Hiding places

As many of you know, and shame on you if you don’t, yesterday was another miraculous holiday where Peter and I went down to Lake Geneva to visit our families and eat copious amounts of food and candy: Easter Sunday.

I am always amazed by two things on this holiday.  The first and more important though I will write less about it is that a man died for our sins and then rose up again.  Astonishing.  Could you IMAGINE running into Jesus after you had seen him crucified only three days ago?  Talk about scared to death… How about scared to LIFE?!  Anyways, during the Easter mass I always think about the shock and awe these people must have experienced.  I am sure that I would have passed out.

The second thing that I’m always amazed by is the Easter bunny.  The Easter bunny that comes to the Vanderstapp-Inn hides baskets and eggs every year.  The Easter bunny that stops by the Romenesko house always remembers that Peter has a girlfriend whose soul purpose on this earth is to eat candy.  I love this bunny.

Can we just call the Easter bunny that stops by the Vanderstappen house Nancy?  I mean, Nancy is so much easier to type than Easter bunny.  Sweet.

Nancy has been hiding Easter eggs and baskets for upwards of 20 years.  I’m not quite sure when the whole finding-the-basket thing started, but let’s just guess that it started when Jenna was 4.  And by then, there were 3 kids.  Let’s analyze this.

Easter 1990: Jenna (4), Sara (2), Marty (1), Adrianna through Rachel (not even a twinkle in the Easter bunny’s eye) = 3 baskets

Easter 1992: Jenna (6), Sara (4), Marty (3), Adrianna (1), Taylor (possibly a fleeting thought in the Easter bunny’s mind), Laura and Rachel (Yeah… not even an inkling yet) = 4 baskets

Easter 1994: Jenna (8), Sara (6), Marty (5), Adrianna (3), Taylor (1), Laura (possibly a consideration), Rachel (Rachel WHO?!) = 5 baskets

Easter 1996: Jenna (10), Sara (8), Marty (7), Adrianna (5), Taylor (3), Laura (1),  Rachel (in the womb) = 6 baskets

Easter 2011: Jenna (25), Sara (23), Marty (22), Adrianna (20),  Taylor (18), Laura (16), Rachel (14) = 7 baskets

Disclaimer – I’m not that good at math and ages and stuff, but I think I figured out ages and numbers right by careful consideration of everyone’s birthdays.  But you get the picture.  Nancy has a LOT of baskets to hide.

On to another calculation: If by Easter of 1997, there were 7 baskets to hide, that is 14 years of the maximum number of baskets to hide.  Now realistically, we have to make that only 6 baskets to hide, because Laura couldn’t even find her basket that was behind a picture frame this year, so 6 baskets times 14 years.  That equals EIGHTY FOUR HIDING PLACES.  That is a LOT of hiding places.

The kicker?  Every year, there is at least ONE basket that we can’t find.   HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?  We always check the main spots first.  Behind the TV (although I don’t think there was EVER a basket there), on the porch, in the oven, in the fridge (we’re not that smart), etc.  Although we have a three story home (scary basement, main level, and then upstairs where Nancy’s 7 angels soundly sleep (slept)), the hiding places have always been limited to the main level.  Which makes finding 84 hiding places even MORE impressive.  

Every year there is the poor lone child (usually Adrianna or Jenna) that is still looking in every nook and cranny  for their basket while everyone else has set up shop pulling things out of their baskets ooh-ing and aah-ing and indulging in the candy at 7:30 in the morning.  But it’s a holiday, so Mom’s not allowed to yell at us.

Although, this year, when we were looking for our baskets, Dad said loudly enough for everyone to hear (especially the Easter bunny), “I hope that there isn’t ANY candy in the baskets this year.  Who needs candy in this house?  NO ONE.  Who eats it all?  ME.”  When we found our baskets, guess who was the second person aside from the owner to dig in?  Dad. Typical.

When we sort through our baskets, we all start making trades with the candy, and then Mom give us the SAME schpeel EVERY year: “I am NOT giving ANY of you ANY more candy.  You are SO unappreciative!  I thought you liked Whoppers!!  How was I supposed to know you didn’t like them?!  NEXT YEAR YOU WON’T GET ANY MORE CANDY.”  

But the Easter bunny doesn’t have a very good memory, because every year we get candy in our baskets and the same scene plays out even though we’re older and (supposedly) wiser.  What are you going to do?  Enjoy a Reese’s egg.

As soon as we were all hyped up on candy, we were expected to sit quietly through Easter mass.  That is always a challenge.

So anyways, let’s all just take a moment and lend our appreciation to the Easter bunny for hiding baskets for so long.

Here’s to 20 more years!!

Mom … I’m not kidding.

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