So today was Greek Orthodox Easter, also known as the day I call my 95-year-old grandmother transatlantically in order to yell “Christ is Risen!” repeatedly into the phone.

“I can’t hear a thing,” she said. “Let me get my sister.” Then to her sister: “Pick up the phone and shut up!”

The sister couldn’t hear me either. But she had plenty to say. She had been outside to pick hyacinths from her garden. The Japanese cherry tree was in bloom. She suspected there were things wrong with her ears, and was I selling a lot of art, and were there any interesting men courting me.

In the background grandma kept yelling: “When is she coming home?”

“May!” I screamed. “End of May!”

My old lizard made her usual request for safety pins. I don’t know what she does with so many safety pins, nor do I know in what ways European safety pins have fallen short of her expectations, but I’ll be glad to bring her some. She also instructed me not to lift heavy things and to try, in general, to be healthy. The topic of Christ rising remained unaddressed. Yet the conversation seemed mutually satisfying.

Later I went to the Chrysalis and painted cows. Nancy and Bobby watched from a blanket while John showed me how to stretch canvases. Then I went home, walked the dog, and made lasagna. And since I did absolutely nothing traditional for Easter, here’s a passage from my first novel, Dogs with Bagels, in which people actually dye eggs and all that good stuff.

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