Easter Memories and blessings

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Easter was a special day for us. Bright and early, we would all get up and go to Sunrise Service – there to hear the joyous news that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead gave to us the gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life – that light overcame darkness and sadness changed to joy.

Then we would go to regular services to hear the good news again. Afterwards, we would have a big Sunday dinner and usually, we had company – aunts, uncles, cousins, friends. After feasting and still in our spiffy Easter clothing, we would pile into a couple of cars and go for a walk at the Sarah P. Duke Memorial Gardens attached to Duke University. In the spring, the gardens are incredible in their beauty. The Gardens were about three blocks from our home and often, as a child, I confused it with being “our” gardens because I often ran there to walk among the beautiful flowers, to dream beside huge koi ponds, to slowly walk through the Japanese garden and when it was time, to sniff at the hundreds of rose plants, and later in fall, to stroll among the fall flowers and colored foliage and then in winter, to silently walk among the sleeping garden – often under a blanket of pure snow.

After walking through the gardens with other visitors, we would go to the Royal Ice Cream company. It was take out only. Royal made rich ice cream daily with seasonal favorites. My favorite two were the lemon custard and the cherry blossom – the cherry blossom ice cream was a delicate vanilla ice cream filled with thousands of pieces of maraschino cherries. I have yet to find anything to top Royal ice cream. Maybe it was really that good or maybe it is memories of such happy times. whichever, doesn’t matter.

But I hope your Easter has been filled with many blessings and that you have been able to be and share your love with those you love. the photographs in the slide show are not mine. But please have a walk through a part of happy days in my past. I hope you replay the slideshow while enjoying a bowl of your favorite ice cream.

God Bless You All and Joy to you. Jesus has risen. Jesus has risen indeed!

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Apr 20, 2014 @ 20:24:03

    Happy Easter! Beautiful pictures! It was a beautiful day in New York today.


  2. smilecalm
    Apr 20, 2014 @ 20:38:23

    beautiful sharing
    of beauty and hope
    for all the senses 🙂


  3. cindy knoke
    Apr 20, 2014 @ 21:33:47

    These are gorgeous!


  4. huntmode
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 01:14:06

    While I truly do appreciate and enjoy nature, Kanzen, it is your words that capture my heart. Happy Easter, dear one.


  5. jaklumen
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 01:40:08

    Fantastic pictures, Toni-san… reminds me of my time in Manito Park in Spokane, WA. Hopefully with time permitting, I’ll visit again in the summer. (Day trips are hard as I learned recently visiting the Cat Tales big cat sanctuary nearby in Deer Park/Mead a few years ago with my daughter.)


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 21, 2014 @ 15:18:20

      Sometimes, day trips can be hard on other of us as well. I plan a trip down to the Gardens later this summer. it’s a 3 hour trip one way but on the way, we’ll stop and purchase and bring back some good NC eastern style bbq. it’s been too long without some.


      • jaklumen
        Apr 21, 2014 @ 23:43:35

        Very comparable, then… Spokane is about 2.5 hours from Kennewick.

        What’s particular about NC eastern style BBQ?


        • kanzensakura
          Apr 22, 2014 @ 00:33:59

          No red tomatoe-y, sweety taste/sauce. Almost always pork. Especially like the whole shoulder, slow smoked/cooked over hickory/apple wood. After meat is smoked, it is melting tender. Sometimes rough chopped or pulled – meaning chunks of meat pulled apart. Then seasoned with an apple cider/hot pepper flakes/salt/pepper, little bit of sugar, some ground mustard. The sauce is absorbed by the meat – not dry either. You taste the smoke, the meat, the sauce. the flavor of the meat isn’t covered up by the sauce. Same with ribs – slow smoked until melt off the bone and then basted and cooked a little more. Really good. VA style bbq is chopped until it is like sawdust and then smothered in a red sweet sauce. tastes gross. Western NC bbq done the same way as eastern but with a thin red sauce that isn’t sticky sweet. when they make the cole slaw in the western part of the state, they add some of the sauce so the cole slaw has like a bit of a red color. odd if you don’t know what to expect. red peppery and a little bite. Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 03:43:35 +0000 To: thspencer51@hotmail.com


          • jaklumen
            Apr 22, 2014 @ 02:10:14

            Wow. Quite a description. It does sound quite delicious (western and eastern NC BBQ, that is). We only have a very vague idea of Southern BBQ here and if *anything* at all authentic has penetrated southeastern WA, it’s Texas-style, which a friend of mine tells me is very much dry rub only. She went down from from southwestern (Kelso/Longview) WA to Texas to find work and got really tired of Texas-style.

            Anyways, I wouldn’t mind western NC-style coleslaw at all since I really like things with spice, especially those with capsaicin.


            • kanzensakura
              Apr 22, 2014 @ 11:12:08

              Here is a basic eastern NC sauce. you can use it as a marinade or, if you cook pork (boston butt, fresh ham, tenderloin) in a crock pot, add half to the meat and cook. You can also use chicken thighs or breasts. Save some of the sauce out to splash on after the meat is cooked. You can chop or pull the meat into shreds. To make western NC sauce, add about 3 tbs ketchup and bit more sugar and less pepper. most people seem to think bbq sauce has to be red for some reason. Us NC folk have been using this sauce for several hundred years and will use no other. The vinegar also helps to cut any fat from the pork. the sauce when made, is best to let it set overnight for flavors to blend. use half the pepper and salt until the flavors blend and then add more if needed. it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks after it is made. Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:10:17 +0000 To: thspencer51@hotmail.com


            • kanzensakura
              Apr 22, 2014 @ 11:23:33

              I did’t include the basic recipe for you! Sometimes my old brain doesn’t work well. 1/2 c. cider vinegar, 1/2 c. white distilled vinegar, 1 – 2 tsp. salt, +/- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or pepper flakes, =/- 1 tbs sugar or NutraSweet. blend together and let heat in a small saucepan. cool before using.

              Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 06:10:17 +0000 To: thspencer51@hotmail.com


  6. seeker
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 02:57:20

    Happy Easter! It feels like Christmas or better than Christmas. Blessings to you and yours.


  7. FlaHam
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 07:35:32

    Kanzen, This was very special thank you for sharing it and making it available to me, yesterday I reaffirmed my faith. Take care, Bill


  8. Clowie
    Apr 22, 2014 @ 07:41:45

    The garden looks wonderful. I hope you had a lovely time over the Easter weekend.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 22, 2014 @ 10:10:47

      I did. I am planning a trip for my husband and I to go on a day trip and ser the garden. I no longer live in my home town and would love to show it to him.


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