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An Easter traditionPosted Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 5:38 PM
With the Easter season being all about The Resurrection, I though it appropriate to resurrect Minnie.
With thoughts of Easter around the corner, I felt compelled to break by age-old silence and inform readers of an innovative means by which to prepare your yard for spring/summer and at the same time celebrate the Easter season with unsuspecting grandchildren or in the case where grandchildren are in short supply, neighboring little ones.
In my yard there are an abundance (one is too many) of gum ball trees...the type that produce ka-jillions of golf ball-sized prickly balls that by April 1st make a walk through the yard tons of fun, especially if you favor tiny and sometimes bloody indentions upon the soles of your feet.
I've often wondered why God, who has a purpose in everything he provides, gave us the gumball tree. Unlike the delicate and beautiful pear trees or dogwoods or redbuds, the gumball is a hearty, forgiving specimen that seems to thrive on abuse and brutal winters. It seems the worse the winter, the more spikey specimens they deposit into my yard.
But, ahhhhhh! The ever-innovative Minnie, in all her menopausal wisdom, concocted a plan last Easter to thwart the pesty problematic pricklies invading my space. And what began as a brainstorm last Easter will be sanctioned as the Second Annual Easter Gumball Hunt at the 2011 visit to grandma's.
It's quite ingenious, I must say. While the unsuspecting little ones hide their eyes, adults converge upon the yard with spray paint...a can of white, a can of yellow, pink, blue and a can of gold.
Each adult (the number can vary in accordance with the volume of gumballs in your yard) simply randomly picks up several balls and sprays a quick little blob of paint on the bottom side and then places it back on the ground with painted side down.
I'm quite sure there were somewhere around 500 gumballs dotted last year.
Here are the incentives:
A white dot earns the finder a penny.
A yellow one earns a nickel.
Pink is worth a dime.
Blue gets 'em a quarter.
The gold paint is reserved for the champion gumball, and it's very well hidden. The little darlin's will be searching for hours to find it this year, I'm afraid.Once in place, the little people are freed - out to the yard to fill their baskets...or their buckets, depending upon their age.
There is no time limit. The hunt could go on forever. Only one rule...every spiney gumball picked up, whether or not it has paint on the underside, is collected. EVERY ONE OF THEM. Anyone caught throwing them back in the yard is made to sit on a pile of gumballs for three hours...ok, maybe they were just reminded what to do with them, but it was a stern reminder.
In the end, the little rascals bring their findings to their beloved and very smart grandmother to collect their winnings. Mind you, I could have easily just stuffed some cash into those tiresome plastic eggs and hid them around the house and yard, but what's the fun in that for me? I much prefer to see some kind of tangible results for all my monetary generosity.
In the end, I believe last year's Easter Gumball Hunt garnered at least 2,500 gumballs. The total hunt cost me $43.57. As opposed to a yard man coming and cleaning up for seventy-five big ones, I think I did quite well. I'm happy, the children are happy, their parents seem content (though they're still shaking their heads) and all seems right with the world.
I love family traditions!
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