Springtime in Minnesota

Ah.. nothing better than Springtime in Minnesota when you are a little kid. Except maybe for Summer. But we’ll get to that a little later.

I would love to feel the balmy 42 degree March sunshine on my face. It was a time of being able to unzip the snorkel jacket down halfway, watch the snow melt and dream about Easter Vacation.

We made a big deal out of Lent, from Ash Wednesday to the Wednesday evening gatherings at Faith Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, just a few blocks from my grandparents home.

Palm Sunday was fun and triumphant, after a fairly gloomy Lent season. The organ music at church matched the mood of the clouds and black snow banks. By the time the palms were waving and we were singing “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”, there was hope in the air.

As a child, the Maundy Thursday/Good Friday pairing was a quick departure from the the waving branches, but I treasured the time we had with friends and my beloved grandparents. That church was our second home, and we loved it.

When Daylight Savings Time fell on the same day as Easter, I am not sure who it tortured more, the parents or the children. I am thinking the folks, as they to do all the work. Not to mention be at the church for sunrise service at 6:30 am.

My sister and I were half awake as we sniffed our basket of confections, and while no parent was thrilled about kids having candy during church, they quickly realized it was the only thing that kept them from dozing off. Even the gorgeous sanctuary full of Easter lilies and the trumpets blaring “Christ the Lord Has Risen Today” could only keep the eyes open so long.

Little girls would compare dresses and white patent leather shoes. Little boys pretended they weren’t dressed up at all. And after a healthy dose of pancakes in the Lutheran Church basement kinda way, the wagons headed home for naps.

My Grandma Barker loved Springtime in Minnesota. I have fond memories of biking over to their house and seeing the joy in her big blue eyes as she showed me the new tulip leaves beginning to poke through in her garden. It was a little surprise party for her every year, and I felt honored to be a part of it.

By the time May rolled around, she loved to load my little bike basket up with freshly cut Lily of the Valley.  She would soak a paper towel in water, and carefully wrap them in foil for my journey back home. To this day, they are my favorite flower, and that scent reminds me so much of her. I finally found a perfume that has that delicate scent, and I only wear it in May. Diorissimo.

As Spring rolled in, so did the weddings, and as Lutheran Church kids we helped our moms with catering. Two of the best recipes from that era that you absolutely must try are The Absolute Best Turkey Salad on the Planet and the Sherbet Punch. Happy Springtime in Minnesota!

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