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Our Easters of past were not always smooth bunny hops

By John Toth

The Bulletin

As our three children grew up, we made sure that Easter was always special, but there were a few stumbles along the way.

Our two boys, Johnny and Bobby, and our girl, Stephanie, dyed eggs, like many other children, but at times they decided that throwing them was more fun than coloring them with dye. Mayhem often overtook the Easter preparations.

Our dog, Odie, was more than happy to help with the cleanup. Odie celebrated with us and looked for opportunities to enhance her daily dog-food diet. She found plenty.

One year we were late getting ready for sunrise services in Freeport. We got the kids dressed and put them in the car, where they sat impatiently as Sharon and/or I made up an excuse to go back into the house.

We quickly scattered the plastic Easter eggs around the yard for the hunt and got their goodies set up in the office, where the Easter Bunny always left his baskets and presents, unwrapped. He came while we were at the sunrise service.

It took coordination and teamwork to get it all done before one of the kids got out of the car to see where we were. We finished, jumped in the car, and off we went to Freeport. We enjoyed the outdoor church service held along the Brazos River in the park. One year we changed it up and went to the beach in Surfside for a service.

We visited a favorite breakfast spot in Clute before we drove home for the hunt. The kids were excited because they knew that the Easter Bunny came while we were gone. He always left the best presents - sometimes with the price stickers still on them.

As we entered the house, something felt weird. Odie wasn’t there to greet us. Then something small and black zoomed past the sliding back door.

There it went again. I looked at Sharon. Then it hit us. We left Odie in the backyard along with the plastic Easter eggs. The dog helped herself to the contents. We were supposed to bring her back in the house after she did her morning thing, and we both forgot.

Odie was doing zoomies in the backyard (a) because she was happy to see us, and (b) because she got sugared-up on candy. She didn’t leave many eggs to hunt that Easter morning.

Our immediate concern was that she was in danger because chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Sharon got on the phone to get some help with what we should be doing. It boiled down to just keeping an eye on Odie. She probably didn’t consume a whole lot of real chocolate and would be alright. Good thing we used mainly cheap chocolate-flavored candy from the dollar store to fill the eggs. They were correct. Odie was fine, just very hyped up.

Once that was cleared up, we proceeded - without the egg hunt - to see what the Easter Bunny left in the office. I have no idea how the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were able to get inside that office.

All the rushing on Easter morning usually turned out according to plans, except this time, when after finishing breakfast, I realized that I left my wallet at home.

 There is no worse feeling than going to sunrise services and then going out to eat a family breakfast, only to realize that I had no way of paying for it. Sharon either didn’t bring her purse or didn’t have any money in it. Either way, we were in trouble.

I prepared the kids to start washing dishes, just in case - just joking.

I explained to the waitress what happened. She was an older woman, who probably went through the hustle and bustle of Easter mornings plenty before her kids grew up. She paid for our meal. I got her address and phone number, and I gave her mine. The next day I paid her double what the meal cost and expressed how grateful I was. She didn’t want to accept the difference, but I insisted.

As the years passed by, Easter got less hectic and predictable. I miss those days when our kids hung on our every word, celebrated with us, and we went a little nutty during the holidays.

To keep the Toth Easter tradition alive, last year we celebrated with relatives who have kids who are still small and run around the backyard looking for plastic eggs with a treat inside.

I arrived with an Easter Bunny piñata stuffed with enough candy for everybody and enough confetti eggs to make sure that no one got left out. It was a lot of fun.

Happy Easter, dear readers. Make good memories and take a lot of photos and videos. You’ll be glad you did a few decades later. I am.

(You can contact John at


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