One good thing about living in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania is that I am very close to family. My cousin, Ann, invited me for Easter dinner as I wrote before when explaining the Easter bonnet. Her Easter dinner is on Saturday and not Sunday to accommodate travel and work. I was tasked with two loaves of Italian bread and hors d’oeuvre, not to mention wearing the hat. So Saturday morning I did my hors d’oeuvre, went to the store for bread, and started on my way to Middlebury, Connecticut, about 2 hours due east. Of course I was early — always am (my son-in-law Dave has said to Rachel on many occasions, “Of course she’s early, it’s your mother!”). In my defense, Ann did tell me to come early so we could visit before the rest of her family arrived. And, Aunt Viola and I would have a chance to catch up. She’s an amazing 98 years old and a delight to visit with. I arrived at Ann’s door at about noon and it was oddly quiet. I grabbed all the goodies and put on my hat and knocked on the front door. Moments later, here appeared Ann in her pajamas, robe and slippers, an interesting counterpoint to me in my fancy chapeau. Mercifully no one was there to take a photo, so we waited until Ann had finished her cooking and cleaning chores and preserved our moment for posterity so that her sister, Barbara, would know that I did indeed wear the hat!
In a very short while the house was full of Ann’s family — three daughters, two sons-in-law, three grandchildren — noisy and comfortable. They are a wonderful family and welcomed me as if I had come there for years. The grandchildren were delightful, fun and so personable. Ann served a fabulous Italian dinner mid-afternoon, a table of 12, everyone talking and laughing. It was such a treat for me to see them and meet them that I didn’t even mind modeling the hat for whoever walked in the door. What to do with the hat now? We decided that the hat would be passed down to the next person who would wear it — that was the lovely Amelia, dancer extraordinaire! Amelia is now the caretaker of the hat and next year she will choose the next person to have the hat.
Ann and Aunt Viola sent me on my way with Aunt Viola’s famous cookies and before I knew it I was home, calling Ann to tell her I arrived safely, and feeling very lucky to have had such a wonderful day!