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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't Worry About the Chickens...Count Your Eggs!

Tulsa, Oklahoma has some interesting weather. It can get nasty, cold and icy in the winter. Hellaciously hot and humid in the summer. Hail storms and tornadoes or beautiful mild sunny days with soft breezes in spring. I used to think my grandfather Jack invented the phrase, "If you don't like the weather just wait a day, it'll change" describing our weather.

My Mom was from Sacramento and until she married my Dad and moved from Palo Alto and Stanford University to Oklahoma she had never lived anywhere but Northern California--warm, warmer, sunny, sunnier, with an occasional period of mild inclement weather. Married to my Dad she came to know a lot about Midwestern and Southern weather patterns as his career in the petroleum industry took through some of the less populated less populated areas of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana in the late 1950s and early 1960s. From a Catholic background with a strong sense of family and traditions, Mom always made sure the holidays travelled with her, where ever home may have been set up at the time.

Sometime around 1965 or 1966 Mom and Dad moved into a new home in Tulsa, having relocated with my older sister Sharon, older brother Michael and me from Oklahoma City. The house would be my third at the ripe age of three or four. It had a great backyard and plenty of room for three kids and whatever kids in the neighborhood were around. A perfect backyard for the Easter Bunny to hide our eggs for a good old fashioned Easter Egg hunt.

Because of the crazy weather patterns in Tulsa in the Spring we never knew when we were decorated our eggs with that vinegary smelling PAAS egg dye stuff whether we would be having an indoor or outdoor egg hunt. So depending on the weather Easter morning, or Easter eve night, we would wake up, grab our baskets and tear through the house or head out to the back yard.

One year, in retrospect it must have been our first or second Easter with good weather, Mom gave our eggs to the Easter Bunny to hide outside because it was very nice spring weather. Sharon, Michael and I--ranging in age from five or six to nine or ten--headed out and starting finding eggs. In the log-cabin playhouse. Under the umbrella (pronounced UM-brella in Tulsa please) on the patio. Between logs in the log pile. On the birdfeeder. Running from spot to spot we looked until we could find no more. We gave the eggs to Mom who would then use the hard boiled eggs for all sorts of gross and disgusting dishes--to this day I cannot bear the site or smell of hard boiled eggs.

Story over. Easter in Tulsa is done.

Not quite.

Tulsa can, and does, get really hot in the summer. A day with hundred degree heat and hundred degree humidity with no rain is not something unique. One summer as Michael and I and our friends played around in the backyard we began to notice a smell. At first we thought it might be a frog that had died from our frog farm (we would scoop frogs eggs out of the pond across the street in a big plastic tub and leave them in the backyard where we would watch them go from eggs to tadpoles to frogs and then there would be none left in the tub but all over the yard). Or maybe some other critter had crawled under the log-cabin playhouse and died. As the summer wore on the smell got worse and worse.

Finally one day a ball or something rolled over by the fence with the neighbors. We went to get it and Phew! The smell was horrible. Being boys we became more curious about what could make such a horrible smell. After a little looking we finally a found the source.

Faded but still distinctly colored by a small child, an Easter Egg that had been in the Tulsa weather, and heat, for several months just rotting away. Evidently we had not found all the Easter Eggs during our fervid hunting back in March or April.

Mom wasn't real thrilled with our discovery, but less thrilled that we brought it to her so she could see, and smell our treasure. From then on Mom knew, always count your eggs before handing them over to the Easter Bunny for hiding and make sure the number found matches the number hid!

Oh, and be careful what gets left out in the Tulsa weather.

DCS 0401210

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