Sometimes, living in a hometown your whole life can become routine and boring. Luckily, my imagination can turn any street, block, or event into a journey into another world. So join me on an adventure in my hometown.
I love Easter in Ardmore. Driving round seeing the crocus flowers beginning to emerge, pushing through the almost barren earth, dotting yards with their vibrant yellow, pale lavendar, or baby pink hints of spring. But without fail, Easter in Ardmore brings back memories. Memories of waking up early Easter morning, tip toeing down the hallway, turning past our dining room, and finding colorful baskets overflowing with shimmering green grass, colored eggs, a stuffed bunny, and ofcourse...chocolate! Our Easter bunny rocked! Our Easter bunny hid eggs all through the house, outside, under bushes, in trees, in the drain pipe, and anywhere else that could be tricky to find. Our eggs were filled with the treasures of childhood. M & M's and hershey kisses, gummy worms and bears, little marshmellow peeps of yellow and pink. As we got older, our bunny kept up with the times and hid dollar bills amidst the candy. My sister and I, even just a year back, still hunt Easter eggs. Ofcourse, now its more of a football style attempt to knock one another into a shrub!
But the Easter of our youth included Sunday service at many of the churches in Ardmore; Christ Community Church, Ardmore Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, and the Episcopal Church. Those Sundays seeing the various churches decorated with Easter Lillies, the sounds of bells, raised voices sharing a hope for this day. And ofcourse, following church came lunch!
My Me-Me and Me-Maw would prepare fried chicken, creamed corn, green beans canned from the previous summer, beets, cornbread and ofcourse, pie! As they got older, we found local eateries of the day whose kitchens seemed more like someone's family home in the love and care that went into every plate of food. Some years it was Dornick Hills, where another Easter egg hunt would commence; little kids had easy eggs to find and the bigger kids, it was all out war to claim the egg! Other years, we would find our way to "The Gourmet" having food that spoke to your soul. Some may remember that once upon a time, the Holiday Inn had ice sculptures in their big fancy room, where a piano player filled the air with soft jazz while we tentatively approached those sculptures trying to touch them before one of our parents saw us. Tables were piled with everything from prime rib to seafood, all set against floor to ceiling windows. The film "Dallas" could have been shot there. Bill and Barbs was another favorite, they had stools that twirled and a waitress I loved. She had red hair, blue eye shadow, a raspy voice, and a personality that just made you feel good inside. I remember her as Rose and to this day no one makes better 1000 island dressing than they did. We had the Tower resturaunt, a long diner table and food that could have easily been a neighborhood haunt in any big city.
And ofcourse...Ponders. For those who missed the last year of Ponders, I feel very sad for you. Ponders was a tradition in so many ways. Generations came together, kept in touch, and passed on community news sitting at those tables, eating their salsa, and being taken care of by staff who became an extended family of sorts.
Tomorrow will find me at Budros, a place that has become our Sunday Buffet tradition. Due to the need for easy wheelchair accesss, this resturaunt has been consistent with helping make Sunday brunch easier for our whole family to attend. Plus, they have many of an Ardmore legends recipe, Mizzola of the old Gourmet. But Ardmore has many places in town to enjoy the perfect meal for your family. Baldwins, The Sports Club at the new Holiday Inn (great buffet), Two Frogs, The Cellar, and many more. If you have facebook (I don't and they aren't open yet for me to ask as I write this), check out Cafe Alley as well to see if they were having a buffet for Easter. Having attended their buffets in past years...it is not to be missed!
And, if you are out at six thirty am, you might see me out, huddled around a fire, enjoying the sunrise at the Episcopal Church service.
I hope your Sunday is peaceful. If you celebrate the traditional Easter, may your day feel the connection and spirit. Whatever you celebrate in your life, may this day simply bring you peace.