Eastertime in Rural Arkansas

I find it interesting that Easter can come in March or in April, but it doesn’t come before spring officially begins. In other words, Easter is always in spring. And, for some reason, I like it when Easter is in April and comes very late. That’s because when I was growing up, I liked a fairly warm day on which to attend Easter Sunday services. If I had on a pretty, new dress, I did not like wearing a sweater over it. I know that’s silly, but I was a child then, and I thought like a child.

And I remember that time when our family had our first and last Easter egg hunt … fond memories linger still. I was almost grown that year, but my sisters and I boiled and dyed eggs and hid them in the grassy woods near the house for our little brothers to find. It was a lot of fun, because the little ones were so excited roaming around among those tall, Arkansas pines and tromping springtime’s soft, green grass.


We country folks have expressions that go like these. When someone is looking for something, if they’re a little off, we’d say, “You’re cool.” If they are quite a bit off, we’d say, “You’re getting cold.” If they are way out in the boondocks, we’d say, “Boy, you’re freezing.” Then, if they are somewhat in the territory of their target, we’d say, “You’re warm.” If they are getting close to the target, we’d say, “You’re getting hot.” If they are right on the target and don’t see it, we’d say, “Wow! You are on fire … you’re burning up.”

So after we had tucked all the eggs into every nook and cranny, we eagerly watched to see if the little ones were on the path to a “find.” If they were, we’d say, “You’re getting warm.” If they made a detour away from the “find,” we’d say, “Now, you’re getting cold.” If they kept walking in the wrong direction, we’d say, “Now, you’re freezing.” Then, they would turn around and head in another direction. If they got close to an egg, we’d say, “You’re getting warm again.” When they got real close to an egg, we’d say, “You are really hot.” If they were about to step on the egg, we’d shout, “You’re on fire! You are burning up!” That was their clue to look down and move something around. When they did, then, “bingo.” There was their “find.” We all had a good laugh as the boys gathered their eggs into their little homemade, paper Easter baskets.

After we were satisfied that they had found all the eggs, we headed to the house to gobble them all up. Doesn’t it seem as though colored Easter eggs taste better than just plain, old boiled breakfast eggs? It’s as though the pretty colors add some magical flavor to the taste, but that’s probably just my imagination “running away with me.” Back then, we didn’t know anything about high cholesterol, and probably if we had, we still would have eaten our beautifully colored, hand-dyed, Easter eggs anyway.

We never got Easter baskets and chocolate rabbits, but my daddy bought candy Easter eggs and jelly beans – my favorite. I really looked forward to this holiday, because, like Christmas, we ate more candy than at any other time of the year. Never mind that too much sugar causes cavities. It was the candy-eating season, and we did not care what too much candy caused. I just loved digging through the bags and picking out all the black jelly beans. Whatever flavor they are, they are the best. We did not have the little, yellow marshmallow chicks either, but even still, during this lovely, springtime season, we had our share of candy and some really fun-filled, deliciously, sweet days.


  • Published on Apr 21, 2014
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