The Life of an Egg Basket
I didn’t grow up on a farm, but we always had a big garden and a barn with every kind of animal you can imagine. My job was mostly playing since I was the youngest in our family and had polio in my legs.
One of the highlights of my day as a little girl was to go with Grandmaw to gather eggs. She had a large basket that she would let me tote out to the barn, but when she filled it with eggs, she had to carry it back to the house. She didn’t want small hands to drop her eggs.
I can still remember all the things her basket was used for. It made many trips to the garden and back with ‘maters, okra, field peas, corn, greens, turnips, new taters, radishes and hot peppers.
One year for Easter, Grandmaw let my mama have her basket. Mama painted it a pale yellow and tied a big light green satin bow on the handle. Mama had bought some little, tiny fuzzy chicks at the dime store and dyed the prettiest eggs I had ever seen. I thought the Easter bunny loved me more than anyone else because he gave me such a beautiful basket. I never realized it was my Grandmaw Long’s.
After her death, the old basket sat alone on a shelf on the back porch until I pulled it down one day. I thought about how Grandpaw would plant a row of Zinnias in the garden because Grandmaw loved fresh-cut flowers on the kitchen table.
Then it dawned on me that I needed to paint that basket for my son.
I chose a shade of blue and it made him happy, just like it had done for me so many years before. Looking back now, I wonder if there was something magical about Grandmaw’s old egg basket. Did she know how much joy it would bring — not only to her, but to me and my son as well? I think so.
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