When I was growing up, we didn’t have an Easter egg hunt. Once I got married and moved to the farm everything was new to me. My new family used to hunt Easter eggs.
At first, we met at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It usually hides white men. There was also something special for each of us to find. I remember that my husband’s birthday fell one day at Easter. That year I bought him a new ladder. I hid it outside for him to find.
We took a lot of pictures, so there are pictures of our haunts. Often, we had visitors. Dick’s cousins, Rita and Keith, were often with us. This custom goes back a long time since they have been coming to the farm since they were young. I remember Ethel talking about dropping the Jelly Beans as they rolled down the stairs making a lot of noise while the Easter Bunny was filling baskets at the farm.
I think we had our meal before the hunt because after that, all the kids wanted to do was eat dessert! The cousins had a lot of fun together. There was always time to play while the men did their evening chores. Sometimes we played. Sometimes, the kids would play together.
There were also Easter egg hunts in the church. At one at Goldtown Church it was so hot the day of the program’s training that the chocolate melted. The children had to take the candy home and put it in the fridge to freeze again before they could eat it.
When we first started attending Akele United Methodist Church, we had a haunting there. Sometimes, someone beat all the eggs in the stash. We created a method where each child had to find their own basket. That was a fairer way.
In the end, Easter was held in Hickory Heights. The family became so big that we stopped meeting. I hid eggs and small gifts for my children, their spouses, and their grandchildren.
One year I did a scavenger hunt. I wrote clues that I hid around the yard. Each child had their own clues to find their shopping cart. They enjoyed this activity so much that they asked me to do another one the following year.
Now with no young people Easter is much quieter. I usually fix the ham and some side dishes and we eat. After that I gave the grandkids some candy from me. Without that I enjoyed holidays with my children and grandchildren. It was a part of our day even before we got married. One year he brought me Easter decorations. I still take it out every year.
One year I made homemade candy. I think it was the year after the pandemic. I bought different flavor oils and made a variety of candy. I used a fondant recipe that I’ve made a few times. I made each flavor differently so everyone who got it would know what they were getting. Only one grandson came home that year so he got a good supply of candy.
We used to make candy all the time. Grandma had a recipe that called for powdered sugar, pineapple, cherries, coconut, and nuts. It was a pretty big recipe so we made big eggs decorated with names for the whole family.
The year Dick and I got married, her grandmother made Easter candy. When I showed up with some of my friends, I went to the cellar to get a dessert to treat everyone. The box turned and candy spilled on the floor. I feel so sorry for her. She had some left in the box for treatment. I’m not sure what I did with the rest of the candy.
Easter meant we always went to church. More often than not, we were a little late. The men had to do the housework. Our little church was always full on Easter. Families got together. We either sat at the front or had to sit on chairs up the aisle. There were literally chairs everywhere.
On Easter Sunday, it’s time to change the clocks. My husband and I got to the church just as everyone was leaving. Guess who forgot to change her watch!
There will be no Easter egg hunt for us this year. I’m expecting a small family gathering with the meal just to celebrate. If you have kids, enjoy your time with them because they grow up so fast.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pennsylvania. Contact [email protected].