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Residents share Easter rituals

April 03, 2010|By AliCIA NOTARIANNI

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- As a child, Bryan Kemph remembers all of his siblings finding their hidden Easter baskets before he could find his.

He was the oldest of four.

"Obviously, the younger kids had easier hiding places," said Kemph, 25, of Hagerstown. "My baskets were the hardest to find."

He always knew he had found a sibling's basket instead of his own because his parents assigned a different color of plastic eggs for each of the children. Still, Kemph said the excitement of the hunt remains among his fondest Easter memories.

In a nod to traditional Easter fashions, Lacey Smith, 25, of Hagerstown, takes her daughter, Ellie Maas, 5, shopping for two new hats each year -- one for Palm Sunday and another for Easter. This year, Ellie chose a straw sun hat and a hat with a pink cotton big brim with a yellow flower to match her yellow Easter dress.

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Beth Robinson, 34, of Hagerstown, said she always looks forward to her grandmother's homemade peanut butter and coconut-filled eggs.

While Chuck Osborne, 23, of Clear Spring, takes his faith seriously -- he has a tattoo of the Bible verse "It is finished" on his forearm -- he said his favorite Easter traditions also have to do with food. He raved about his mother's mustard, honey and brown sugar-glazed ham.

Before he eats that, he has a Reese's chocolate-covered peanut butter bunny.

"There are pictures of me laying like a hog in glorious agony, with foil remains all around and peanut butter all over my face. I make a spectacle of it, obviously. And that's how I celebrate the resurrection," he joked.

Twins Zachary and Christian Kotch, 10, of Boonsboro, blend their food with a spiritual lesson. They make Easter story cookies the night before the holiday using a recipe their mother, Karen, found online a few years ago.

"The cookies are related to what happened to Jesus when he died on the cross. We put them in the oven, then seal it with tape like the tomb," Zachary said. "In the morning, (the cookies) are hollow inside, like the tomb, and white to show that (Jesus) is risen and is pure and is coming back."

"And they actually taste pretty good," Christian said.

Tracy Jenkins, 43, of Hagerstown, takes her home-schooled children to a nursing home around Easter to do some festive activities along with residents.

"We've colored eggs with nursing home residents and decorated their doors," Jenkins said. "The elderly people really seem to enjoy it."

Eric Weaver, 39, of Hagerstown, said on the Monday after Easter, he and his wife, Lisa, take their sons, Wade, 16, and Hart, 14, to Washington, D.C., to see the cherry blossoms in bloom.

Edward Imes, a Hagerstown father of 11 children, said his all-time favorite thing to do on Easter is get together with other people and sing praises to God. He said he is looking forward to his church's Easter Cantata this year.

"That's the best for me. Just remembering what Jesus did for us," Imes said. "To me, that's the ultimate because you are lifting up praises to God. Those are special times."

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