I was thinking the other day about the last time I got an Easter basket. You know, the brightly colored plastic basket filled with green tinsel and packed full of candy and toys scattered around your living room floors this past weekend.
That of course got me thinking about my childhood and the community Easter egg hunt that took place for several years in Nara Visa.
When I was younger I knew that after the Easter Mass there would be an awesome wrapped basket with goodies and eggs to be hunted.
I don’t know what excited me more, the prospect of toys and candy on a day other than my birthday or Christmas, or the contest among my sister, my cousins, the neighborhood kids and me in hunting those brightly colored Easter eggs.
Now before you start to lecture me, I was fully aware of the meaning of Easter. I was, after all, the son of the local Catechism coordinator, and my mom instilled the lessons and teachings early.
This, of course, also meant that I was expected to pass every Catechism class with flying colors. You can ask my cousins about growing up around my mom and being in her Catechism classes someday. They will tell you that if there was ever a teacher you didn’t talk back to, or made sure you paid attention to, it was her.
Though strict in her teachings, my mom also let us enjoy the commercial side of Easter.
This meant that during the week leading up to Easter we got to help boil eggs and decorate them for the community Easter egg hunt held every year at the Nara Visa Community Center, an old red brick school building.
This was one of the big gatherings held in Nara Visa and back then, it was all about getting the eggs. Each family brought eggs to the event to ensure that everyone would get a chance to find some of the treasures.
This also included plastic eggs with candies and sometimes money inside and one year there was even an ostrich colored ostrich egg. I can’t remember who found that giant egg, though I can tell you he or she was the envy of us all, holding that mammoth egg over his or her head.
The families put a lot of time into decorating the eggs—everything from applying glitter, specialized shrink wrap with cartoon designs and your more than average application of food dye.
The dyed eggs were so awesome. They included multicolored, bright pastels, and at one time tie dyed eggs were included.
We would all gather at the gym kitchen and begin singing songs and playing games while a group of parents went out and hid the eggs around the schoolyard and playground.
I can’t tell you how many times we would get yelled at when we would sneak over to the doors trying to get a peek at the potential hiding spots.
Oh sure, when you think about it now, it’s pretty easy to spot a brightly colored egg, but back then, you not only had to spot it you had to be quick enough to snag the egg before it was taken by another.
One year, someone decided to decorate a few dozen eggs with camouflage. This, of course, made for a very lengthy egg hunt.
The hunting grounds were divided for age groups. Those of us who were older knew not to grab the eggs on the sidewalk or on top of table and the area around the tennis court. Those eggs were for the toddlers and those under 8 years old.
The outlying areas by the playground, school house and patio areas were for the advanced egg hunters. We knew that you needed to look well because those eggs could be high, low, partially covered or in places you’d never think to look.
I remember one time someone hid an egg inside a hollowed out post near the evergreen trees. At least six people passed it before I scooped it up.
There was also a time that someone taped a plastic egg to the rope of the flag pole and raised it to the top. That one was spotted by my sister Nicole, who went up, untied it and claimed the egg and the $5 bill inside as her own.
I can say I was jealous of her find. After all we were all too busy looking down at the ground, and she was the only one who thought to look up and see that orange beacon.
So many memories came from those Easter Egg hunts—spending time with friends, family and just having a good time doing something as simple as finding eggs.
I think back to those simpler times and think that we all could use some simple in our lives.
We spend so much time rushing around with work, activities and events for family and friends. These days we tend to not have much time for simple things or much else for that matter.
This past weekend I saw a rabbit in the office parking lot and once I had put up my equipment, I decided to take a walk and follow that rabbit for awhile.
It was a short walk but for those two blocks I saw another rabbit, three crows, two cats and an overly excited Chihuahua, as if there were any other kind.
It did not yield any progress, solve any problems or was not on any of my to do list, though that walk was as simple as it may have seemed, it gave me some valuable time to think.
Thomas Garcia is a senior writer at the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at tgarcia@ qcsunonline.com