When I was a child, my brothers and I had to make a visit to our grandparents’ home every holiday. My dad’s family always gathered at Mamaw and Papaw’s house. The home was in a country setting and there was plenty of room for all of our cousins to run and play.
I recall many holiday visits. There was Christmas visits, the ones when we had to get up early take a quick look at Santa’s delivery and then load up in the car for the hour drive to Grandma’s house. We weren’t thrilled to not have the opportunity to play with the new things we got from Santa but with respect to the age and condition of Grandma and Grandpa we smiled and went along our way.
Particularly, the Easter visits are ever most present on my mind. Every Easter morning after mass we would load up in the car for the trip to Mamaw’s and Papaw’s house. I don’t recall the Easter meal being the most prevalent memory on my mind, but I do recall the Easter Egg Hunts. Boy, there are a lot of memories associated with the Egg hunts.
First of all, I might mention that I was the only biological female granddaughter in the entire family. My dad’s sister and brother-in-law adopted a baby girl who is about six years younger than me. She quickly became the “FOCAL” point of the family. For six long years, i was the “Princess” of the family with no one coming near to the powers I held. Now, there was a new “Princess” in town. Her first Easter to really get in to the Egg Hunting game, was the last time I wanted to be a part of the excitement.
The adult women hid the Easter Eggs and then all of us kids began to hunt. There was only ONE GOLD egg, which meant that only one would win a prize.
Once the women (my aunts and my mom) were finished hiding the eggs, the hunt was on! There was a rush of air as all of us kids zoomed past the front porch of the old house and began scouring for the eggs. Lo and behold, I witnessed my grandmother take my rival (the new female cousin) by the hand and point out all of the eggs to her. I was so hurt and sad that I could no longer hunt for eggs. The boys were zooming all over the yard, but I just sat quietly in the middle of the front yard and counted my treasure. One egg, two eggs….. that was it! Two eggs!!!! At the final countdown to the hunt, all of the boys and the new Princess lined up on the front porch steps to see who had won the egg hunt.
I suppose that if I gave you three guesses, you would be able to figure out who the big winner was. Coming in first, with the most eggs found, was none other than the “Princess” (the newest cousin). Finding the golden or Prize egg, was none other than the “Princess”, (the newest cousin). She won the contest in every way possible.
Later, I cried and my Mamaw asked why I was crying. I told her that I watched her help the Princess find all of the eggs and I didn’t think it was fair. She told me that (the princess) was the newest member of our family and I shouldn’t feel that way. She said that she was just “teaching” her how to find the eggs.
So much has changed since that egg hunt. My grandparents have died, many years ago. After their death, my dad and mom purchased the “old” house and land from daddy’s siblings. I had married and we began going to the “old” house with mom and dad to help them fix the old place up. My children had the opportunity to spend weekends in the old house that became known as the “County House”. We have done a lot of work there to make the house livable again and to clean up the property.
My dad died about fourteen years ago. At this time my husband and I had to do all of the up keep of the house and property. We would go down there and cut grass and clean up the house, etc. A few years ago, my mom decided that she wanted my husband and I to have the old place because we had taken care of it for years. She and my brothers signed over the property to me. Now, my life has just about come full circle.
This Easter, my husband, myself, mom, one of my brothers and his wife, and all of my children and grandchildren spent Easter weekend at the Country House.
On Saturday afternoon, we boiled crawfish outside in beautiful weather. I boiled eggs for the kids to dye. After playing outside all day and they having their fill of boiled crawfish for dinner, I sat the grandkids down at the table to dye eggs. They are very talented and we ended up with some very unusual looking eggs.
On Sunday morning, they “knocked” eggs with one another and the adults. (Egg knocking is a “Cajun” tradition). After the egg knocking, I slipped out with one of my daughters and a son-in-law to hid the Easter Eggs. We made it tough for them to find the eggs, even though they were very slightly hidden. I had put each grandchild’s initial on their eggs. They each had twenty-three eggs to find. If they found an egg that did not have their initial on it, they had to put it back down in the same spot and not tell the other person that they had found one of their eggs. This became frustrating after a while.
I was Oh So Tempted to play out my mamaw’s role in this particular egg hunt. You see, my son and daughter-in-law have adopted a baby girl and this was her first year to hunt eggs. I could see the vision playing out in my head of mamaw taking princess by the hand and pointing out all of the eggs to her. Oh, I thought; wouldn’t it be something to do that!!!
The egg hunt lasted all the way through lunch time. Then the grandkids picked numbers to see who would go first to pick out prizes. We have the original big old bathtub that has always been in the house. I refinished it and my husband found new plumbing and fixtures to make it original again. I dumped all of the prizes into the BIG bathtub and the process of choosing prizes began. (Year round, I find toys and trinkets on sale and save them up for the big Easter egg hunt) The tub was loaded. Each child ended up with seven prizes. In fact, they finally got tired of picking prizes. There egg hunt was a success.
It surely was pleasant spending this holiday weekend where my brothers and I spent our holidays as children. It brought back so many memories. It was as though my dad and all of his family was there celebrating with us.
I hope that everyone had as wonderful Easter as our family did.