Jackie tells of the many adventures and emotions of a little girl growing up in a large family in the fifties.
This tells of Katie's first Easter memories. She is so thrilled to be home again after being at her grandmother's house and getting so homesick. Now she and her two little brothers get to go on the biggest adventure they have yet known. An Easter egg hunt with prizes!
There is No Place Like Home
Katie was so happy to be back home! She had missed everyone so much and especially the baby. He was so happy to see her and kept his arms outstretched and whined until Katie got in his bed and held him in her arms. He was still very hard to handle but Katie could pull him up onto her lap and play patty cake or just sway him gently until he fell asleep so she could bend him over to the mattress and cover him up.
Katie’s dad had gotten Easter Sunday off from work and there was a huge Easter egg hunt in the local town at a big armory with cash prizes. They knew Katie would not want to miss that and she had to look after the younger brothers and help them hunt. There were mostly real eggs and then the town added so many plastic ones that were color-coded to represent different money amounts, all the way up to $5 and there would be many of them!
Katie’s mom had bought baskets and the plastic green grass to make Katie and her two brothers baskets. She took strands of silk ribbons to make colored bows tied on the handles. Her mother could make anything! When they got back home she would add an Easter toy and chocolate bunnies and eggs to each one.
The baby was too young so her mom would just hold him and let him watch. He was very excited with so many children present and all dressed in their Easter best. Katie could not stop looking down at her new dress and shoes, but her mom said she should leave the hat and gloves at home not to lose or mess them up being on a hunt and having to help her brothers too.
The Lucky Egg
Katie Had a Plan
Whistle-Blowing was their sign to start the hunt and Katie had thought long and hard on this since she found out about it. She was certainly not fond of boiled eggs and although she must get some so the family would have plenty for dinner and hunts at home she just had the plastic shiny eggs on her mind.
There were many small children like her brothers and although parents could come to get their children if they fell or cried they could not help with the hunt or point out any eggs. There were also some bigger kids and some rowdy boys her mom said to watch out for so none of them got hurt by them.
Katie’s job would be cut out for her to manage to find eggs and help her brothers too but even from the distance, she could see colors around the broad trees and low bushes so she whispered to tell her brothers where to head first. Not in that direction for surely all would do that and as she predicted all but her brothers and she did. They went up a knoll not visible from the starting point and she tossed a couple eggs each in her brother’s baskets before she spotted some shiny plastic eggs on opposite sides of the path.
Just as she headed in that direction she saw two big boys running up the hill but she managed to get the two prize eggs before they could get there. One of the big boys bumped Katie with his arm and her basket almost spilled so she slipped the eggs in her new dress pockets and looped her arm tightly around her new basket. Then the boy ran over and checked her brother’s baskets which made Katie very angry. She took the boys by their hands and led them in a new direction not many were heading and surprisingly and thrilling to her brothers, there were eggs in plain sight out on the fields. They ran in every direction collecting them as did Katie while trying to round them up. By then the older boys were there and that was the last of that lucky strike. They checked the brother’s eggs but did not bother them.
Katie was thrilled with the prize eggs in her dress pockets!
A Hunt to Be Proud Of
They each had a few eggs, together making plenty enough so Katie headed them back down the hill and persuaded them that some could have been missed. Indeed, they each found another well-hidden edible egg and each found a shiny plastic one that blended with the weeds it was nestled in. Their father was waving for them to come back in and although Katie would love to hunt some more she felt sure that most of the eggs had been found and no one had been hurt.
There were a couple of eggs mashed up on the lawn they had to walk around getting back. Her brothers gave her a regretful look and she had to smile. She assured them they had done very well and so they were happy again, holding their baskets up to their dad.
Katie had fewer eggs than her brothers since she was so busy helping them look but she had four and then she remembered the plastic ones she had in her pockets when her dad was happy looking over her brother’s cash eggs. She pulled them out and added them to the bounty. Her dad was smiling from ear to ear that they had found four prize ones in all!
These would have to be turned in to receive the cash rewards and they had no idea what that would be. Their mother was sitting in the shade with some other mothers feeding the baby a bottle. His eyes were big with excitement but his hunger must have won out. He looked at the eggs and his brother’s and sister’s faces but never slowed down on his bottle. He could hold it easily himself now.
Their father was perhaps more excited about the hunt than they were Katie thought. He seemed so pleased with them and the happiest she had seen him in a long time. He was smiling and even laughing out loud. As the baby finished off his milk in the shade their dad took them to collect their cash prizes. There were a few in front of them so it was good they went on.
Katie looked behind them and saw those two big mean boys sitting on a rock eating eggs. Apparently, they had found no prize ones. There was no fear now with her daddy here. The one who tried to knock Katie’s basket out of her hands screwed up his face at Katie and before she could think she stuck out her tongue at him. Her dad was in front of her so he couldn’t see. She quickly looked in her mom’s direction and she was shaking her finger at Katie. Which meant Katie would be hearing about this later!
All is Well That Ends Well
Before Katie could dread the talk about pretty little girls who make ugly faces they were at the payout counter and the news was great! One brother had a fifty-cent egg and the other had a dollar one, but Katie had not only a dollar one but a five dollar one! Whoever heard of so much money? Katie had never had any! Her dad was beaming and stuck the money in his pocket.
Katie felt a little funny about that but what did it matter? She didn’t know of anything to buy or even how to buy anything! Her brothers looked at Katie as if they were surprised at this too and Katie just smiled at them and shrugged her shoulders. She asked them wasn’t it so much fun and they agreed that it was. The money was soon forgotten. They just each remembered the quick exciting race. They laughed and talked all the way home in the back seat about the hunt and the mean boys who never managed to get their eggs!
Dinner was cooking and the aroma was so good Katie’s stomach growled. They almost always had baked ham with raisin sauce this holiday and it was her mother’s special sauce recipe. Katie needed very little ham with her raisin sauce!
Their dad had been napping on the couch while the news played but now he yelled for Katie and her brothers. He asked them what they were going to buy with all their money. The oldest little brother told him he took their money. Their dad laughed and said he was only holding it for safe keeping, that he would not spend it. All three smiled at this although they none had any wants they could think of.
Now Katie spent the rest of the day getting her mother to tell her what she might want. She was so happy to not have that awful feeling that their dad would take their prize money even if they did not need or want it. But now it was their obligation to spend the money it would take a good long think.
Her mom suggested Katie might like some hair brackets and that would be nice to keep the hair back from her face but what made Katie happiest was her plan to buy her mother some headbands which she loved to keep her hair from falling in her face with all her many chores. It made Katie wish someday when she grew up she could buy her mother anything in the world that she ever wanted.
Especially when it became clear her mother was not going to bring up the little girls who make ugly faces!
© 2017 Jackie Lynnley