This Time of Year is Full of Change and Memories!

Easter can be such a wonderful time for family to get together and spend time together.  When I was younger, I remember well how my Grannie Ainsworth would boil tons of eggs because when 30+ cousins and such showed up, there would be a massive Easter Egg hunt on another piece of property owned by one of my uncles…

Here is a picture of my Grannie and my Grandpa Ainsworth:

I remember as a little girl, I was a “runt”.  All the other cousins tended to push me aside or take eggs before I could get them. I remember one time, when I was about 5 or 6, my Grandpa saw me and asked me why I was crying and I told him about one of my cousins pushing me before I could get an egg from a lower hanging branch.

“Well come here!” I went to him and he picked me up and carried me to where I’d spot the eggs so that I could reach them.  One of the uncles already had gotten onto the cousin that pushed me at one point and nobody DARED say a word about Grandpa helping me either!

Before the hunt, Grannie had made a huge Easter Dinner…Chicken and Dressing…Porcupine Meatballs, which are made of BEEF–NOT Porcupine.  Here is a recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup instant rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ***NOTE:  I add either 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper if I want them really spicy OR about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of chili powder! I need kick in mine and I may add BOTH!–skipping the parsley…***

Directions

  1. Lightly beat egg with a fork, then add a heaping tablespoon of the soup and mix lightly. Mix in rice, onion, parsley, onion salt and pepper. Stir in the ground beef and mix well with hands. From mixture into 1 1/2 inch round meatballs.
  2. Coat a large skillet over medium heat with cooking spray. Cook meatballs and brown on all sides.
  3. Combine remaining soup with Worcestershire (you can increase or decrease Worcestershire to your liking), stir until smooth, then spoon over meatballs. Cover with lid and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

We ALWAYS raided the meatballs until they were GONE!  Then it was Grannie’s Chocolate Cream pie–or Coconut (for me one or the other) but she made LOTS of deserts!  I also got a kick out her German Chocolate Cake too!

A lot of family traditions centered around food and while there was always plenty for everyone, sometimes someone else would show up and Grannie was more than happy to invite them in also.  I remember the times when my parents were there too.  The memories are sketchy now, but they are there.

We don’t meet at Grannie’s house any longer.  One day the house will be torn down, but the memories will never fade…It has been 11 years since we lost Grannie and about 40 years since we lost Grandpa…It doesn’t seem like it has been that long to me, nor does it seem that it has been 17 years since I lost my father.  His birthday would have been on 4/9.  I will be thinking of him a lot these next couple of days as well.

My Dad: Kenneth B. O'Neill 4/9/29-2/5/95 USAF MSGT. Retired (1972)

However, this time of year also reminds me that I shall have a new beginning as well.  I am the youngest daughter of 4 kids and will soon be a grandmother.  I often wonder what his thoughts would be on that one.  I know that I still am amazed that my youngest son, Kevin Thomas, is going to be a father himself at 23.  I have much to be grateful for.  Although he was recently hurt, he’s alright.  He’ll need surgery–but he will be around for his son and that is what matters the most.  AS this year marks a year of change and beginnings for me and my family, it is my fondest hope that all of you have a joyous Holiday with the ones you love, and may you create many memories with your children, grandchildren, parents, etc…

My son Kevin...I am grateful for every day I can speak to and spend time with him or my other two sons!

Daphne is the mother of my grandson. I am proud to have her in this family! She is a good mother and tough as nails! Hopefully, I'll get to spend time with her and all 4 kids next Easter!

This has also been a month of more great news for me! My son Eric is now Engaged! Congratulations to him and Laura…Now I’ve got two daughters who have a heck of time trying to figure me out! LOL!  ***JUST KIDDING***!    Love you all!

This is my son Eric Gates and his lovely fiancé, Laura Griffin. Has this been a year of change around here or what?!

Well, now I’m dealing with impending “Nanahood” and “In-Law Hood”!  And I know my father lives on in the eyes of my sons, and I know I’ll see a bit of him in the eyes of my grandson. These will be only a few of my thoughts as I go up to the mountain today.

Have a wonderful Easter, everyone!

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