Of all the farm animals we had over the years, chickens never made the roster. I recall a day, sitting in the back seat of the family car, holding tight to two fistful of coins. I had raided my piggy bank to buy my very own dozen eggs.
With Easter drawing near, I wanted to be sure I had as many blank slates to dip and dye as my little heart desired.
We always went to the same place to buy our eggs. A woman, also a dairy farmer, kept a little drive-up building where we could drop our money in a jar and help ourselves to eggs she had gathered just that morning. I counted out my coins for about the tenth time that morning, and dropped them in the jar. I was so proud as I held my very own dozen eggs on my lap as we headed for home.
Flash forward about 30 years. Our neighbor lady offered eggs for sale. Easter was nearing. Our son, Cort, age 3, asked, “Could we go see that woman that grows eggs?”
I smiled, thinking he was about to ask if he can buy his very own dozen, so I inquire about his piggy bank. I will never forget the puzzled look on his face.
“Nah, I don’t want to buy ’em. I want to know how to grow my OWN eggs!”
A young woman I once worked with decided her two young children were old enough to learn about chores. Easter chicks were given a backyard coop to roost in, and a family project was born. The first time eggs from those chicks made it to the table, her daughter’s eyes brimmed with tears.
“You should be proud, honey. You helped put this meal on our table!” her mama explained.
“I AM proud. But it still feels kind of funny in my tummy,” the little girl replied.
After a few delicious omelets, all was right with the world!
As for my purchase of eggs as a little kid, I learned that money in the piggy bank was all mine, but once the money was spent and something brought home, it was share and share alike.
Dipping those white eggs in lovely dishes of dye so carefully remains one of my favorite of all holiday memories. Our Easter baskets, saved year after year, were brought out for the egg hunt, the day forever saved in black and white photographs.
All the pastel colors remain vibrant, but only in our memories.
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