Every year--for the last four years--I host an egg hunt in my yard for my nieces,nephews and friends kids, as well. At least 200+ eggs get filled with candy and hidden around my yard. And I spend weeks planning themed gifty-knick-knacky baskets for the kiddoes and the moms too.
One year, I did mixing bowl 'baskets' for the moms with recipe cards and colourful spoons, etc. Another year, I decoupaged terracotta flowerpots with layers of tiny scrapbook paper squares and then glazed them in sepia tones and filled them with flower seed packets, garden gloves and tools from the dollar store.
The kids get plastic pails filled with toys or craft stuff. This year--for the girls--I've put together little scrapbook kits with books and paper and glitter glue. And for the boys--it's bags of magic tricks and gag items (like plastic dog poop). For the littlest boy--my nephew Brian--it's little toys he'll love, like trucks and little animals and bubbles.
It sounds like a lot of work, but I love doing it. I love seeing the kids tearing around the yard searching for the eggs. I love hearing from the moms about how much they all look forward to it every year.
This will sound a bit odd, but I think my big old house loves it too. There's something about this house--ever since we bought it and moved here (and maybe even before that, when I'd drive by it and imagine one day living in it)--it loves family. The chaos and squabbles; the quiet calm; the mess; the fun; the sorrows; the noise...everything. I think this house thrives on it. It just glows from within and radiates a love and joy. Is that true of all old farmhouses or just mine in particular? I felt--from the first day we realized that our dream of owning this house might come true--that this house wanted us as much as we wanted it. Soulmates with a house? I told you this would sound odd.
This house has been in my hubands family for over 100 years and maybe, that's it....the echoes of all previous generations of this family...experiencing life in all it's aspects and it continues and moves forward and new generations live and eat and sleep and work and play and run around the yard searching for hidden easter eggs and retrieving baskets of goodies....
A cycle, a renewal, a continuation.
Yesterday morning I dyed eggs with my little nephew Brian with food colouring and white crayons and rubberbands. We had so much fun. He was overjoyed to be able to watch the eggs turn colours and reveal designs we'd drawn, etc. I remembered doing this same thing with my own sons when they were his age. They're 17 now. I asked them if they remembered dyeing eggs with me. They did; they recalled making egg animals with stickers and such. And I knew that that was my Easter gift...that, even at 17, my sons hold a memory of something so simple and special. I think that someday they will carry that forward...and this sweet old house will never have to echo with anything but continued generations and cycles of family and love.
My Easter wish.