) around the ugly wi-fi pole at the end of our jetty. That’ll show ’em.
Easter hasn’t the same meaning for me as it once had when I followed the Christian path. I have an old friend who knew me when I was a preacher’s kid, then a preacher and laments my decision to give it all up for lent….and then forever. I don’t miss any of it. My friend has tried his best to get me back into the fold, but we had to finally agree to disagree and I’m pleased to say we’re still friends. I think we have a lasting affinity because many years ago we paddled a canoe across a stretch of water on Lake Ontario to the then incomplete Pickering Nuclear Power Station.
It was an illegal incursion. We went ashore and walked about the facility. No one was around. This was the late 1960s. The project began in 1966 but wasn’t completed until 1986, so maybe things weren’t as classified as they are today. Still, our hearts were in our mouths during the whole time. And there were signs telling us to keep out and that trespassers would be prosecuted.
Back to Easter. Every year it coincides with the Jewish Passover. The Jewish calendar is different to the Gregorian calendar the rest of us use. But at Easter we adapt because, well, Jesus was Jewish and was killed around Passover. And that is as religious as this Blog will get. The rest is all bunnies and Easter Eggs and fun stuff everyone can enjoy. Except me….I’m on a diet of sorts. No sweets, no alcohol and no bread products. Got to lose a ton o’ blubber.
I love chocolate. This Easter has been particularly hard with all the chocolate about. I love breaking open those hollow chocolate eggs and scarfing down each piece greedily. The only way I know how. That didn’t stop us from distributing chocolate eggs to passersby. As my best friend and I were going to be away over Easter, we only had Good Friday and Easter Monday to man the buckets gathering donations for the Hospice and distributing eggs.
There was more than just Easter decorations along the back ends of our boats. People love the plants we display and the kids love all the various windmills, glittery whirlers, dancing daisies, owls and ladybugs. We have it all. Lots of positive comments. It does the heart good. With all the strangeness and rubbish going on all over the world these days, a small haven for fun, respect and generosity are just the ticket.
One particularly noteworthy item is the kids that came by with their parents. Not one of them on the two days we help patrol was greedy or rude. They all thanked us….in fact seemed surprised that such a thing was possible, free chocolate….and never grabbed for more than one offering. A few of the children even wished us a Happy Easter without any parental prompting. Donations were given without any asking. It was an Easter miracle.
All we adults had to do was sit in our chairs by the boats, sip our rum and cokes (yes, I know, diet was on suspension….at least I didn’t eat any chocolate) and gossip about this and that. A good time was had by all. Even me. I was manning the wall on Easter Monday. People were as amused by my Canadian accent as they were about being offered chocolate. But, again, everyone was polite. I guess the English haven’t lost that bit of tradition after all.
And so we’ve now done Halloween, Christmas and Easter. The only problem we face is where to store all the stuff for the next round. And Mimz and my best friend keep adding to the collection from the post-celebrations sales. We’ve had to hire a shared storage garage nearby just to house all the stuff. If we ever move from here, gawd only knows what we’ll do with it all. Probably set up our own Poundland.