Eighteen going on ten, Rea found this entire tradition to be nothing short of ridiculous. Why couldn’t her family be normal and fill eggs with money and candy? Instead, for the first week of Spring, her family adorns a tree in honor of their ancestral lineage.
“Why can’t we start using different colors,” she asked. “I’m sure Granny Kate wouldn’t mind being purple this year.”
Her grandmother smirked and coughed to cover a laugh.
“Blue for the men, pink for the ladies.”
Rea stared at the multitude of eggs on the bottom few branches and pondered aloud. “I’m surprised you can find any more room up there. Especially if Justine keeps popping out kid after kid.”
I need to go help your mother in the kitchen.” Her grandmother kissed her cheek and return inside the one-story rancher.
This was Rea’s first year as the “Tree Keeper”, the one to manage the family history records and photos. It was her task now, as the eldest female in her generation to maintain the list and plan the family reunion. The worn books were cool to look at; the dresses were so different then and the furniture so detailed.
Even though this was a responsibility of honor and importance, Rea didn’t want it. After all, she was heading off to college next month. She didn’t want to be saddled down with tattered books and binders full of cemetery records. She’d need room for her theatre programs and photo collages of her best friends. All of this “stuff” would only keep her locked in the lives of people in the past instead of focusing on the ones she loved in the present.
Rea plopped on the wicker chair and stared through the intense sun glare. “The tree does look beautiful,” she had to admit, “but next year I’m definitely putting a purple egg in Granny’s Kate’s spot.” She smiled and joined the family that were still there.