The date, everybody, was March 30, 2010.
It was five days before Easter, and the emails began firing.
“Mom’s worried about the weather. Would you guys be okay with postponing ’til next Sunday?”
And I was all, “Hell YEAH let’s do it!” because that meant one less trip on the Lancaster Easter Sunday Tour with the kids.
Then all of the sudden, there was this:
“Let’s have Chinese Food like we did for Dad’s birthday.”
And there was a collective, “Huh?,” followed by a round of “whatever is easiest for Grandma” and “who’s bringing what?”
My niece, who works at a supermarket bakery, made this cake for us after finding out we were having Chinese food for Easter dinner.
All in all, it took about 6,479 emails to finalize the plans. Easter Sunday fun and fodder would in fact NOT be on Easter Sunday but would be a week later so the weather could get nicer and everyone would be bringing Chinese Food.
Then the real Easter Sunday came, and the weather really wasn’t all that bad until late in the day. Oh well. Me and the boys had ham and stuffing and bread rolls and all of what Benny would call “Big Easter Bites.” It was the perfect end to the perfect weekend.
Then Mother Nature decided she wanted to pee all over our plans.
The date, everybody, was April 8, 2010.
It was three days before “Chinese Easter Sunday” (or “Gung Hay Fat Bunny,” or “Easter Egg Foo Young Day,” depending on who you talked to), and the weather people were talking storms again.
“Mom’s worried about the weather . . . shall we postpone again? Or how about having it on Saturday instead?”
And I was all, “Oh, HELL no. It didn’t even rain all that bad LAST WEEKEND. And Saturday is out because the LOML and I are going out for our anniversary and that starts at 4:30pm when we drop the boys off at his mom’s house. I love you all, but I’m not missing that deadline. Mama needs a break from the kids. Let’s keep Chinese Easter for this Sunday.”
Everyone else pretty much agreed and the plans were set. It only took 2,136 emails to get that together.
Then came Chinese Easter Sunday Eve.
“Kathy . . . I’m worried about the rain . . .”
“Oh, mom! It won’t be that bad! The rain probably won’t start until after two. We’ll be fine. Everything’s gonna be fiiiine.”
And there it was. I promised my mom good weather and I’m not even certified by the American Meteorologists Society to make that call.
Then, Saturday night after we got home from our date, the LOML and I watched the news.
“This storm system is going to bring a significant amount of rain. And wind gusts of up to 25 miles per hour . . . starting around 10am on Sunday . . .”
Well, they were WRONG.
It rained at Noon. Hard. ALL DAY LONG.
But that’s okay. It made for quite the scene in my mom’s 974 square foot house. This brought “party in the old lady’s house that was a shoe” to a whole new level.
"Can we come out now? Can we? Can we come out? NOW?"
Remember in the Charlie Brown cartoons, how the kids would descend upon the food and punch table at the dances and there would be this temporary cloud of dust and a few seconds later the tables would be empty and even the punch bowl would be gone? Yep. It was JUST LIKE THAT.
There were the grown-ups (about 30 of us), the kids (what felt like 627, and DON’T YOU DARE GET WATER ON ONE for fear of them multiplying), and then the Chinese Food. It made for quite the explosion of screaming, crying, and tantrum-throwing. And that was just the guys watching the Laker game.
Then there was, of course, wine. My mom said, “Start drinking now because it’s going to get ugly soon.” Meaning that once all of the kids showed up, they had no place to go but in the next room and ALL HELL WAS ABOUT TO BREAK LOOSE because it was raining AND THE KIDS HAD NO PLACE TO GO BUT IN THE NEXT ROOM and we didn’t want them to play in the rain because they MULTIPLY LIKE GREMLINS WHEN THEY GET WET. And it was LOUD. Kinda like having a Chuck E. Cheese party in your house, only without Skee-ball and the crappy pizza and all of the random acts of violence.
"You take one down, pass it around . . . something something bottles of wine on the wall . . ."
Of course, when you add beer and other liquor to the mix, you get pictures like the one below.
I said, "Let's get a picture of Dad with his oldest grandsons," and this is what I got. A picture of Dad and his oldest grandsons. Notice, though, that grandson #1 (left) has photo-crashers growing from his armits. (My brothers Steve and Tom.)
All in all, it was an awesome day, even with all the screaming and crying. I got some fantastic pictures (like the one below), and was able to spend Chinese Easter Sunday with just about all of my family.
I love LOVE this image. One of two favorites of the day. This is my nephew Xavier, and he's waiting for the rain to stop so he can hunt Easter eggs. Don't you just WANT TO SQUEEZE HIS CHEEKS?!
So after we got into the truck, the LOML was all, “Are you guys tired?”, and they were all, “NOOOO!”, and then this is what they looked like before we reached the end of the block:
Oh, STOP IT. They may look cute in this picture but you didn't see them after I told them it was time to take a bath.