Yesterday it was exactly 20 years that we started our adventure in Ireland. Although in my current chronology of events I’m at a different point in time, I’d like to throw in this typical Easter procedure that was repeated for several years.
Our neighbors’ kids were flummoxed that there was an Easter Bunny to visit German children that brought them sweets and colored eggs—even to those living abroad. In our first year we could see our new neighbors peep through their front windows. It wasn’t customary at the time to have an egg hunt in Ireland. In the following years we invited them to join us but since Mass took precedence, they didn’t often make it.
Since the weather was often dreadful and our offspring couldn’t be relied on to always find what had been left for them, we came up with a clever strategy. On Easter Sunday, Mac would take us through the gardens pretending to look for hidden eggs. He had all the goodies in his big overcoat and dispensed them furtively as he went along. Amy and Patrick hang back with me, thoroughly inspecting each shrub and little tree for possible hiding places. The garden was big enough for him to forge ahead without them noticing. This maneuver had a double benefit. Neither did the chocolates or colored and decorated eggs get soaked nor did we find surprises later in the year when some gardening was going on in that area. We also brought the German tradition of decorating fresh spring twigs with decorated eggs, bunnies or butterflies with us.