Les oeufs de Pâques

It sounds so wrong but there was a part of me that hadn’t been looking forward to Easter, not as the holiday but as a weekend where I’d likely be stuck alone at home while Sam went off with an old friend and hopefully to climb Mt. Blanc (though in the end weather didn’t permit them to go up – but he was away for two weeks anyways.)

I think part of it meant that I’d be alone in the big house for two weeks, or so I thought and frankly, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I spent much of my time with other friends on the mountain and watched several movies as Janis and I went through as many Leonardo DiCaprio films as we could after bugging him for loving Titanic – but he assures me it’s because of the structure of the boat. I’ll give it to him that he’s an engineer but laughing about his love of Leonardo is far more hilarious and Gunta didn’t seem to hold back much either. She loves to tell the story of walking in on Janis and his brothers all sitting on the sofa watching Titanic together, no girls. Her voice ever filled with surprise. Every night I’d walk myself back in the dark and through the large house and start again. It wasn’t near as bad as I thought and we got a new housemate, Keoni, which was really nice surprise.

My fears that no one would really celebrate Easter ended up being completely unfounded. Gunta was adament we decorate eggs. I was so thrilled that it was part of their Latvian roots to decorate them so we drove an hour into Nice to the only place we knew we could find white eggs, at Metro, it’s like Costco only more exclusive and a heck of a lot bigger and cheaper. We bought our flat of eggs and came back home. Janis settled down with a glass of port and Gunta and I took out Belly to find clover, thyme, lavender and other small greens to imprint our eggs with. While the results weren’t as delicate as I would have imagined but it was nice to share in it with them. We all opted to make the best egg but I have to say I can’t remember at all which ones I made. We colored the eggs in three different baths, each with varying degrees of success. For the yellow eggs we used Turmeric (though they seemed to take on more the color of the black nylons), for the blue eggs we used purple cabbage and hibiscus flowers and finally for yellow we used onion skins.

As a part of Latvian tradition you must “fight” your egg against another and if yours cracks you must give it to the winner. Afterward everyone enjoys their creations and you find the nearest swings to wait until the swing stops naturally as an ancient tradition to do with fertility as well as to ward of the summers mosquito and gadfly bites which had my brain in knots but oh well. In the end we didn’t swing but we did enjoy our creations. Thankfully it seems that even if the people you love the most are far away, there are new friends, new traditions awaiting around the corner and sometimes I think I worry too much.

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