Last week my wife Kathy continued a long tradition of dying Easter eggs.

Usually the kitchen island is crowded with grandkids, seeing how creative they can be coloring the boiled eggs.

They created designs, stripes and it was always entertaining as some attempted the two-toned egg.


This year it was only granddaughter Gemma dying eggs.

The boys, you see, have grown and all have other activities. One is in Columbia, Mo., working spring practice with the Tigers and attending classes. One is busy with soccer games every weekend in the Kansas City area. One is playing high school tennis.

Yet, the tradition continued.

It’s not quite as messy as baking Christmas cookies. There are probably still sprinkles hidden among the rattan in the counter stools.

It is a tradition that dates back to my grade school years. I can still smell the vinegar. Back then we also used crayons to assist in decorating the eggs.

My childhood tradition broke a rule set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which states that hard-boiled eggs should be discarded if left at room temperature for longer than two hours.

We, after finding the eggs usually hidden inside the house, would spend the rest of the day re-hiding and re-finding them.

Along the way the number of eggs in the basket would diminish as we consumed some of them throughout the day, well past the two-hour limit.

As we kids grew older, married and had children of our own, the Easter egg hunts continued on the farm only in a different fashion. Each grandchild had an Easter basket which was hidden in an area south of the house.

If an older grandchild found a basket that wasn’t theirs, they just kept quiet and kept on looking.

One year there was a missing basket. Soon all of the grandchildren looked long and hard, searching every inch of the ground in question.

Still no basket.

Finally someone looked up and there it was, at the top of the flag pole.

Good one, Dad.

We continued the tradition of Easter eggs and the Easter egg hunts when our kids came along. Sometimes the Easter Bunny would hide the colored eggs and candy outside and sometimes it was done inside. Mother Nature usually made the decision for the Bunny.

Our kids also often participated in the hunts sponsored by the Abilene Parks and Recreation Department. That tradition continues Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Eisenhower Presidential Library campus.

As our kids grew older, the Easter egg hunt changed as well.

One Easter Sunday morning when Robin was in high school and Ryan still in grade school, the children slept past dawn while Mom and Dad drank coffee.

Finally it was time for the hunt. Plastic eggs had been scattered throughout the backyard.

Of course Robin, being in high school, wasn’t all that excited about finding candy. Ryan, on the other hand, was very energetic.

He rushed out the back door and started finding the plastic eggs and putting them in his basket.

Robin couldn’t care less.

That is, until Ryan cracked open one of his eggs and a dollar bill dropped out. Then there were two kids scurrying around the yard.

Contact Tim Horan at

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