This year we decided to host Micalagh’s family (the Beckwiths) for the Easter holiday and all that goes with hosting a large family (6 kids). They have a tradition of a going to an Easter Egg Hunt around the holiday. Micalagh, and Nieve (Micalagh’s 12-year-old sister) thought we should continue the tradition at the farm. That idea was planted in my mind but it was not given a lot of thought. It was an idea sitting in the back of your mind until, eventually; you know that you have to do it because you won’t have any peace unless you do. It’s interesting how the mind works. You don’t give it the attention it deserves but at the same time you can’t forget about it. You don’t have a clue how well it will turn out and you are afraid that it won’t go well, partly because you didn’t spend a lot of time planning.
That’s kind of how things happened with the Easter Egg Hunt. It was just a little seed of an idea that grew in the back of my mind until I realized that I couldn’t ignore it any longer. It grew into this thing that started to demand my attention. We hardly planned for it but somehow things just came together to make it an absolutely wonderful event.
About 10 days before the event, someone stopped by the farm from Harrisburg Park and Recreation. They wanted to see if it was too muddy because of the recent rain for a visit later that day. We talked for a bit and it came up that we were going to have an Easter Egg Hunt. He promptly offered some plastic eggs for the event. I said sure but I didn’t really expect it to happen partly because nothing more was said about it. Later that day we hosted that afterschool group for a tour of the farm.
The Monday before the Easter Egg Hunt a box was dropped off at the farm and it contained 1000 eggs with candy in each egg. Needless to say it was such a blessing to receive this gift of eggs. It was definitely more than we needed. We made up flyers and we gave some to the Reinford’s to give to their neighbors. I took some to Joshua Group kids at Holy Family School. I invited kids from across the alley. I took some to the office and made sure that Sally had a few. The flyers got around to a bunch of different people.
Micalagh and her family helped make the event a huge success. That Saturday morning, Nieve, our neighbor Amanda, Micalagh’s brother Connor, and I added more candy to about half the eggs and we went up to the farm. We hid loads of them but had about 80 that we didn’t hide. We thought if a few of the kids missed out, we could give them some extra eggs.
The kids started coming about 15 minutes early. We tried to keep them near the front and to wait patiently for the rest. We waited and waited and while we waited Micalagh had them play a game. You pass the egg and who ever had the egg had to tell us their name and something about themselves. We waited until about 10 after and we could wait no longer. We had about 15 kids at that point, and you can only stall for so long.
The kids took off and started looking for eggs high and low. We had hidden about 400 of them. We had 8 of those that were special eggs, good for different prizes (chocolate or more eggs). They were hidden better than some of the others. We had a special section for toddlers where the eggs were hidden basically just on the grass. You never saw such an excited bunch of kids. They took off and were having so much fun. All the while more and more kids were arriving. Good thing we hid so many because it took them a while to find them.
We decided after a while that we needed to have a second round. We had all the kids come back down to the front for a few minutes. Micalagh had them playing Simon says or something like it. Micalagh’s brothers and sisters went to the other side of the green house and hid the additional 80 eggs that I had reserved. It was good to have these extra eggs for the 15-20 kids that got there after the hunt start. The kids got to have another chance to find more eggs. It wasn’t the way I had planned it but worked out well.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was warm and the sun was out. I know a few of us got a little burned but it was perfect for t-shirts and shorts. There must have been at about 25-30 kids that came and participated. They were Joshua Group kids, and relatives of others that knew, neighbors, friends of friends and it was awesome. They were just running around being kids and having fun. Parents visited with each other and enjoyed the weather. It was such a huge success that I hope that it becomes a tradition at the farm. We still have a bunch of eggs that we can use next year. It was a beautiful thing when an idea takes root and blossoms. I know that it was a blessing to the kids, the parents, my wife, the Beckwiths and especially myself. I am glad that the idea took hold and kept growing until there was nothing we could do but try and make it happen. The event couldn’t have turned out better even if we had planned better.
It makes me smile and does my heart a world of good each time I find an egg (about 6 now) that weren’t found and to think about that wonderful day.