Easter Surprise in July

children on step

Joe, Cindy and Mariann

“Why did the Easter Bunny make it so hard for us to find the prettiest egg?” I grumbled sitting on the couch smoothing out the purple polka dots on the skirt of my Easter dress.

I was five in 1952 and generally a happy child. But on this crisp Easter morning I could feel my cheeks droop and lower lip sag. “Sitting inside pouting isn’t going to help you find the special egg!” Mom said.

“The egg is out there somewhere; you just have to keep looking.” My mom’s younger sister, Yvonne, said as she swished me outside to join my cousins, Joe and Mariann.

 It seemed a hopeless search for an Easter egg that had vanished. I’d taken great pains and patience to beautifully decorate the egg and now I felt betrayed by an Easter Bunny who had hidden it in a secret place, never to be found.

The three of us left nothing unturned. Mariann looked in the tall thickets of grass growing in the backyard and around the storage shed. I searched behind the shovels, hoes and work tools inside and outside the garage. Joe, being the oldest and tallest, stood in a wheelbarrow to peek up onto all sides of the roof. No luck!

Where was the egg that I’d so carefully dipped into two different colors to make a turquoise and yellow mosaic pattern, and then stenciled on tiny pictures of baby chicks groggily popping out from under a cracking eggshell?

As the sun dropped below a purple and pink horizon that Easter day, Aunt Yvonne drove away with Joe and Mariann waving a dejected goodbye through the car’s rear-window.

Mom continued to reassure me in the months to follow that we’d find the wayward Easter egg. “This happened to me once when I was a little girl and the egg eventually turned up. The same will happen for you, I guarantee it.” She said. Mom seemed confident that we’d find the egg, but I wasn’t so sure.

The day finally arrived! It was a sweltering July afternoon and we were moving from Richland, Washington to The Dalles, Oregon.

Daddy pulled our utility trailer out from its storage place in the backyard and there it was – the treasured egg! It had been safely nestled in the grass behind the trailer tire and when the tire heaved from its deep rut, the egg gently rolled down into the dirt groove.

“Stand back, I’ll get it!” I shrieked scooping up the precious egg that had eluded me for months. Daddy smiled wide and stepped back as I embraced the satisfying moment.

“Mom has got to see this!” I scurried through the front door and into the kitchen carefully cupping the egg in my small hands.

I put the egg in a bowl on the kitchen counter and climbed up onto the tall chrome stool that stood at the end of the kitchen counter. “Mom, guess what I found?” I asked smugly.

She looked up from taping a packing box in the dining room but I couldn’t wait for her response. “The Easter egg, remember the special one we couldn’t find last Easter!” I blurted.

“Oh, I see.” Mom said flatly. There was hesitation in her voice and I sensed she wasn’t nearly as excited about the egg as me.

She glanced at me and then at the smudged and soiled boiled egg. “The egg has been laying in the grass for too long, Honey,” she paused and waited for my reaction, “so we can’t eat it.” She said softly.

Dumbstruck, I exclaimed, “Why not?”

Then she asked, “Take a close look at it, and tell me what you think the Easter bunny would want us to do with this egg.”

I turned the egg repeatedly in my hand taking care to inspect it closely. “It’s cracked…dirty…and kind of beat up after hiding from us for so long. I suppose he’d tell us not to eat it.” I replied, sniffing the egg.

“How about I scramble some fresh eggs for us tonight when we get to our new house? I’ll add your favorite ham chunks to the eggs and you can make the toast. Would you like that?” Mom asked.

 “Fresh eggs will be good because this egg isn’t special any more, it’s smelly!” I said, wrinkling my nose and dropping it into the trash.

 easter eggs

The true stories in the four volumes of Seasons of Our Lives — Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter will charm, intrigue, captivate, and inspire you because they speak of our lives almost as much as they do the authors’. Each volume contains 100 stories unique to award-winning authors, Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler, yet at their core, these stories tell of all our lives.

Cynthia Briggs’ tale, Easter Surprise in July was chosen for the Spring volume (above), By the Seat of our Pants for the Summer volume, and her Turkey Jerky for Thanksgiving Dinner story for the Autumn volume. All books are available from the Kindle store at Amazon.com.

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