With 10 kids it was always a chore for Mum and Dad to take us anywhere. Trying to keep us quiet in church had to be one of the greatest challenges outside the home. We were rambunctious and always looking for something funny to laugh about. Easter was particularly difficult for my parents because the mass was considerably longer than normal. Keeping us from fidgeting and then staying focused on the message was nearly impossible.
They did everything to prepare us for church. A stern lecture about the meaning of Easter coupled with warning of what would happen if we got out of place in church was the best they could do. It didn't have much of an effect unfortunately. No sooner would the service begin and it was all we could do to keep our faces from exploding. The more we tried to stay quiet the funnier it got. This was no disrespect at all to the reason for Easter. We were just too distracted by each other to fully appreciate the incredible story that was being told.
Somehow we got through it every year but not without some kind of punishment. Take a look at the faces in this picture. Joey and Michael hadn't been born yet. Are those kids going to sit still in church? I don't think so. Here we are lined up next to our Ford Country Squire wagon. From front to back: Kathy, Danny, Johnny, Timmy, Joan, Susan, Tommy and Jimmy. Trouble on the way! Go ahead. I dare ya Mum and dad.
Following services Mum always made Easter dinner which was one of my favorites. Instead of powdered milk we got the real thing. Real mashed potatoes to go with a baked ham with glazing and pineapple sliced stuck to the ham with toothpicks. Add some corn to the mix and it didn't much matter what else she may have prepared. That was all I needed. Dad was so excited because lent was over. He'd give up meat for the entire lent period. Man, what a sacrifice. He still does that every year. That's a big one if you love meat like he does. After dinner we always went to visit our grandparents on both sides, another enormous challenge for Mom and Dad.
Tom, I loved your story, and also the photo. Yep, I recognize the style! Lucky for my mom she only had one shy girl to keep in line during church - I don't know how your folks survived
The Country Squire Wagon was our transportation for some years, but with only seven of us kids. I love the picture and the "staircase" made by the different sizes of you and your siblings. Our Easter brought new clothes, and I supposed that we seven weren't much different than you growing up.