Missing family’s Easter tradition

COVID-19 strikes again and takes the 2020 Easter Holiday away from us.

Well, we can still celebrate the holiday, but the tradition for my family is not happening this year.

Since I can remember I have spent the Easter holiday with my family on the farm north of Canton.Initially, Grandma and Grandpa Vogts lived there. Now, Uncle Stacy and Aunt Brenda own it, but the tradition has remained regardless of who lives there.

A meal always takes place, and lots and lots of conversations are had. It is a Vogts function after all.

But the main event is always the hunting.

There is an egg and soda pop hunt for children through age 10 (give or take depending on who is in attendance), and this takes place in the front yard around the house.

That is fun to watch, but it still isn’t the main event . . . really.

The big show takes place after the youngsters have had their fun. That’s when all the older children, ranging from age 11 (again, depending upon who is all there) and up and including the adults, head outside for the great pop hunt.

Uncle Stacy hides the cans of pop all over the property, and everyone stampedes out in hopes of being the first person to get their allotted number of sodas.

Seriously, these can of soda pop are everywhere. In feed bunkers where the cows get their dinner. In old, discarded pickups engulfed by trees. I remember once finding a can of soda under a cow patty. Another year, there was one up in a tree. If you are lucky, you don’t need a shovel to get your bounty.

Taking part in this family tradition is Easter to me. Sure, I fully recognize and appreciate the true meaning of the holiday, but it’s not the same if I’m not shoving a family member out of the way in order to get a can of soda pop before they can wrap their greedy paws around it.

And I don’t even drink soda pop anymore. It’s all about the hunt and then sharing what I find with everyone else. Unless it is strawberry soda. I have one relative who is particularly fond of that flavor, so if I find those, I have not choice to but to keep them just to mess with him a bit. 

It makes me sad that I’m not gearing up for a big meal and hunt.

However, it has to be this way. I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a broken record, which is OK because sometimes people need to hear things over and over for it to sink in, but it is too dangerous right now to be in groups. And the Vogts family is no small group. 

I love my family, and I feel lucky that I get along with everyone. I feel even luckier that we all live close enough to each other that such a family tradition can be held.

More importantly, though, I love my family, so I don’t want to put them at risk or have my wife and children be put at risk by getting together. 

We can all come together once the risk of the pandemic is over. In fact, Uncle Stacy and Aunt Brenda have already said they are looking at dates in the future when we could have a get-together to make up for the loss of this event.

That sounds great to me. I would rather spend time together when we can do so safely. 

Until then, I will just eat my Mini Robin Eggs and reminisce about Easters past. Like this one time, my cousin drove a three-wheeler through a barbwire fence . . . 

Oh, memories! 

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.