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An Easter tradition

Posted 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!

Showing comments in chronological order
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Very clever solution to the gumball problem, which is obviously epidemic!

My mother, God rest her soul, went into orbit this time of year, when her neighbor's two gumball trees dropped their entire crop of sticky balls into her yard! She was normally a light-hearted lady, but she totally lost her sense of humor in the gumball season.

And, actually, I know for a fact that some towns would like to pass an ordinance prohibiting the planting of gumball trees within their borders! I kid you not! I attended a city council meeting last night in which the subject was brought up!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 8:20 PM

Oh--Welcome back, Minnie Dear! For however long you can stay, we appreciate your presence! And we are grateful for a blog with NO POLITICS!!!

Hahahahahaha! (Sound of joy)

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Mar 29, 2011, at 8:36 PM

Welcome back dear lady, very pleased there is no reference to politics but I'm sure gum balls would make a tasty 'tea'. Especially with heaps of splenda and 1/2 and 1/2 creamer.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 6:16 AM

Lordy...why, I can't believe my tired old eyes. Took a peak at the newspaper today and almost dropped my spatula...there she was, good old Minnie. Why, I had feared she may have just drifted off like my late husband (bless his soul). Yep, back in all her splendor....offering all kinds of treasured advice from gum balls to husbands. Thank the Lord.

I sure could have used some of your precious wisdom, Minnie, when my late husband was actin' up. Just didn't know what do do. Tried to sweet talk him and finally baked him my very favorite treats, but before I knew it he was gone (bless his soul). And now (talking about the Resurrection and all) I believe there might just be good news sprouting up.

I feel as though an old friend has been resurrected. And I fear I may require your advice as my new suitor is about to arrive.

Welcome back, dear Minnie!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 4:51 PM

Letseatcake, old friend!! It is so good to see you back in the kitchen, cooking up your goodies for your gentlemen friends! It's been a long, dry spell without Minnie's advice on wrinkle removers and your advice on how to find a husband!

I hardly knew what to do with my life, trying to manage on my own. I feel better already!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 8:38 PM

Yay! Minnie is back!

And on the subject of gumballs, I used to freak out when mowing the yard - those buggers would SHOOOOOOT across at high speeds. I would make certain I never aimed the mower towards the street, because I had visions of shooting it full speed through an open car window, smacking the driver in the face and the driver running into a tree and getting killed.

I had WAY too much time to think when using that push mower....

-- Posted by Eliza on Thu, Mar 31, 2011, at 9:07 PM

Haha! That's the best thing about mowing--whether with a push mower or a rider--it's a good time to let your mind wander. I miss that during the winter.

Another excellent use for gum balls is in floral arrangements. We could start up a business where we recycle the gum balls into outlandish, yet tasteful home decor items! Once we spray painted the little sticky things, no one would ever recognize them!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Apr 2, 2011, at 9:11 AM

Welcome back, Minnie! The thought of picking up gumballs by the gazillions reminds me of "Places in the Heart" with Sally Field when she was picking cotton. Her hands all bloody, the bugs buzzing around her, the sun beating down...

BUT! The gumball roundup sounds fun!

Your soon to be sister, Lovebooks

-- Posted by lovebooks on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 10:55 AM

"Soon to be sister"? Is something going on that we need to know about??? Is a brother getting married? What's up, sisters???

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Apr 8, 2011, at 8:48 PM

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