Easter: Now and then

Susan Manzke
Harrison is happy with his finds.

When our children were young we didn’t have to arrange dates for Easter. We chose the Sunday on the calendar and had our family egg hunt and dinner on the same day.

Times have changed for the Manzke clan as others married into our family. It takes some juggling now to find times when we can all get together. Because of assorted obligations, the Manzke clan had Easter on March 24—even with this planning we weren’t able to include everyone. Our grandsons, Ethan and Seth were off on their own adventures and were missed.

This year we met at Rebecca and Andy’s home. The day was cool, but at least it wasn’t snowing or raining.

When all who were coming had arrived, the plastic eggs were hidden in the yard. The limited area meant many eggs were right out in the open where even the four-year-olds could find them.

Susan’s grandchildren ready for their egg hunt: back row, Arianna, Eli, Caleb, Serenity
    Front row, Wyatt, Aryana, and Harrison (wearing blue glasses).

Watching the group scatter about the yard with their baskets and bags was very entertaining. Our grandchildren were in such a hurry to collect eggs they ran right past ones that were right out in the open. Even so, everyone returned inside with more than enough eggs from the hunt.

The eggs contained prizes and had to be opened. Some had money, others had little plastic toys. No candy made it into any of the eggs. Sugar has been eliminated from everyone’s diet—to avoid being temped (which I am) I have to turn my head when shopping. I know the devil is calling my name, especially when I pass chocolate…any kind of chocolate.

The children were thrilled with their prizes. Some of the parents weren’t as thrilled with what had been hidden in the eggs. Rebecca had included whistles. If the reaction from the adults, some of those whistles may have been lost on the way home.

When I was a kid, we colored eggs and hid them in our yard. Dad was our Easter elf, hiding enough for cousins and neighbors, too. Once he set one in a divot at the edge of the lawn. That egg was never found. It turned out that it wasn’t a divot, but a deep snake hole. I always wondered what the snake thought when it found a hardboiled egg in its hole. (By the way, all the hard boiled eggs that were found went back into our kitchen and were eaten along with Easter soup.)

Harrison and Wyatt cracking open their eggs.

Another egg adventure in my youth included a special egg hunt. The advertisement said that there was a golden egg hidden that was worth $50. Fifty dollars was a fortune to us and we looked forward to that Mokena, Illinois egg hunt for weeks. That hunt never took place. Oh, we begged to go and my parents took us but not one egg was found. We had six inches of snow! No one found even ordinary eggs, let alone the gold one—I’m still bummed about that hunt.

I used to stay up late the Saturday before Easter making four individual baskets for our kids. Kites, bubbles, and candy went into those baskets. I counted so that each one was identical, or as nearly as I could make them.

Those baskets were hidden inside the house. Names were attached so our children had to find the one with their tag. Afterward we all pigged out on the sweets—I should have stopped with the kites and bubbles, and avoided candy overload. Live and learn.

Our family Easter celebration is behind us, though candy is still calling to me from store shelves. I’m trying to be good.

Maybe I’ll take out a kite and fly it this year, that’s if we don’t have a snow storm, then I’ll make a snow bunny instead.

Happy Easter!

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;