Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter Treasure Hunts Out in the Country

We were lucky. We had that uncle who was more child than adult and never was this more apparent than on Easter.

As I've explained before, there were 4 houses full of relatives all sitting in a row on a winding country road. Besides yards, there were back fields and a creek and an old barn and granary and pump house and wood shed and a chicken-coop-turned-clubhouse and on and on and on. There were just so many nooks and crannies tucked here and there and our uncle took advantage of most all of them because back then, every Easter, he plotted and ployed as off on a mission he'd go around the fields and creek and old barn and granary and pump house and wood shed and a chicken-coop-turned clubhouse hiding numbered, folded pieces of paper on which he'd written a clue. Putting all those clues together, this uncle was actually the Mastermind behind Treasure Hunts that could have been possibly the most amazing adventures any child anywhere could ever had wished to be a part of on Easter.

Rain or snow we'd be out there-searching, running, peering, wondering, figuring-scratching our heads; one minute in deep despair unable to find the next clue while maybe seconds later jumping for sheer joy with that clue in hand, ready to figure out where the next clue might be.

You must understand these clues were not hidden haphazardly or obviously. From the first to the last, each clue was cleverly disguised by clever wording and the entire hunt was thought out, mapped out and staked out with every little detail considered. We were taken all over the place-from the hayloft to backseats of parked cars to cracks in siding to cinderblocks and tree twigs. Nothing was off limits.

All in all there were probably about 20 clues. The older kids would haul along the younger ones who'd get tired or crabby but the thought of a brown grocery bag with their name on it full of candy out there somewhere kept them in the race. For the older kids it really wasn't the candy. It was that Mastermind watching from his glassed-in side porch getting as much enjoymnet watching as he had creating the maze. A few times one of us might have run and asked him for a clue about a clue we just couldn't figure out but he never obliged-and looking back I'm glad he didn't. Not once was the treasure not found and we did it all on our own.

When it was over, we all ended up with our brown bags, although a few Hunts were harder than others-like the time the final clue most certainly referred to the creek grass but there was just so much of it. We scoured the bank of the creek-over and over, again and again we'd stomp our feet, move aside the course grass. Eventually we found it but it was almost time for dinner-and now thinking about it, maybe that was part of the ingenious ploy behind those amazing Treasure Hunts. We were out from under foot. The older kids were babysitting and never realized it as the adults gathered peacefully inside.

Very clever! That uncle was more of a Mastermind than I ever realized back then-out in the country, searching for brown grocery bags full of candy hidden by a man with the heart of a child!


  1. What a wonderful experience in your childhood ~ and so delightfully told ~ can see why you are successful at writing children's books ~ Over from BF to see your wonderful blog ~ thanks for sharing ~ ^_^

  2. Glad you enjoyed my Blog Carol! Thanks for the comment.

  3. That sounds like fun...I think I would still throroughly enjoy one of your uncle's treasure hunts!