Easter Egg Hunt

Easter weekend brings back memories of family gatherings and Easter Egg hunts.

In my childhood, plans for Easter started weeks before the big day.  My mother probably scrambled eggs for my siblings and me every day of our young lives except Sundays.  For a few weeks before Easter, she would carefully tap a small hole in both ends of the egg and blow the yolk and egg white out, leaving the shell of the egg intact.  After a rinse and dry, they were ready for painting.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table, armed with Tempera Water Paints, and creating my own Fabergé masterpieces.   

On the Saturday before Easter Sunday we would take a basket or box, line it with fresh green grass from the lawn, some of our painted eggs, and a few wildflowers from the pasture (but never bluebonnets because they were the Texas state flower and we were not permitted to pick them).  These baskets would be lined up in the back hallway of our utility room and on Easter morning we would check them for chocolate bunnies and other sweets.  My older siblings helped me follow the rabbit footprints through the garage all the way out to the yard gate so I knew the treats definitely came from the Easter Bunny.  

The Easter Egg Hunt was a big deal at my paternal grandparents’ home.  I recall the entire family gathering at my grandparents’ farm in Kenedy, Texas.  In addition to all the aunts and uncles, there were eleven grandchildren of which I was the youngest. (So my memory of some events may be a little fuzzy compared to others.)


I always assumed it was my grandmother (we called her Goppin) who made all the preparations for the hunt but seeing how things work now, all the adults may have played a role.  At some point there would be an announcement that the Easter Bunny had paid a visit.  We were to only search in the yard, not the entire 188 acres!  And we were strictly forbidden to go near the rain cistern (a metal structure half buried in the ground beside the boat garage used to collect rain water).

 The warning to avoid the rain cistern was actually recited anytime we were at the farm.  A terrible monster lived inside it.  If we removed the heavy weights that held the tin door closed, got on our tip-toes, and peered into the water below, we could sometimes catch a glimpse of his image (which was, of course, our own reflection).  In checking with siblings and cousins before writing this, it became apparent that his name is debatable, if he is even remembered at all.  It was definitely a foreign sounding name, probably with a Czech influence, intended to frighten young children.  Regardless, the warnings must have had their desired influence because no one, other than an occasional toad, ever drowned in the rain cistern.


Finally, with all instructions issued by aunts-with-teacher-in-their-blood, we would dash about the yard filling our baskets.  I remember a special “golden” egg that held some value but I had no chance of beating older cousins to it so I can’t even recall what that “value” was.  There may have been a rotten egg or two in the bunch (cousins or brothers) who threw some of the hard-boiled eggs up on the roof of the house.  My grandmother would smell them a few days later.  There were no selfies of this act taking place, so it is hard to prove who was at fault.


Years later my mother became the organizer of egg hunts for her grandchildren in her own yard.  For the most part, colored plastic eggs and pantyhose L’eggs had  replaced hardboiled chicken eggs. I do recall my eldest son getting to participate when he was very young but I think our second son was too young at the time we made the permanent move from Texas to South Carolina.  I can’t recall ever being back home at Easter time after that.


Of course, that meant creating our own memories in South Carolina with our children.  Sometimes the weather forced the Easter Bunny to hide the eggs indoors and I confess there may have been a time when I opened the front door and just slung a bucket of plastic eggs into the grass but that was for the second hunt of the morning.


And now, it’s time to build memories with our sixteen-month-old granddaughter Emma.  At the beginning of March, my wife and I started hiding a few plastic eggs in our house and yard for Emma to find.  She seemed to enjoy the game but kept popping them open to see if there was anything inside—which there wasn’t!  Our church did its egg hunt on Palm Sunday.  Emma confidently pointed to the eggs on the ground and waited for one of her grandmothers to do the dirty work and pick it up.  Eventually she started serving herself.  Afterwards, she and I popped each one open, she removed the contents and then put them back, and I closed the egg.  I suspect the 'parental tax' commandeered all chocolate later that afternoon. Over the Palm Sunday weekend our granddaughter was able to meet the Easter Bunny multiple times and participate in three or four egg hunts.  Wow, aren’t children lucky nowadays?!  Back in the day, it was ‘one and done’ for us.


I’ll close this by wishing you a Happy Easter!  And here’s hoping you find the golden egg!

(Easter Bunny photos compliments of Sara McAda.)

If you enjoy my writing style, please consider reading my books, 
describing adventures in our self-built campervan
available today on Amazon in eBook and Paperback.
Also available now in Travelers Rest, SC at
As The Page Turns bookstore.

Leave a comment