It has been an interesting Holy Week around here. My blueprint for Holy
Week is the experience of many many Easters at St. Matthew’s. It is impossible
to rip that pattern out of my head, or worse my heart, it is the stuff of which
I am composed, my DNA.

  And
now 4 years into life without the anchor of my home church, I am slowly trying
to differently shaped Holy Week and Easter. To search out new ways in which to
live this most special week of the whole year, experiences that now seem to
revolve around this house, the work of Crosstalk Ministries and the people who
populate my Day Camp world, and the world of St. Stephen’s, my new church
family.

 
Despite knowing that every church with which I correspond is equally
bound up in Easter preparations there has been a small amount of Day Camp
activity. Plans are moving ahead for next Saturday’s Team Gathering, a few
churches have sent in deposit cheques, there have been emails and texts, phone
calls and even traditional mail!

  The
undercurrent of preparations around the house has continued apace during the
afternoons and evenings. Alexander’s birthday “gym” bags were completed, as are
all my Easter gifts. I got the Chubby Chirps knitted in time (sewing in the
last ends last evening!), made the clay butterflies, decorated the containers
and wrapped the Pysanka.

     Two
evenings, and yesterday morning, I hauled out all the Pysanka materials; Monday
evening for Sue, Mike and Matthew, Tuesday again for Sue and yesterday morning
for Pippa and her 3 “littles”! I have lost count of how many eggs have been
crafted on my dining table throughout this Lenten season.

 
Monday I also enjoyed an afternoon and dinner visit with Jessica, and
later that evening I was delighted when our very first Day Camp Billet (from
1980!!) phoned from Malaysia to wish me a Blessed Easter, what a lovely way to
begin Holy Week!

  
This morning the house phone gave the “long distance ring” with another
kind of wonderful surprise, a call from my dearest friend, Michelle, who with
her husband and 4 children, has lived in the UK for the past 12 years or so.
Isn’t it awesome the way one can immediately launch into a conversation with a
longtime friend even if one hasn’t spoken to them for months? We talked a mile
a minute until the noise level of clamouring small people 3000kms away demanded
my friend’s attention and we regretfully wished each other a Blessed Easter and
hung up.

   It
proved quite fortunate that my next job was to head outside to shovel the
whopping piles of snow that had appeared overnight (AGH!) since I always find I
must indulge in a good cry after hearing the voice of someone so dear to me,
yet so far away. However applying myself to the task did wonders and I was soon
able to pull myself together!

 
Throughout the week my cell phone has stayed close by me as I await news
of the newest addition to the Huyer Family in Ottawa (Directors of Senior Youth
Camp) and parents of two of my Godsons. No news yet, maybe this will be an
Easter Sunday Baby!!! Today my own preparations for this exciting event have
included more cooking because my plan it to send several dinners to them via
Mark, our most excellent SYC “official” courrier! Of course there is also an
Easter basket to go up to them, plus William’s knitted penguin, whose wing had
fallen off and who needed repairing by “Auntie Valerie”.

  
Last evening I watched Messiah from King’s College Cambridge. This video
includes the Academy of Ancient Music with the most spine-tingling trumpeter,
wonderful and uplifting! For years St. Andrew and St. Paul’s Presbyterian
Church in downtown Montreal presented Messiah on Good Friday. As a teen I used
to go to listen to it since several members of St. Matthew’s Choir (including
my dad) used to be a part of the augmented choir for the performance. In latter
year’s dad no longer participated but we still would attend. The huge church
filled to the doors and opportunity to sing several Lenten hymns with a
congregation of close to 1000. So in recent years it has still been part of my
tradition to listen either to a recording on DVD or to watch one on YouTube.

 

  As
Holy Saturday evening approaches I have been searching out an Easter Vigil
Service to watch and think the Duke University Channel may provide something
suitable.

  
This week my meals have been mostly vegetarian and one evening I made
this yummy combo of egg salad sandwich with tomato & avocado salad. It I particularly
good on home baked dill bread, but equally tasty on rye or pumpernickel.

                                    Curried Egg Salad

6 large, hardboiled eggs, mashed with a
fork

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. pepper

½ tsp. each cumin and paprika

¼ tsp. each dry mustard and garlic powder

¼ cup each sour cream and veganaise

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Red leaf lettuce

12 slices dill bread

Melt the butter in a small saucepan; add
the spices and sauté for 5 minutes. Combine the sour cream and veganaise in a
medium bowl, blend with he spice mixture. Gently fold in the mashed eggs and
scallions.

Divide filling between six slices of bread.
Place washed lettuce leaves on the filling and top with the remaining bread.

Arrange sandwiches on six dinner plates
with tomato and avocado salad.

Tomato & Avocado Salad

1 pound ripe tomatoes, cubed

1 ripe avocado, cubed

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp. coarse sea salt

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped

Combine all ingredients and gently toss
together, being carefully not to break the avocado cubes.