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Monday, April 21, 2014

Kochrian Tradition

Yesterday was Easter.  I know I have written about it before, but there is something about Easter that will forever bring forth wonderful childhood memories.  But most of those memories are about my Grandpa.  Don't get me wrong, Grandma was always there, too, to participate in the festivities in her own right, but it was Grandpa's day...his day to be...awful, yet wonderful.
Grandma had the role of having the Lund kids and Grant kids over to decorate eggs on a Saturday, but Grandpa helped with showing us how to do little tricks with crayons before dipping them.  (He liked to write $1 on a few that he decorated).  Grandma would always bake a pound cake in an antique cast-iron lamb mold (it was later decorated by laying on a tray of "grass" with various candies around it before we cut its head or ass off - it was always a little disturbing to me).
But my Grandpa...this is when I miss him the most.  When all those eggs were decorated and ready to be distributed the next day, he was all set.  After years of the torment that I endured on Easter at the hands of my tricky Grandfather, you'd think I would've learned my lesson by getting some rest, practicing with my brothers to hide shit and make me find it, take some adderal to be better focused...SOMETHING!!!  But no, I never learned.
When it was time for the over 100 eggs to be hidden, my cousins, my brothers and I would walk to the local park and play for about an hour and kill some time.  All the while, we were all mentally preparing ourselves to out-do each other.  Me?  I always knew what I was in store for.  Out of the over hundred eggs, I was lucky to get 10.  Not because I was an idiot, but honestly, I just sucked at it.  However, I refuse to take ALL the blame for it.
I put it back on Grandpa.
He was an expert egg hider.  He went to GREAT lengths to hide the eggs.  He would take an entire wall of firewood that was flush up against a house, pull one log out, place the egg toward the back, and put that log back almost flush.  You'd have to be looking pretty hard to find the log that was just a tad bit off from the rest.  He'd hide them in the back of the toilet.  He'd dig a whole in the dirt, put the egg in, then cover it back up...never to be seen again.  But he loved this.  He loved watching us find them and he loved watching us struggle.  From a distance, you'd see Grandpa with his hands in his pockets and bending over certain areas and looking aloof...we knew to watch him.  We would troll the old man who had the biggest grin on his face who laughed and smiled through the whole "hide & seeking" process.  He'd kick at things, hum a little bit, sometimes was sweet enough to point in a direction, and sometimes...sometimes if one of us was on the verge of tears (usually me) from the pathetic five eggs in the basket, a clue was given.
While Grandpa was notorious for the ways he managed to hide so many eggs so well that it appeared like a normal non-egg-full-garden...the joy it brought him on Easter day, makes me miss him so much, but not in a sad way.  I consider myself incredibly lucky to have such wonderful memories of this awesome man and this story is just one day out of the year that he enjoyed immensely.
The beauty about Easter with Grandpa was while it was one day of the year, it was a day when all his grandchildren were together and he was able to play with each and every one of us and enjoy being a grandfather to so many kids that loved him dearly right back.
Watching Grandpa kneeling down, pointing at an area that "might" have an egg, seeing him laugh and beam when someone actually found an egg (especially the $1 eggs), was something I'll forever remember.  It was such a happy day for him, which made it a happy day for me...even when it was my basket that had the least in it.  I'd like to think I didn't have many eggs because I was so busy watching Grandpa and observing his joy, that I was just too distracted to see any.  However, I know the reality...I honestly suck at finding eggs on Easter.
But, Grandpa, thank you for making it so memorable...even if finding eggs with my daughter yesterday was a flashback of my childhood and still getting the least amount of eggs...at the age of 37.



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