Many of you will be going on Easter eggs hunts today with little ones. Here is one I did with my two kids and part of our extended family.
To Roger and Jane…
Most if not all little kids love the Easter Bunny tales and the attendant Easter Egg hunts. Baskets filled with candy and brightly colored eggs found on a field of grass always bring smiles and happiness to the little ones around. And you were no different. Easter was always something fun and exciting to you.
One thing that made that so was the big egg hunts we had with our relatives, the Calhoun’s, on the Turner side of the clan. Some of them farmed and had spots on their land where the pasture was mowed and some trees were around. At such pastoral places near Valley View and Gainesville we had many hunts when you two were young. On Easter Sunday we would drive north up I-35 from Fort Worth and gather at one of those places with the ever growing Calhoun bunch. My Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Billy Mac had four kids who also had kids so when assembled we had quite a crowd. And some of those kids had kids thus increasing the extended family’s size. So many second cousins (and now third) I have trouble keeping all of their names straight – MeeMaw can so when needed I have to ask her who’s who in Calhoun Land.
Getting back to the hunts, we gathered early in the morning at one of the pastures and made ready for the crowd. Our cars and pickups would be scattered around some of the trees. Each separate family had its brood with baskets in tow. Some of the adults would lay out the treasures, eggs and candy galore, around plants, trees, or rocks. We avoided using cactus for camouflage of course but it was there too. When the goodies were concealed you kids would be turned loose. Seeing the energy spent by all of you one can picture images of the “The Sooners” crossing into Oklahoma in search for the best land. You youngsters were the same. You sped into the area and quickly scoured it until nothing remained except the dirt and plants that were there e before. The baskets were full and the smiles were bigger still, all in about ten minutes at the most.
After that we sometimes had a picnic lunch under the trees. Tables were set up and filled with traditional fare like fried chicken, potato salad, and tea. A typically Texan feast was had by all. That was the adult’s reward, besides seeing your smiles, for hiding the eggs and sweets.
This ritual went on for a few years and then we stopped having them or had other things to do. Families grow and change over time which is why these things cease. The kids begat kids who begat their own kids. Thus each nuclear family becomes its own clan and the parade of generations marches down the long road of time. That is a natural thing to see and is nothing to fear. You will miss not being around your cousins, aunts, and uncles but when you grow up and have kids plus nephews and nieces to boot it’s your turn to set up and run the Easter egg hunts and show the younger ones how it is done. By doing that you will find your own Easter Eggs to treasure hidden in some pasture on happy Easters yet to come.