Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Ultimate Easter Treasure Hunts!

Growing up in the country, Easter meant one thing-amazing treasure hunts plotted and executed by an uncle who was just a kid at heart. Early Easter morning that uncle would go on his mission of hiding small clues written on strips of white paper absolutely anywhere he pleased including the fields and creek and old barns and granary and pumphouse and garages and cars and sidewalks and trees and woodshed and that chicken coop turned into our clubhouse. He'd have them hidden before we got up!

Rain or snow we'd be outside most of the day 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 the clues were not hidden haphazardly or were they obvious. And each clue was cleverly written by clever wording. The entire hunt was thought out, mapped out and staked out with every little detail considered for remember, that kid at heart was behind it all.

There were proably about 20 clues. The older kids would haul along the younger ones who'd get tired but the thought of a brown grocery bag with their name on one loaded with candy kept them in the race. For the older kids it truly 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 Easter maze. It never failed that a few times during the hunt one of us would run to ask him for an extra clue if we were stumped but he never obliged. Looking back, I'm glad he didn't. Not once was the treasure not found. We did it all on our own. Although there was one particular time when we almost quit. That was the year our uncle hid the brown bags way underneath the creek grass. We'd figured the clue out but there was so much creek grass! We scoured the bank of that old creek over and over again and again. We'd stomp our feet, move aside the course grass. When the bags were found, we cheered all the way back home.

When you think about it those treasure hunts were ingenious ploys to keep us outside all day until dinner. We were out from under foot and the older kids were babysitting the younger ones while the adults gathered peacefully inside. 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.

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