Easter is ...

Daffodils and bunny rabbits, puddles and pussywillows, eggs and chocolate.

These daffodils are not from my garden - they're from the city's conservatory, once known as the Palm House. The bunny cupcakes, though, were made in my kitchen by my oldest daughter.

The Germans get credit for the Christmas tree and the Ukrainians get the Easter egg. But back in 1929, Stalin disallowed any religious celebrations. What a gray world that must have been.

My own family's Easter rituals over here in the new country included a new outfit (very important for a little girl), looking for Easter chocolate, and then attending church and singing the upbeat songs about new life. Later, as a young person, Easter morning would start very early. We'd get up before dawn and drive around to the older church members' homes, find their bedroom window and sing one of the lively Easter hymns - in German!

Now my family's Easter ritual involves egg/chocolate hunt and then fresh croissants. We still have at least a foot of snow on the ground and the pussy willows aren't even out yet. Still we've got to believe that new life is coming!

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