Easter Egg Hunts and Jellybeans


The black ones are mine

Tomorrow many of us will celebrate Easter. This holiday is quite late this year and because April is nearing its end, we might expect warm springlike temperatures to greet us over this weekend.

That’s not what’s happening here along the shore of Lake Michigan. 😦  The green stubs of my daffodils have been shivering in the strong lake winds; tomorrow is likely to be a repeat.

Our weather has been a bit like the jelly beans found in an Easter basket—lots of different flavors and usually one or two that are clearly a person’s favorite.

Mine were always the black ones since no one in my family liked them. That way I knew they would last as long as I wanted them to last.  Our weather’s been like that also but no one’s has choices lately. It’s mostly been miserable and like the lonely jellybeans left when everyone’s taken what they like. I think all the good weather has gone somewhere, I don’t know where, but here in my neck of the woods we’ve had nothing but bad weather—or those lonely green jelly beans no one wanted in our family. 🙂

In addition to jellybeans in Easter baskets, in my family it’s been tradition to get together at some point during the day. As a child I loved those times because we’d share foods and desserts not usually served outside of that particular holiday. And Easter meant Easter eggs, baskets filled with candy—again not something we’d have much of, and if the Easter bunny was “rich” that year, a toy or something we really wanted. That seemed a fair reward for long hours spent in church during Holy Week services.

When I had my own family and my siblings and their families would gather together for Easter, my sister started the tradition of the Easter egg hunt to give all the little ones something fun to do. One particular Easter we had a glorious, favorite jellybean kind of day. The skies were sunny, the temps warm enough to set up the picnic tables and chairs and serve dinner outside. That also meant the day was perfect to conceal the eggs in spots not so easy to find since the yard had many great hiding places.

My youngest son Steven was the oldest of the group of “little nieces and nephews.” At times he used his oldest title to tease and torment the younger ones. (Probably fueled by the fact that he’d been teased and tormented by his three older brothers.)

Anyway, the rule was “find your own egg and if you find someone else’s egg, don’t reveal the location.” Well, all the little ones found their eggs rather quickly while all of us adults enjoyed the activity. However, Steven couldn’t find his egg. My sister kept giving him hints and he’d scurry off looking but couldn’t find it. The younger ones loved that they beat Steven in finding their egg and those got their baskets filled with the kind of candy they liked.

Now Steven loves candy and he had his reputation to maintain as smartest and oldest; needless to say, he felt thwarted. His face was turning redder and his temper was rising. I’m sure it didn’t help that two of his brothers were “egging” him on. Finally, after about half an hour of his frantic looking, and the final hint from my sister, Steven found his egg and got his Easter basket full of candy.

We still remember that beautiful Easter when we picnicked outside and foiled Steven. I thought of it today especially as my nephew, now a father, sent a photo of his daughter on an Easter egg hunt. Time flies…

This Easter many of those who picnicked with us that day are no longer here: my two sons, John and Jimbo; my sister’s beloved husband, Erik; my mother; my two brothers, Jerry and Ed. The “little nieces and nephews” are grown and celebrating with families of their own. My oldest son is in Alaska. One sister will be out of town and my brother lives in California and will be celebrating Easter with his family and friends out there.

Moon last Sunday seen from my office window

We will be a small group—my sister who started the egg hunt tradition, our youngest son, Steven, hopefully feeling well enough to be in his wheelchair, my hubby and I. We won’t be picnicking outside but at my dining room table. We won’t be doing an Easter egg hunt. But we have phones to connect us to those not here with us. We have Facebook and email too. And we have our memories of those departed. They will linger with us while we gather for we carry them always in our hearts.

I’m hoping for a few black jelly beans in addition to our traditional Easter ham.

I hope you all have the Easter you want.  And I hope you get all your favorite jellybeans.

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10 Comments on “Easter Egg Hunts and Jellybeans”

  1. Nancy Kaye Says:

    Well done. I hope you get your black jelly beans. Red is my favorite. I miss hiding the baskets, etc. Now the grandkids get gift cards. I’m so lucky to have my family, but I miss my parents and brother also. We know they are with us in spirit.

  2. caseyclifford Says:

    I don’t expect any black jellybeans this year–and I don’t really need them. I expect when Mary gets here we’ll rehash many memories of Easters past. Happy Easter to you and your family.

  3. Anne Parent Says:

    You’ve brought memories to me of times with family on Easter. Thank you and I hope you get those black jelly beans.

  4. Edie Ramer Says:

    MJ, our Easter gatherings are getting smaller, too. We’re expecting family at my house tomorrow. I didn’t buy jelly beans, but I did buy chocolate creme figures and chocolate with peanut butter. The good stuff.

    I hope you have a black jelly beat Easter.

  5. caseyclifford Says:

    Anne,

    Sparking memories of the past especially if they are fun and happy blend in with each new event to make them memorable.Your candy choices sound perfect. Happy Easter.

  6. caseyclifford Says:

    Happy Easter, Edie!

    No black jelly beans in this house. My bunny must be on strike. But that’s okay. One year I got enough jelly beans to last a year–hand delivered by Mr Bunny himself while I was giving a lecture in class. Another memorable moment which may find its way into some book some day.

  7. Deb Says:

    Love the memories, MJ. So similar to my own. Loved those Easter egg hunts! This year we’re gathering with two of our sons and fixing veggies, shrimp and scallops. No chocolate, no jelly beans, just a simple vanilla cake for dessert. Not traditional but tasty.

    Happy Easter!


  8. I can sadly relate, my family is getting smaller by the year as well. My grandma, my dad, my younger brother, all gone. And this year my mom joined them up in Heaven. My grandpa is still here, but at 87 he doesn’t care to travel anymore, so I won’t have company on Easter…for the first time in years.

    Growing up in Chicago, we always looked forward to a huge Fannie May Easter bunny in our basket, plus several of those yummy cream eggs…but since the company has been under new ownership, the candy just doesn’t taste the same anymore. So I didn’t bother ordering any this year. 😦

    But I still had a ball making baskets for my kids. We colored eggs a little while ago, and I have plastic eggs filled with trinkets for an egg hunt later today. No Easter ham dinner, but Beef Stroganoff will do just fine. And next week my brother comes up with his daughters and his beautiful little granddaughter, the next generation. 🙂

    Happy Easter!!

  9. Casey Says:

    Deb,

    Jim made a fantastic key lime pie which was to die for though I took a very small piece. He also made a chilled asparagus and artichoke salad which was scrumptious. Got to love the man who can cook like that though I just finished cleaning up the kitchen. I worried about today but I got through–not tears, not even sad. 🙂

  10. Casey Says:

    Donna,

    Oh, I loved Fanny Mae Easter bunnies and the chocolate creme eggs. I’d get them for my boys because I loved them and they’d give me a bite which was enough.:-) I remember coloring the eggs. We did it until they left home to start their own lives. Hope your day went well. Beef Stroganoff, yummy!


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