Growing up in the piney-woods outside Mt. Vernon, Texas, I loved Easter.
At least, after the interminable Sunday-morning Pentecostal preaching ended and my mother drove her six kids the 10 miles back through White Oak Bottom—a soggy, foggy, cricket-humming swamp.
On Easter, we wore our once-a-year new Sunday best — which I didn’t mind because my twin sister had cute friends — including the five Borden sisters.
What I liked most about Easter were the after-church egg hunts at our rural house with cousins and my siblings’ church friends.
The night before, my twin and I (the youngest) helped mother dye a dozen, home-laid hard-boiled eggs, then scribbled prize amounts of 5, 10 or 25 cents on them, with one 50-cent golden egg — to supplement bags of rainbow-colored candy eggs (many eventually becoming ant-food).
Some of the Pentecostal fire-and-brimstone messages apparently didn’t take (have you noticed?).
While mother prepared lunch — I remember it being squirrel stew and collard greens, but I inherited embellishing from my dad — I’d sneak to a back window and watch through my dad’s binoculars while he hid the prize eggs beneath undulating evergreens dotting our blue-bonnet-covered pasture.
I don’t know if my brown three-piece polyester suit and yellow clip-on tie impressed the girls, but the coinage I raked in from the prize eggs seemed to catch their attention.