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Preacher's wives get to do all the neat stuff

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Remember when?

By W.B. Evans

Editor’s note – Remember When columnist W.B. “Bill” Evans is enjoying the Easter holiday with his family. We are reprinting this column, which was published on Easter Sunday 2011 at a reader’s request, with a few updates.

On Monday, the president and first lady will send out the Secret Service to round up children in Virginia and Maryland, give them a colored basket and a free pass to wallow in the grass on the South Lawn of America’s back yard for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

 

Given the political correctness of the times, I’m kinda surprised they haven’t changed the name to the “Spring Spheres Rotation.”

The theme of the largest public event of the year at the White House is “Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You!” You can believe the news cameras will be going nonstop as little ones attempt to scoop up a fancy egg that was hand-dyed by a congressman’s wife or a congresswoman’s husband.

Why, the National Park Service even has souvenir wooden eggs with the Obamas’ signature on them.

You know, Easter egg hunts in Lancaster never drew the national attention, but they were just as fun.

The first one used the eggs we found in our baskets on Easter morning with the occasional chocolate bunny and Peeps.

We got as much mileage out of the eggs as possible, using them until shells were cracked and the yellow yolk was hanging out. With the war going on, eggs were indeed golden, so you had to make the most of the situation.

Then there was the annual First Baptist Church Easter egg hunt.

Bless Pete, that White House crowd had nothing on the women’s day circle when it came to putting on a first-rate Easter Egg hunt of epic proportion.

This wasn’t your typical church function. I knew it was well-planned out and organized because Mama made me wash behind my ears, comb my hair and put some Sur-Lay hair dressing on my cowlick before we left the house.
When we got to the church, all the fellas were dressed in white short-sleeved, open-collar shirts, their best pair of short britches pants and lace-up leather shoes.

The ladies of the church got together and managed the whole shooting match.

Mama did her part, too. You could smell the vinegar coming from the kitchen as she dyed six hard-boiled eggs various colors.

The only color she didn’t dye an egg was a shade of yellow. That wasn’t allowed. Creating the “golden egg” was an honor that went to the preacher’s wife. Boy, preacher’s wives sure get to do a lot of neat stuff, I thought.
Now there was only one golden egg and finding it was like finding a dime under the sofa cushion.

The honor of hiding the eggs belonged to the church deacons. I think keepin’ the hunt on the up and up must’ve been in their bylaws, even though some of those older stewards got tired bending over and sticking a colored egg in a bush or concealing it among the wild onions. It wasn’t unusual to find two or three eggs in one clump.

A scream of delight rang out louder than a church bell as soon as the golden egg was found.

It was redeemed for a big basket loaded with jelly beans, Peeps and marshmallow chocolate rabbits. There was even a stuffed pink bunny. I figured if I was ever lucky enough to get the prize egg, I’d keep the candy and give the bunny to Tiger, the best dog a boy ever had.

However, not every church Easter egg hunt goes off without a hitch, like the year two golden eggs were found.

You never saw such a bunch of confused day circle ladies.

Thank goodness it was a work day. One of the deacons made a beeline to Buckelew’s and grabbed up enough Easter goodies to fill another basket.

If the golden egg was found early on, I focused my attention on finding the most eggs. First prize for gettin’ the most eggs was a big chocolate bunny.

Near the end, if Mama headed my direction, I knew what was up. Amid all the egg huntin’ hullabaloo, tears were flowing.

Somebody had come up empty, no eggs, no nothing.

“I just came to see how many eggs you had,” she said. “We need to borrow a few.”

I wasn’t happy about turning over some of the boiled egg bounty, but she was my mama.

Easy come, easy go. I’ve ’bout had my fill of chocolate and Peeps, anyway.

Happy Easter!