Blizzards, tornadoes and Easter traditions

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Why yes I like living in Nebraska! Why do you ask? It is hard to imagine that due to blizzard conditions schools would be closed along with many businesses. Tornado warnings were close by, Norton, KS, last evening but no reports of damage—so far! The calendar just turned to spring last week but evidently, winter wasn’t quite over.

My heart goes out to those who raise cows and deliver spring calves. You know that they are out looking over their herds to check on mamas to be in labor delivering a newborn into the throes of a 30 to 50-mile-per-hour blizzard. It is important to get that new calf dried off and some warm milk into his belly. Once dry and warmed they will survive but it is well that the rancher is there to help.

My opening statement reminds me of a remark that one of my pilots made when flying out of our Air Base on Cape Cod. With a climate tempered by the nearby Atlantic Ocean our winters there were not really very pleasant. Plenty of high humidity, rain, mist, fog and some snow. Low ceiling from solid layers of moisture-laden clouds. We would de-ice before starting engines on our 180,000-pound aircraft, waddle out to the runway for runup checks and then depart into the murk. After climbing several thousand feet, if we were lucky, we would burst into absolutely clear air with the sun shining cheerfully down on us. That was when the aircraft commander commented on interphone, “Why yes I love to fly! Why do you ask?”

This is Holy Week with Palm Sunday just past. We of Christian faith look forward to our celebrations of Holy Monday, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday then glorious Easter starting with a Sunrise Service. Come join us, the members of Memorial Methodist congregation, at 7:00 AM at my airport hangar for the short sunrise service as we watch the sun gloriously rises above a beautiful golden eastern horizon. (I hope) The coffee will be hot and free with a potluck breakfast to follow back at our church. Locally the weatherman promises that it will warm up again for which we will be grateful.

Grannie Annie and your old columnist were reminiscing about our Easter mornings back when we were children on our farms. Colored eggs from our farm raised chickens, hard-boiled then dyed, had been hidden around the farmstead for we young ones to find. Gee a few got cracked and it was permissible to peel and eat right away. A little salt helped the taste.

Easter dinner was always a big event and a fresh baked ham was the centerpiece! Mashed potatoes with gravy, plus plentiful freshly homemade salads. Fresh baked dinner rolls—still warm from the oven. Boiled cranberries were a treat and then there was homemade pie—my favorite cherry! It was little different with Grannie Annie’s family whose mother loved to make chiffon pie.

In my study of Christianity I have wondered about the why of eating the traditional ham on Easter. Jewish religion bans the eating of pork. I’m wondering then that possibly it was defiance on the new Christians's part to demonstrate to the Jewish hierarchy that they are not required to follow the Jewish laws that forbade the eating of pork.

You see, when the Apostle Paul was out preaching and spreading Christianity, the teachings of the Risen Christ where he converted many Gentiles to the faith.

The Gentiles had no background in the teaching of the Jewish faith and knew little of the Jewish dietary laws. Paul, Barnabas and others journeyed to Jerusalem to see Disciple Peter and the other new followers of Jesus, the Jerusalem Council, to formulate what new converts to Christianity would be required to believe and live by. The settled essentials: (Acts 15:29)” that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell”

It is a good thing as I do love eating my Easter ham and pork chops too! What would life be like without bacon?

That is how I saw it.

Dick Trail

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