Season of hope grows in April

Sherri Gardner HowellBlount, Farragut, Kitchen Table Talk

I have had such delight in looking at this year’s Easter pictures in messages and on Facebook this year. I have seen a lot of happy grandparents who I know were Zooming for Easter this time last year!


It doesn’t matter whether Easter hits in super early spring or a little later like this year, it always fills me with hope. As a Christian, it is absolutely one of the two most important religious celebrations for me. Our whole foundation of faith really begins with what we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

I love that it comes during our seasonal spring. No matter your religious beliefs, the spring season is always a time for rebirth and for growth to begin. You feel it all around it as you see the trees, bulbs and seedlings spring through the darkness of the ground and start to show off their leafy and flowery finery. Hope is in the air, and attitudes are showing less of a tendency to the negative.

I want to always have the spirit – even when the body fails me – of the little girl I saw in the bathroom today at the Seattle airport.  I was traveling home from a visit with the Seattle family – Brett, Olivia, Cohen and Gardner.  It was a great six-night visit, but I am never quite ready to leave anywhere where my grandchildren are!

So I was a little blue as I washed my hands to head back to my gate. The little girl, probably about 4 years old, had washed and dried her hands. As they headed out the door in front of me, Mom reminded her: “OK now. Hands are all clean, so hands on your tummy while we walk.”

What great advice, I thought, knowing from experience that children touch EVERYTHING as they skip through their environment.

The little girl, however,  did a twirl and said, “But Mommy, I have to dance,  and my arms have to dance, too! See, they have to wave around and be happy!”

So let’s all wave our arms around and be happy! It’s spring, the season of miracles and hope.

Gardner Howell gets a surprise as his two favorite Santa toys from Christmas in Knoxville finally made it to his home in Seattle.

Sidebar: For all who have asked about the toys, thanks for sharing my angst! There is GOOD news: They made it unharmed. Kudos to Southwest Airlines that delivered them unscathed and to my husband for helping get them reassembled while Gardner was at school.

The smile on his face when he saw them that first afternoon was worth every effort. And we played with them all week! Happy grandson, happy Gigi.

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.

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