Diane Blanks, Blue Ridge Mountain Views #17: Of Easter Bonnets

Published Monday, March 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Blue Ridge Mountain Views

“Of Easter Bonnets”



Daffodil and Lenten Rose. Photo by Diane Blanks. "Of Easter Bonnets"

Daffodil and Lenten Rose. Photo by Diane Blanks.

My grandmother made up in style what she lacked in financial resources. Like the true Victorian lady she was, she always wore a broad-brimmed hat to church. One memorable yellow straw hat served her for three successive Easters. The first year, she wore it plain, with the solid navy ribbon band it had come with; the second year, she swapped out the band for a striped ribbon and added a tasteful bunch of little artificial flowers on one side.

The third year she bought somenavy blue hat paint, painted the straw, added a different band and attached a large artificial poppy on one side. It looked really nice, but the hat paint stayed sort of sticky thereafter. It could have been old; there wasn’t a lot of demand for hat paint by then.

She also always made my mother an “orchid” corsage to wear for Easter. She used a corsage base and pearl pin recycled from some long-ago corsage she had received. On the base, she positioned one of the huge bearded irises she grew, backed by fine florist’s fern that she had had me stop off and buy from the florist shop on my walk home from school. It made an impressive orchid corsage that my mother wore proudly each year. Being thrifty, Granny also ironed and reused gift wrap, particularly that that came from our rich cousins who used the pricey metallic paper, and saved gift boxes and Easter basket grass from year to year.

Among the many, many things my grandmother taught me were that Easter eggs should be shined with a bit of Crisco on a rag to bring out the lovely colors of the dye and that when you pick a daffodil to bring inside you should also pick a bit of foliage, to make the arrangement look natural.


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