From Pipi’s Pasture: Childhood memories of the spring melt
Diane Prather/For Craig Press
It’s early evening, and after a warm day, the sun is still shining. As I sit here writing, I’m reminded of Aprils of long ago, when I was a child growing up on the ranch at Morapos. The trigger for the memories is the way Pipi’s Pasture looks now that the temperatures have gotten warm enough to melt the snow.
Out here, there are fairly large patches of bare ground, especially on the back and front yard lawns around the house. The driveway is dry, though trickles of water run down it from piles of melting, plowed-up snow. There’s more than one path from the cars to the front door now, but we still have to walk over some ice and snow left from a big drift.
The usual shortcuts to the shop and garden area are still inaccessible, however, and will be for some time. Along the south side of the shop, where it is warm during the day, stems of green grass have poked through the ground. In spite of the melting, there is still a lot of snow around.
Up at Morapos, there is traditionally more snow during the winter than in the Craig area, so the spring melt takes longer. After a long winter, we kids were always ready for the snow to go off, but even more so when Easter was near. If Easter was in March, chances were pretty slim we’d get to hunt Easter eggs outdoors. On snowy mornings, we found some of the colored eggs in our shoes when we got up on Easter morning and the rest hidden in the house. Our Easter baskets were hidden, too, sometimes in interesting places, like the pull-out flour bin in the kitchen.
Once in awhile, especially when we were older, the Easter eggs and our baskets were hidden in the barn when there was no bare ground outside. Talk about good hiding spots!
If Easter came in April, especially later in April, like this year, there was a better chance to have an outdoor Easter egg hunt. There were often bare places in the lawn, similar to this year at Pipi’s Pasture. It was a tense time for us. My siblings and I kept our fingers crossed that the bare spots would remain. Sometimes, snow did fall before Easter but melted off quickly. I can remember at least one time that there was bare ground the night before Easter. As we colored our eggs, we hoped for a nice morning when we could hunt eggs outside.
Guess what happened? It snowed that night!
There were very few years that we were able to find Easter eggs outdoors, but they were memorable times. Our Easter baskets were often hidden in the grove of chokecherry, serviceberry, and oak trees behind the house. Perhaps it was an April similar to this one.
Stories enrich our lives. We tell them, listen to them, read them, repeat them, write them, watch them on TV, enjoy them in theaters. Stories teach us, entertain us, make us laugh, ease our social situations, and cement our friendships.