Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Shenanigans

So Easter was last weekend. 

We spent the holiday weekend at my parents’ house, which is great.  Kids of all ages get spoiled, we gaze upon different scenery, we see loved ones we haven’t seen in a while, and everybody is relaxed and cheery and we do things that are out of the norm for us.

My parents live in the country, which means plenty of time outside doing outside, country things.  Now, for me, lover of all things inside, this usually isn’t so awesome.  I’d much rather do almost anything inside than outside, where the wind blows everything all around, bugs land on you, and it threatens to rain nearly any second.

But last weekend, the sun warmed our winter-chilled bodies, the wind wasn’t terribly blowy, and the newly minted spring weather was so… springy.  I’m not sure if it was the fresh air that made everyone a little giddy and everything a little weird, but we did and saw things that I have never experienced before.

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The day we arrived, the boys golfed while the girls stayed home.  Our daughter got some alone time with this one…


He's home!
I thought the day would never arrive.

…while my mom and I sat on her patio enjoying the gentle breeze and peace of the afternoon, sipping wine and solving all the world’s problems, each other’s problems, and the problems of nearly everyone we know.  Do you have problems?  We solved them.

Then we heard gunshots. 

Now, don’t get all Neighborhood Watch on me.  My parents live in a rural setting, and they have exactly two neighbors.  When there’s a gunshot, even miles away, they can hear it on a quiet day.  Usually during hunting season, but whatever.  One of their neighbors was out doing some target practice, is all.

Soon we realized that we were hearing some sort of machine gun.  We sat there with our raised glasses listening to the rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat of a rapid-fire killing machine. “They will run out of ammo soon,” my mother wisely observed, seasoned to this particularly unnerving brand of noise pollution.   

It went on for an hour.  No matter.  It’s a well-known fact that after a few glasses of wine, the sound of machine gun fire sort of goes away.

As the wine helped us resign ourselves to the war zone, the men returned bearing pizza.  The six of us snarfed it down like dogs. Then my dad offered to take us on a little ride over the river and through the woods on his ATV.

To scout for groundhogs.  We saw one, dead.  In case you were wondering.  A good time was had by all, even when the engine flooded and refused to start and my mom and I started walking back to finish off the wine.




***

The next day we visited my grandmother, who also lives out in the country.  I believe the correct term for this type of location is “the sticks.”  My cousin, her husband, and their three children were there, and the kids fell into place as cousins do.  They rarely see each other yet still manage to come together with no warm-up period needed, just as my cousin and I and our husbands do.  Hugged hellos and catch-up conversations filled the air around us, the men working at putting Grandma’s new porch furniture together and the women fussing over Grandma and the lunch she had prepared, pretending to stay out of her way as we set the table, stirred the soup, and snuck desserts before any real food was on the table.  The kids ran outside armed with kites and we laughed at them trying to raise the kites into the still air.

The afternoon was a pleasant one, and as we cleaned up the kitchen after lunch, we munched on the ubiquitous candy in Grandma’s house and went outside to see what the kids were up to.

They were taking turns setting fires on the sidewalk using a magnifying glass.

Our conversations continued as one by one our kids came up to show us the mud on their shoes and clothing and the armloads of foraged walnuts they carried (“Don’t hold them close to your body – they’ll stain your shirt!”) to roast on the fire that had now been built on a rock a little further away from the house.

At one point one of the children peed on the fire to put it out when it started to spread.  As you do.

Soon after, we observed one of the older children use an ancient ax to chop up a fallen branch.  I wondered who we’d have to rush to the ER first: him, or my cousin’s husband who was now cleaning the gutters while wobbling on a ladder propped against Grandma’s house?  My husband was helping him; they were both dressed nicely as if we were all going out to a movie later.  I was the only driver who had ever lived there.  Do I remember how to get to the hospital?

Grandma sat peacefully, enjoying the company and watching the men scoop rotten leaves into buckets.  I turned to my cousin, gestured at the motley crew of people around us aged 93 to 5 in all their random activity, and asked “What exactly is happening here?  Fires, public peeing, roasted nuts, chopping, gutter cleaning?”  My cousin gave me a knowing smile and replied sagely, mouth stuffed with a chocolate crunch bar, “Happy Redneck Easter.”

***

Later that evening, my other grandmother came to my parents’ house for dinner.  My mom had prepared a big meal for us, and I am embarrassed to say that I did not help at all.  I sat outside talking to my grandmother while the kids flitted around tossing the cat into the air and punching each other in the stomach.  After a bit, they asked if they could go down to the creek.

