And now for a recap of Easter/Edie’s Baptism weekend where everything went as planned, including the part where our deep freeze went out on Saturday night with a house full of company, forcing my husband, dad and father-in-law to unload a chest freezer full of hamburger, frozen pizzas and elk meat into every other available frozen space on the ranch at 11 pm…
Because it’s not a holiday around here until we experience a few mild crises.
Did I ever tell you about the time my mom lit a kitchen towel on fire while hosting my friends for a Junior prom supper?
No? Well, we’ll talk about that another time…
Coming Home: Easter weekend at the ranch a thing of beauty, in spite of the wrinkles
by Jessie Veeder
We had a beautiful Easter weekend at the ranch. The family on both sides gathered to celebrate baby Edie’s baptism. We all dressed in our Sunday best and even got out the door early enough to get the church pews of our choice.
And despite my worries, the baby’s chubby arms fit into her 100-year-old heirloom baptism gown and she only sorta cried in church, but only after the pastor tried to give her back to me, which really looked good in front of Jesus and the congregation. That’s why we rehearsed it.
I’m feeling so good about it all I decided to leave out the part where I nearly divorced my husband in front of that same Jesus and congregation when, during the church welcome, the baby started squirming and he informed me that he remembered to pack the milk, but failed to pack the bottle.
Apparently I declared, “That bottle was going to get us through this!” loudly and angrily enough that my sister-in-law two pews behind us started to worry for our family status. But all I could think of at the time was the dress I flung on in my frenzied attempt to get out the door in time wasn’t made for a woman with my, er, baby-feeding lifestyle. Which meant, during communion, you could find me sitting on a folding chair in the bathroom with that dress hiked up to my neck feeding my squirmy baby, desperately trying not to soil or rip that heirloom gown. Because we still needed to get pictures.
Back at the ranch, we all gathered together, looking forward to cake and homemade kuchen, ham, beans and two types of cheesy potatoes. The weather was beautiful, we were going to dye eggs and snuggle the baby.
But first, the annual Easter egg hunt.
Crap. In my distracted attempt to make the house presentable by eradicating the dust bunnies and dead spring flies on the windowsills, I forgot about the Easter egg hunt.
Which means I didn’t notice that the Christmas tree was still sitting on the deck, one lonesome red bulb left dangling from a bottom branch. We went out to take a family photo and my husband, suddenly inspired to do some spring cleaning, removed it from the stand and flung it off the deck and onto the lawn where piles of horse poop and a fine assortment of sticks and bones that the dogs have been collecting all winter waited.
My yard, still a nice shade of early spring brown, looked like the before photo from one of those yard renovation shows on HGTV, only worse because I doubt anyone would dare send in a photo of a pink Easter egg hiding underneath an old deer leg the dogs drug up from the coulee.
And only in my world, on this ranch, would my brother-in-law/Easter Bunny find it hilarious to hide an egg in the middle of one of those piles of road apples.
And only in my family would the kids be completely unfazed by picking up their plastic, candy-filled egg from a pile of poop.
And only in my column will you read about so much poop.
Needless to say I was horrified, but no one was surprised. I might have forgotten to landscape for the big day (and by landscaping I mean throwing all those bones, sticks and shovels full of poop over the fence and into the trees where they belong), but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. In two hours, those dogs would have located their loot and brought it all home again.
There are just some things out here that aren’t worth trying to control.
Because in the mess there are moments. Moments after the perfect ham is carved, the cake cut, the dishes piled up and our bellies filled where the chaos sounds like laughter, feels like a baby strapped to the carrier on my chest and looks like fun and freedom and love attached to aunts and uncles, grammas and grampas on the end of kites running up the road trying to catch the wind.
And when you’re looking at something like that, the wrinkles, the forgotten things, the mud and the road apples just blend right in to create a beautiful weekend at the ranch.
*Some photos stolen from Little Sister’s camera 🙂
Beautiful photos, Jessie. Happy Easter!
Beautiful family you’re very blessed to be surrounded by. And the little guy in the suit jacket, ADORABLE! He has the most amazing eyes. Found your blog recently. Glad I did! Gives me a glimpse of what I’m missing and can’t have. So, thank you. Keep on doing what you’re doing!