Good Grief!  Polar Fleece and long johns, peeps and bunnies with frost on their little noses…er…beaks…er …whatever.  Deep frozen chocolate eggs and jelly beans, rock-hard marshmallow anything.  How crazy has this season been so far?  This is Spring from the old days, the ones where hardy ancestors walked two miles to school every day, uphill both ways, rain or shine, tunneling through drifts, carrying brown-bag lunches that only contained fatback on biscuits but weighed  five pounds, not including the fifteen-pound bookbag.  Those were the days!

Yeah, right.

I’ve been trying to keep ahead of the birds–and the squirrels–outside, but it’s been nip-and-tuck to provide essential calories for returning snow birds (not you Floridians).  The finches are beginning to get their gold on and I  had spotted a pair of bluebirds in the side yard.  They seem to have taken notice of the special bluebird food that went out for them. Either that or the squirrels have turned carnivorous.  Danger!  Danger!

Bluebirds are apparently quite picky about their food and lodging.  I’ve given up on the thought of setting out bluebird houses.   All of the pamphlets I’ve ever seen are very specific about what direction the entrance holes on the houses have to be facing, what size they must be, how their little domiciles have to be cleaned on a regular schedule.  Tell me, who cleans house for them when people aren’t around?  Not that I can’t relate to a creature which would like someone else to do the tidying-up….

Anyway, at least one weather person claims that by Saturday and Sunday (Easter) the sun should be out and the temperature into the fifties, or thereabouts.  Believe it when you see it. You can choose your Easter finery this year based on what will look fetching in long- sleeved wool.

I can remember when my mother made all of our Easter stuff.  She did the important items–dresses, coats, etc.–but we had to go to town for shoes, which was a whole ’nother thing.  We went to Brenner’s Shoes to get outfitted, one of those little mom-n-pop stores that had an X-ray gizmo so that you could look at your feet…bones …right there…inside your shoes!  It’s a wonder that our feet don’t all glow in the dark to this day, considering the amount of radiation that thing probably put out, totally unshielded, all for the entertainment of kids watching their toe bones wiggle in that glowy/shadowy box.(Actually, it’s been a while since I checked out my feet in the dark, so maybe I could use them as nightlights in a pinch)

Not that it made a whole lot of difference in the fit.  All of us girls took after Dad in the foot department…LARGE.  Mom wore a five-and-a-half.  Dad was a twelve-and-a-half, with a bunch of E’s along for the ride.  Put those in your Mary Janes, honey.  Unless the X-ray machine was going to shrink our feet, there was no hope.  Saddle oxfords pretty much ruled the roost and there was no such thing as wide in girls’ shoes in them there days, so at one time I was afflicted with kicks that were sized at ten-and-a-half or eleven.  On rainy Easters I could row myself home from church.

Hats, now that’s a different story.  Mom could sew anything, just about–we had the best cow blankets at the fair; her sewing machine was a trooper–but I don’t remember hats, unless they were tie-on bows of some sort.  We–my sisters and I, charmers all, I’m sure–mostly had braids…pigtails…plaits…of Mom’s own design–no French frippery, here, by gum, which made fitting a hat rather challenging.  Later, when I went off to college, we were required to have a hat–and gloves–to attend the President’s Tea.  Imagine trying to enforce THAT now-a-days!  Anyway, I went to what was one of the first shopping malls in the area, to the O’Neil’s (Remember them?) store, which had a hat department.  The saleslady asked me what size I wore and I hadn’t a clue, so she got out a measuring tape to get the figures.   She put the tape around my head–I think that she gasped–then called out to another saleslady, “Ethel (or Frieda or Grace or something), come look at this!”  Now there’s a confidence-builder for an eighteen-year-old!  So everyone in the department hurried over to view my skull and offer suggestions on what to do about finding a hat that would FIT it( The braids were gone by then, thank goodness).  I think that this was another case of strong paternal genes;  Dad wore a size seven and five-eighths.

The little brown number that went home with me–and on to the President’s Tea–had some feathers but not much else.  Heaven only knows where it is now.  I haven’t worn any hat  that doesn’t come down over my ears in ages.  I could donate it to the Smithsonian as a national treasure.

Hey, anyplace that would keep Judy Garland’s ruby slippers might appreciate it.