Hope you had a Happy Easter
Easter has never been my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving will always hold that place of honor in my heart. But lately, I’m starting to develop a real fondness for spiral ham, eggin-spoon races and chocolate candy. Well, let’s be honest, that last one isn’t an entirely new development.
When I was a little girl, and we were living off Post Office Road in Waldorf, my dad got a hold of a tiny Douglas Fir seedling wrapped in a wet paper towel that we planted in the front yard.
Within a few years — and to my dad’s credit for staking the tree and diligently watering it — it had grown a couple feet, and one year my mom strung those brightly-colored plastic eggs from the branches at Easter time. To my 5-year-old self, it couldn’t get any more festive than that.
We moved to the country soon after, but I never did forget that tree. Back when I was in college and home for the weekend, my sister and I drove to Waldorf to do some shopping. We revisited a few of our old haunts like the duck pond with the playground where I got my head stuck between some bars and had to be extracted by the fire department, and we retraced the exact route I walked to Dr. Samuel A. Mudd Elementary School every day as a youngster. Then we took a little detour past our old house.
We were dumbstruck when we saw it. That little Douglas Fir had grown almost 30 feet tall and took up nearly the entire yard where it was planted. I went back a few years ago, but the tree was gone. There wasn’t even a stump left to mark its former location. I haven’t been back since.
I don’t do any sort of decorating for Easter except buying the obligatory pot of tulips for the kitchen table. It’s probably that I’m still recovering from all the lights the kids and I string across our house and yard at Christmas. You see, my husband climbs the ladder and puts a wreath on each window. The rest is up to me.
He calls it division of labor, but I know it’s just a clever scheme of his to reduce our already sky-high electric bill in December.
I didn’t really need to do any decorating this Easter anyway. Our yard is already lush and green, the azaleas are blooming and dianthus with bright pink flowers are popping up everywhere. All we needed were a dozen kids and those plastic Easter eggs to complete the look.
Luckily we have an Easter brunch at our house. It’s been a tradition for almost a decade now and every year extended family and friends from the neighborhood convene for sausage casserole and deviled eggs and coffee cake. After eating, the kids go inside and the adults hide the eggs. Then
we call everyone on the back deck and release the kids in heats, with the youngest getting a head start to try to even out the playing field a little.
We used to put the eggs right in the grass or nestled on a clump of flowers, near the ground and easy to see. But as the kids have gotten older, we’ve had to find more creative places, higher up and harder to find. Most of the eggs are found in the first few minutes, but it’s always fun to hear a bona-fide squeal of delight later in the day as someone finds an egg that escaped the first round of inspection.
I’m sure many of you have the same kind of family traditions. When I think back to my happiest memories from childhood, the things that stick out most in my mind are the fun times I had with my family. I don’t remember the clothes I wore or the exact food we ate, but I do remember that amazing Easter egg tree my mother decorated, my Pop-Pop hiding Easter eggs for me and my sister to find, and the time my dad took me fishing in a canoe on Easter morning and I caught my first bass.
I’m sure my kids are going to look back fondly on these Easter egg hunts, and I can only hope that someday they’ll do the same with their own children and I’ll be around to see it. You never can tell what will stick out the most for your child when they think back to their early years, but family celebrations are sure to capture a child’s heart and leave a mark that lasts a lifetime.
I hope you all had a Happy Easter making memories with the ones you love.
Rockfish or turkey?
For many of us, having to pick between a beautiful day for fishing or going turkey hunting is like being asked which of your daughters is the prettiest. There’s no safe answer.
Spring turkey season got underway yesterday and here are a few safety reminders worth reading, both for hunters and non-hunters alike.
Fluorescent orange isn’t required for turkey hunters, but it’s highly encouraged. If you’re not a hunter and just out for a hike, put on a fluorescent orange hat or vest (or better yet, both) so those gobbler-stalkers don’t have a chance of mistaking you for a turkey.
And no one venturing into fields or woods should wear any blue, red or white clothing for the next five weeks. Those colors occur naturally on a tom’s head, which is the hunter’s primar y target.
And if you’re one of the lucky hunters who gets a turkey this spring, make sure to wrap it in blaze orange or tie an orange ribbon on it as you’re transporting it to your vehicle.