No matter how old I get, I will always have fond memories of my pap and all of his crazy antics. When I was a little girl, however, I soon realized that my Pap would do anything for his granddaughters just to see smiles on their faces.
It all started when my Pap wanted to have an Easter egg hunt. I must admit, this grand idea was conjured by both my Mom and my Pap. My Mom's backyard was deemed entirely too small to hide a mass amount of Easter eggs, whereas my Pap's backyard was ... well, massive.
In all honesty, he really didn't have a backyard - he just had land. To my sisters and I, it seemed like a faraway land. Some place where we could run around and lose ourselves in our imaginations.
A large portion of land must mean that ample amounts of Easter eggs will be hidden in various locations. What does that mean for my sisters and I? More candy and prizes, of course!
Wrong. Well, no not really. You see, my mom sure loves her food fights. I'm not exactly sure where all of that stems from; perhaps she wasn't allowed to play with her food as a child. Instead of having the good old fashioned Easter egg hunt, my Mom and Pap decided that it would be a "blast" if they could incorporate the two.
I'm not exactly sure whose idea it was to use whipped cream and mashed potatoes, but my mom has an explanation all of her own: "One year it was instant mashed potatoes, but whipped cream was much easier and didn't hurt as much when someone wailed it at you."
I must have been very small at the time, because I only have faint recollections of these so-called food fights. I sure don't recall getting "wailed" with Idaho spuds. What I do remember is that burning sensation generic whipped cream caused in my eyes. My eyes weren't the only casualty. Oh, the horror!
Other minor injuries came when my sister, Kelley, made an attempt to scoop whipped cream out of the bottom cooler, and the cooler lid cracked her on the nose. Kelley also was blinded by the dreaded whipped cream. I believe she suffered the most as she was only 2 at the time.
My sister Erin, my cousin Damian and my Uncle Donny always chose not to participate in the messy event. My Dad always recorded it, so he stayed clean, too.
Pap always hid a ton of eggs and candy. Some of the eggs contained money, some had candy and the rest of the eggs (usually the jumbo eggs) contained a piece of paper with a number on it. Each number coincided with a unique prize that my Pap had picked out. They ranged anywhere from jump ropes to squirt guns to containers of bubbles.
One year, however, Kelley received a roll of toilet paper as a gag gift. I did mention she suffered the most, right? Needless to say, she wasn't
After the hunt, we would all sit down on my Pap's hillside and anxiously open our eggs to see how much candy and/or money we had collected. Sitting on the ground, staring at my plastic bag full of Easter eggs, I felt like a king or queen. This was my treasure ... and now I could taste it. Literally!
My mom can't wait until Emma's old enough to really get into the 21st Century Easter egg hunt. Who knows, maybe we'll do the food fight with her, too! Pap and my Mom were the adults of the clan, but for just a day they were able to be little kids again. Hopefully, I can soon follow suit.
Sentinel Reporter Tara Maguire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.