On Saturday evening, I prepare for grilling. While the charcoal moves toward the white ash stage, Craig and Jay and I hide plastic eggs around the yard. A half-hour later, I start the hamburgers, hot dogs and cheddarwursts. In between flipping and shuffling patties from the edge to the center and from the center to the warming rack, I go over to shoot baskets with a couple of the grandkids. When the cooking is done, I call them over and we go in to eat.
Randa and Christy have been busy inside: slaw, pasta salad, and Italian beans are ready as well. Eleven of us sit around the table, sharing food and teasings. A nephew and his wife and son show up, too, but have already had supper.
Meal finished, we move outside, give the kids the proximity of the egg zone and turn them loose. Most of them find one or two right away; all of them run right past a couple of eggs lying in plain view. That is nothing new to the species; we often ignore the obvious in our quest for the obscure. With a bit of giving clues and coaching, they find all of the eggs that Craig and Jay and I can remember hiding. The other three or four will probably turn up some time or another.
Craig and Jay swap packages of candy for the eggs. The nephew and his family head for their home and Randa’s brother, Kevin, heads for his. Jay and I captain two teams of three for a game of touch football, giving in to the darkness less than an hour later.
I leave them all in the TV room and go upstairs to practice songs for Sunday’s service and review my sermon. I come back down in time to finish Crocodile Dundee II with the rest of the family. Except for Craig, whose snoring is low enough that we don’t miss much of the dialogue. He wakes up when the movie is over and he and Christy and the boys leave.
Tomorrow, Jay and his two children will head back to South Dakota and the house will seem strangely quiet and empty. But good memories will linger. There are few pleasures I’ve ever known that have outshone that of having grown children come home. And that’s true even before they have children of their own.
Just imagine how much our heavenly Father looks forward to having us all together.