I can still hear the giggles and shrieks filling the back yard at my paternal grandparents (Nana & Pappy) house during our annual Egg Hunts on Easter mornings in the 1950's. Nana grew up in the days of little magic and loved to make it. Birthdays, Christmas and Easter always included extra decoration and mirth making. Pappy loved fun and surprises as well. It seemed all the kids in town knew he was wild about Halloween and that he could not wait to pass out Hershey bars. The doorbell would ring late into the evening and each opening revealed another costumed child, eager to add Pappy's chocolates to their candy bags. He bought those bars by the boxes, filling the freezer with the excess. A frozen Hershey bar on a 110 degree summer day was hard to beat.
For Easter, Nana would have a beautifully colored basket for each child and spend hours dyeing eggs in colors similar to the basket colors. And then there were the special little bundles filled with tiny toys, trinkets and candies. Early on Easter morning the treats were hidden all around their large yard and garden. Once everyone was gathered and the OK was given, the children, much like race horses itching to leave the gate, would burst outdoors to the yard where her handy work could be found. Not without a great deal of searching of course. Being dressed up like dolls in impractical clothing, while crawling around on the ground and climbing in the trees for goodies, seemed an odd contradiction. There were non-stop parental reminders to not get dirty. Right. Hard to blame them in hindsight. In the early years, we girls all had on white gloves.
For her two grandchildren, my grandmother couldn't resist an added surprise before Easter dinner; a beautifully frosted hollow sugar egg would appear. When we looked in the windowed end, another tiny world came to life. Each year a different pastoral scene with bunnies, flowers, fields or gardens kept our imaginations working overtime.
By the time the photo above was taken, probably 1956 or 57, thankfully my family was being a bit more practical, dropped the glove requirement and allowed for warmer coats. Whew. However, note the two cute little girls on the right dressed all in white, daughters of my grandparents neighbors. Bless em'. Their strict dress code went on for years, evidenced by those white dusters and hats. Cute as buttons they were, but feeling very uncomfortable. I'm on the left and next to me, my cousin. Note that none of us appear to have feet. Seems to be a common theme during those years.
I love going through old family photos. Wonderful reminders of innocent, care free times. And though the Easter Egg Hunt tradition has changed little over the years, each time I watch the next group of little ones enjoy that frantic search, I remember the extra special touches Nana brought to the occasion back in the days of dusters, hats and gloves.
PS...Yes, my bangs had recently undergone a self-administered paper scissors trim. I was in training. I still cut them myself, albeit a bit straighter these days.