Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter & Dyngus Day 2010

After a week's worth of guests, the house is now quiet. It was sad to see Margaret and Paul (the last to leave) drive off and for me to turn around to enter a quiet house. We had such a great time visiting with each other and celebrating Easter. It really was a crazy whirlwind of a week. Since I was so busy, I didn't have the opportunity to blog throughout the week so I will try to recap now.

Thursday was a crazy day! I am not sure what I was thinking to host my monthly book club at my house on the same evening that family was expected to arrive, but I did. I believe book club was a success and as the book club girls were leaving, my sister Margaret and her family (from OH) were pulling in. After our hellos, my brother Paul (from KY) also arrived. since by this time it was already late, we just chit chatted and visited before we settled in for the evening.

On Friday, the lot of us made a traditional pilgrimage to Buffalo's Broadway Market. There is so much to browse and see and you could feel the anticipation of Easter in the air. We also headed out to pick up the orders that I placed outside of the Market for the obligatory Easter kielbasa, ham and placzeks. Later that evening, Paul's daughter Becky and her boyfriend Zac (from KY) arrived. We ended up ordering pizza and wings. Yeah, I know.....meat on Good Friday?? This whole "no-no" got completely screwed up when I planned (without even thinking about that) eggs and bacon for breakfast. Can you believe it?!?! The reason I planned things this way was because I knew Zac doesn't like eggs so I figured I would plan a bacon and eggs breakfast before Becky and Zac arrived. I never put that Good Friday meatless connection together in my head until Paul teased me about the morning's menu just as we were about to eat. Ohhhhh Noooooo! Next (we drove in two separate cars to the Market) I was concerned about the guys eating lunch after the Market. I called home as Margaret and I were running errands and told them to make themselves some sandwiches while they were waiting for us. Again, without thinking about the meatless thing, I suggested that they use the lunch meat in the fridge. I didn't even think about what I said until I was once again teased when I got home. After the meat mix-ups, and fighting crowds all day long, the guys didn't really want to go out for a Buffalo Fish Fry (about tthe size of a whale). We opted not do that because the fish fry restaurants would be packed. So what did we do? Order pizza and chicken wings.....ugh! Bad, bad, bad! But the initial two food events occurred because I was so focused on Easter preparations so I am sure I'll be forgiven. Later in the evening we were able to do the decorating of the Easter eggs. We couldn't beleive it but Zac never decorated Easter eggs before (even as a child) so, we captured the moment with a photo. Unfortunatley, the dye that I mixed screw-up the purple and Zac's first Easter egg ended up coming out a gray-ish color. Yep, it looked more like an Easter rock.......whhhhhaaaahhhh!

I was really VERY lucky with record breaking warm temperatures this weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! Saturday, I was in the kitchen almost the entire day trying to prepare for Sunday. Margaret stuck by me and was a tremendous help. We did, however, make sure that we were able to fill a huge basket with food that we were going to partake in on Sunday and bring the basket of food to church to be blessed on Saturday afternoon (a Polish tradition). The guys were able to kick back in the sun room, with the screen doors opened to a gorgeous day. Over the course of the weekend the sun room was transformed into a "man den". They played Risk and cards and watched basketball games. In the meantime, Madeline played so hard all weekend with her cousin Kate.

Easter Sunday was very nice. Madeline was super excited about the visit of the Easter Bunny. In addition to the Easter Bunny candy, my sister's family got Madeline a HUGE chocolate bunny as payback for all the years that I would supply their children with jumbo bags of candy at our family's annual campout. After the basket hunting, it was nice to have the entire family attend Mass with us at our church. After Mass, my Aunt Sue (my dad's sister) & Uncle Ron came over and joined us for our Święconka brunch (with the blessed food). Later in the afternoon, my Uncle Tom (my dad's brother) & Aunt Mary Grace came over as well as my cousins. Also, my brother Marty and his wife Vicky arrived from PA. Growing up, we spent many holidays at my Aunt Sue's house. It was so nice to get the family together again....the day went way too quickly!

Monday was Dyngus Day. What is that? The best way to describe Dyngus Day is to compare it to Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, initially a Cajun holiday, is a day of fun and partying before the solemn season of Lent. Dyngus Day, a Polish tradition, is similar to Mardi Gras but on the other end of Lent. It is celebrated the Monday after Easter. Buffalo definitely does it up right as, if I am not mistaken, Buffalo has the world's largest Dyngus Day celebration. Unfortunately, Becky and Zac had to leave Monday because they had school the following day. Margaret's husband and kids left too for the same reason (Margaret extended her stay and hitched a ride with Paul back home on Wednesday) so, unfortunately they missed out on the Dyngus festivities.

We started out our Dyngus Day fun at an afternoon event. Before I share the day's event's I have to also tell you about "Red Pig-Candle". The "Red Pig-Candle" is a long story but in short, the candle is an iconic fixture that began as a gag at my brother Paul's work place and has been handed down from employee to employee. Paul took "Red" on a road trip and took pictures of the pig along the way to post on Facebook. Red Pig-Candle offered us tons of entertainment as Paul would go up to random people and ask them to pose for a picture holding the pig. Red Pig-Candle certainly got around and posed with vendors at the Broadway Market, Dyngus Day parade participants and Dyngus Day partiers. It really was quite funny....if you are on Facebook, you MUST friend the "Red Pig-Candle" to see all the pictures. The afternoon activities were certainly family friendly so Madeline was happy to polka dance with Mama. We also were able to watch some performances of the Polish Heritage Dancers of WNY. One of the little girls that performed with he Heritage Dancers was dancing with Madeline....too cute! Later, we headed out to see the Dyngus Day Parade and had soooooo much fun there. David met us at the parade. After the parade we went to the Buffalo's old Central Terminal for a bite to eat and some more Dyngus festivities. Although we could've stayed and done some venue hopping near the Central Terminal, we decided to spend the rest of the evening at a Dyngus celebration in a different part of the city. David took Madeline home and the rest of us continued on. We spent the rest of the evening at the Hearthstone Manor, which was also jammed packed with partiers. OMG!!! Soooo much fun. And, although this was originally a Polish tradition, everybody is Polish on Dyngus Day.

Tuesday, I was soooo sore from dancing! Marty and Vicky headed out of town Tuesday morning so Paul, Margaret and I just had a lazy day together. I fed Madeline an earlier dinner and the adults opted for a later dinner after Madeline went to bed. We had a quiet steak dinner (David is the BEST steak griller) and spent some time hot-tubbing. It was a nice, quiet wrap up to a hectic week.

This morning, Margaret, Paul and Red Pig-Candle loaded up and headed out of town. I had so much fun and am looking forward to the next time family visits.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful weekend, sis. You and David are great hosts. Even Red Pig-Candle was tickled pink.