Once more the Easter Bunny has come and gone, and executives at the factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where the Bunny gets his marshmallow Peeps are now trying to figure out a marshmallow candy shape that’s fitting on Mother’s Day and doesn’t look like Marge Simpson or Maude.
Again this year I asked readers what they would like in their Easter baskets. And while lots of you did want those Peeps, there were others with very specific requests. Here are a few.
· Eileen Fahey Brunetto, academic coordinator at Middlebury College: “I’m getting my braces off on April 13th. What a horrid (though necessary) experience it has been. I don’t really need to see those nasty metal bits in my Easter basket after the orthodontist removes them, but I would seriously take that over any wonderful chocolate.”
· Dina Olivieri Townsend, aspiring writer and hospitality sales executive in Charlotte: “I would like a tutor to successfully teach my children how to load the dishwasher, use the hamper, and to wear a sweater when it’s cold.”
· Carolyn Tyler Knight, all purpose Bristol and Starksboro area volunteer: “I’d like a better alternative to the colorful, cellophane Easter grass that you find clinging to everything months later and clogs up the vacuum!”
· Peter Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration: “I would like my 12-year-old son to suspend his attitude for one day and go back to being an adoring, respectful little boy.” (According to Dad, the lad is actually a great kid who, these days, just has serious ‘tude.)
· Claire Benedict, co-owner of Bear Pond Books in Montpelier: “A hedgehog. Do you know how cute a hedgehog is? Better than a bunny!” One of her booksellers is investigating how they can bring a live hedgehog into the store as a mascot. Based on the video Claire recommended I watch of a hedgehog playing with a toilet paper roll’s cardboard core, I think they might be on to something. (Yes, there are indeed videos of everything at www.youtube.com.)
· Ruth Calia Stives, a gardener and chef who happens to live a few miles from the Pennsylvania Peeps plant (say that five times fast): “I’d love to find a day of fun and frolic with a three-year-old Jeff (my son, who is now thirty). He’s still the most wonderful child a parent could want, but back then he was the personification of joy. I miss that little guy. (Oh, and a Lindt dark chocolate bar would be good, too.)”
· Michelle Demers, teacher and writer in Williston: “I would like poems that make my heart sing.”
· Brighton Luke, a junior at the University of Maine: “Maple candy and peeps that have thoughtfully been left open for a few days as I never have the restraint to wait for them to get deliciously stale once they are mine. Some stale Starbursts would be good too. Candy is just better slightly aged. “
· Jesse Hendee, stay-at-home mom: “The feeling of childhood: Being content with bubbles and a kite that you end up flying only once because it got caught in a tree or a power line; slipping on a new pair of rubber boots and slopping around in the mud; and my brother and sister. That would be nice.”
· Andrea Miles Martin, also a self-described stay-at-home mom: “When I was little, I always asked for a white kitten in a white box (with air holes, of course) with a pink bow. Which I never got. Now, I’d just like a nap.”
· David Reed Wood, pastor of the United Church of Lincoln: “A northwest wind on a warm day with the sap running like the water in the New Haven River, and friends gathered at the sugar house tasting the latest maple syrup produced – after worship, of course. Seems like a great way to celebrate hope and new life!”
I hope everyone got what they wanted. Even Claire Benedict, because what retail operation wouldn’t be improved with a wandering hedgehog underfoot and a rolling toilet paper core?
Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Peace.
(This column originally ran in the Burlington Free Press on April 4, 2010.)