By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tales of Easter past hold more than eggs, chocolate
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

If you’ve followed my articles over the years, then you already know that as a young boy, living in the hills of Pennsylvania, we once had an Easter egg Christmas tree.

Winters can be cold and long in that famous area of coal country. Sometimes, you have to be creative to keep yourself from the inevitable cabin fever. The tree had very few needles left, but a good dousing of colorful Easter eggs (real and plastic) kept that tree alive — and us too — until the snow had finally melted.

The first and only Easter egg hunt I can remember participating in was in the next town over at the same park where I learned to swim. It was a cool morning. I remember being bundled up in my winter hat and coat.

Come to think of it, I used to dress that way when we had swimming lessons, too.

This Easter tale was particularly memorable because it had a tail. The hunt was over, and yours truly did not have many eggs in his basket. But never fear. One of the nice ladies organizing the event felt so sorry for me that the next thing I knew, I was the proud owner of a real live Easter bunny.

My parents were thrilled, to say the least. It was soon after that experience that I realized this would be the first — and last — bunny that I would ever own.

My mom still has the picture of my sister and me standing in the living room with our Easter baskets and a huge chocolate bunny sitting on the table between us.

This was probably the year that I discovered that huge amounts of chocolate can be harmful to your health. Now that I think about it, I don’t recall ever receiving another large chocolate bunny, either.

The black marble table that was between my sister and me is now in my living room — a nice remembrance of my sister and Easter past.

Then there’s the 1968 United Methodist Ceramic Easter Egg. I know it was 1968 because the date is painted on the egg with the letters UMC underneath. Someone spent precious time making that egg. I was 8 when I procured this famous egg, and still have it today.

My guess is I found it at an Easter egg hunt conducted by our church. I’m pretty sure it was the equivalent to finding what some refer to as the golden egg, but I can’t remember if there was a prize that went with it.

A few years later, I was confirmed in the church during the Easter season. This was a special time for me and my parents. I believe I was about 13, which is an awkward age for a boy. But I can truly say that it is my first experience of feeling like I was growing up and becoming a young adult. My relationship with God and Jesus has continued to grow to this day.

Of course, there’s nothing like watching your own children have some of the same experiences that you enjoyed as a child. And I hear grandchildren are even more exciting to watch.

A few years ago, we experienced Easter morning on the beach. There’s something very powerful about watching the sun rise over the water and hearing the good news.

What followed was really cool. An Easter shell hunt that went a couple hundred yards down the shoreline. Painted on each shell that we found buried in the sand were the words, “He is Risen”.

Now that’s an Easter tale to remember, my friends.

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at

Sign up for our E-Newsletters