Snippets from my five-year diary.
*1970 (age 12): Gym Day. Went on trampoline – fun. Went to Piano Class. On one page I got a racoon because I played excellently.
I wasn’t fond of the trampoline, but I guess that day’s experience was much better. The infamous stickers in piano class. A racoon this time. Must have been a special sticker for my excellent playing.
*1971 (age 13): Wed. Today it rained. Mom to [took] me to and from school. The 8 grade had the school talent show today. Good.
Being taken to and from school was a big deal. My mom always told the stories of walking three miles to school in the snow (she lived on a rural farm in Minnesota). Plus, horror stories of being chased by a bull. So no matter the weather, I’d never had it as bad as she had it as a kid.
*1972 (age 14): Fri. Piano lessons. Today because I finished a certain thing in piano – Mrs. Bush gave me $1000 in Confederate money.
I remember Mrs. Bush told me I’d played so well she was going to give me $1000. I was thrilled. When I saw the Confederate money I was so disappointed. I’m sure she thought it was a big deal, but to a 14-year-old kid, it wasn’t. I have no idea what I ever did with that money. Now, I’d be thrilled to receive something historical like that.
*1973 (age 15): Sat. Well I made my list for Turlock. I’ll pack tomorrow. Went to church tonight. I’ve been working on a dress – started it Thursday and finished it today.
Easter vacation was the following week. My friend Diana invited me to go with her to her grandmother’s house in Turlock (a few hours north of Fresno). More to come on that trip in the next few days…
*1974 (age 16): Sun. HAPPY EASTER. Got lots of eggs chocolate and panoramic, and little ones. Grandma and Adelaide were both here for Easter dinner.
Panoramic eggs – I believe those were the pink or yellow sugary ones with a hole revealing a scene with little candy ducks or something like that. I loved those. I never ate them but kept them because they were so beautiful and delicate.
At this point, my brother would have been about eight. My dad, ahem, the Easter Bunny, went all out hiding chocolate eggs all over the front room. They ended up in many unique places where we’d find them days, and sometimes, weeks later. He even knew how many he’d hidden so, at the end of Easter day, he’d chide us with, “Well, there’s still quite a few left.” Each day he’d ask how many we’d found and then put forth the challenge to “find the rest.”
One time they were on top of the piano keys (our piano had a lid that closed over the keys). I didn’t find them until I practiced piano lessons days later. Another time, I found the little silver-covered eggs precariously perched on the top of the mini-blinds. Of course, my dad had given me the chore “clean the mini-blinds” which I hated doing. When I finally got to that chore and found the eggs, he had a good laugh. I had a treat. Win-win for both of us.
Note to self: Though Dad will drive you crazy with all his hiding places and holiday traditions, cherish them. You’ll end up doing the same things for your own children (and they’ll reward you the famous eye-roll as you used to give your dad).
Those memories will stay with you forever. And one day, after your father is gone, you’ll wish you had one more crazy Easter egg hunt and find a hidden egg weeks later. Then, you'll finally realize Dad did that to make each holiday more fun and extra special.