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I found the Easter egg nestled among clean clothes in my laundry basket.
Not on Easter morning.
An eight-hour drive later, after I was already back in my off-campus apartment in Seward, Neb.
After I finally decided to put my clothes away because that’s what adults do after they’ve finished using their parents’ washer and dryer.
Never fear; the egg contained individually wrapped candy, not a hardboiled center quick to stink and hasty to rot.
I don’t remember my reaction when I saw that pastel plastic egg, tattooed with numbers and the letters in faded permanent marker.
The same plastic eggs our family has recycled for our annual egg hunt for years.
Never mind the hunt for Red October.
This hunt is just as elusive, if a little less life-or-death imperative.
Although contained to just a few rooms at my parents’ house, the yearly Hunt for the Downs’ Easter eggs sometimes takes months, not an hour or two on Easter Sunday.
My father, the mastermind, rolls eggs into clever nooks and couch cushion crannies. Stuffs plastic eggs into the mouths of childhood stuffed animals keeping sentry — now keeping egg hunt secrets — at the foot of our beds.
Drops the ovoid containers into hard-to-reach light fixtures, the light bulb casting a slightly colored glow for the Downs sisters who pass by, unseeing and oblivious to the candy treasure right in front of our faces.
Those hiding places are usually forgotten, as are the eggs.
In our frustration with fruitless searching, my sisters and I allow some eggs to be left behind.
Until you find a family tradition, folded into the creases of a sweater, tucked away in a laundry basket.
This upcoming week and weekend, I don’t expect many Anderson County residents to find their Easter eggs making friends with clothes in a laundry basket.
But if you plan on hosting an Easter egg hunt, or planning to attend this upcoming Saturday’s community egg hunt at the American Legion fairgrounds at 1 p.m., we’d like to see pictures of your elusive hunt for candy-filled eggs.
Send all photos to staff writer Meaghan Downs at email@example.com by Monday, April 1 at noon for possible publication in that Wednesday’s newspaper and publication online at our website at www.theandersonnews.com.
Please identify children and adults in the photos from left to right. The best photos for the newspaper are typically high-resolution, digital photos (we like photos that are at least 300 pixels per inch; they show up the best in the newspaper.)
Also in your e-mail, describe any other Easter holiday traditions you may have. Church? Special dinners? Let us know. Questions? Contact me at 502-839-6906 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow staff writer Meaghan Downs on Twitter at @ANewsMDowns or contact her via e-mail at email@example.com.