“Of course,” I replied, wondering where their boundless energy came from.  I was exhausted.  An hour passed, and it was soon time to eat.  My husband and I loaded ourselves into the ATV to pick up the kids and get them washed up for supper.  This is what we found:




And this is what happened:




And then we ate and watched a questionably appropriate movie.  Everyone fell asleep except for the kids, who deemed said movie their new favorite and can we get it on DVD.  As I went to bed I wondered when it happened that being hosed off no longer ensured that my children would be dead tired at the end of the day.

***

Finally it was Easter Sunday.  I set out the kids’ baskets, taking note of the candy I would be stealing later, and enlisted the men to help with the egg hiding for the kids when they woke up.  Yes.  My kids are old.  They know I am the Easter Bunny.  Yes.  I am stretching these traditions out a bit too long. 

They each had to find twenty eggs.  Our daughter found all of hers right away.  We had to point out almost all the eggs to our son.  I’ll just let that sink in a little while I bash my head against the wall. #Men #FindingThings #GAH

After breakfast, we colored eggs because we forgot about it the day before when we were hosing children down.  We dyed the eggs and then squirted an extra drop of food coloring on the end of each.  They looked like bleeding eyeballs.  We enjoyed them for a moment and then swiftly cracked them open, making them into deviled eggs.  We did not go to church because there was fishing to do.



We ate – AGAIN – and visited with friends, who had their own wacky Easter stories to tell.  It made me feel better about our own wacky Easter.  Maybe this was the year that everything got weird.  Or maybe nothing was really different and I was just more present and noticed it all.  In any case, it seemed like this holiday was one to remember.  Nobody seemed to be complaining.   

Hope you had an holiday that was full of shenanigans.  I've found that it's really the only way to do Easter.

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #2: Easter recap!

*******

Have you visited me at Mamalode?

I wrote a post about how my kids are transitioning 
and how they are forcing me into it, too. 

Hope to see you there!

20 comments:

  1. I found your Easter highly entertaining with the hose spraying and peeing on things. Awesome.
    And for the record, my teenagers still hunt Easter eggs.
    Also, thanks to you and your mom for solving my problems.

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    1. I think finding Easter eggs is the absolute best part of Easter. For men I think it's slightly tortuous. You're welcome for all the solutions I sent your way. :)

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  2. Love the kitten!

    Looks like you had a very busy Easter! You'll never forget it! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I will tell the kitty that the lioness approves of him. ;)

      We will most definitely not forget this Easter.

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  3. I think you should write a book, that was a highly entertaining story. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

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    1. Thank you Kelley! I would love to write a book; I figure just a couple more lengthy blog posts like this one and I'll be all set. :)

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  4. How fun is that! My 5 year old loved the mud pics!

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    1. My kids had a lot of fun in the mud. None of us could believe they did this all by themselves. We didn't think they had it in them to do it. :)

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  5. Sounds like a perfect Easter to me :-) Nothing says fun like family, machine gun fire, mud, creek, rotting leaves, food, and wine. I bet you will all savor the memories as the years pass by....

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    1. I will savor them all except the machine gun fire. Some things just aren't necessary, yet it does make for an outrageous story!

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  6. I'm always the one who wonders if we'll be heading to the hospital whenever we go anywhere. I just assume it's my job...

    Mud. Awesome.

    And you need to tell me which movie it was or I'll go mad.

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    1. Well, okay. It was Anchorman 2. My husband swore it was PG-13. I was too tired to care about all the veiled sex jokes that my kids picked up on.

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  7. That sounds like a movie! And what was the movie you watched? The questionably appropriate one??
    Between the machine guns, the fire peeing, the old ax, and the mud, I was in stitches.

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    1. It was Anchorman 2. Just as silly as the first Anchorman. We tell ourselves that it's okay to expose our children to stuff that makes them ask questions. For educational purposes, really.

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  8. OMG! what a good time. The mud pics are AWESOME. And after a few glasses of wine the machine gun sound disappears?! Well of course it does. Crack me up.

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  9. What a fun redneck Easter! No one went to the hospital, and you got to squirt your kids with the hose: What more could you ask for?!?!?!?

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  10. That's it, we need a ranch. I like all things inside too, but you made this sound like fun so now I have to have one too. There's nothing in the world like a friendly round of target practice with your rifle on Easter Sunday. New family tradition!

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  11. You country folk have all the fun ;)

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