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Sara Bowden starts early on painted eggs

For Sara Dickert Bowen of Brundidge, Easter comes early.

And it comes much as it has most all her life. In a cracked egg shell.

“When I was growing up, our Easter eggs were actually chicken egg shells,” Bowden said in remembrance. “My mother would start saving egg shells long before Easter. She would crack a hole in the bottom of the egg and shake the insides out and put the empty egg shell on the window sill to dry out.”

Bowden said her mother would have to start saving egg shells a long time before Easter Sunday.

“There were a lot of us children and we wanted a lot of eggs to hunt,” she said. “When the eggs dried out, we would color them with color tablets that came in a little packet. We’d put each tablet in a cup of water and vinegar. When the tablets dissolve and colored the water, we would dip the eggs in the colored water and dye them the prettiest colors.”

Bowden said the dye packet included stickers to put designs on the eggs and wax crayons to draw designs before the eggs were dyed.

The dyed eggs would be left to dry; then, the eggs would be filled with candy. One special egg would be designated the Golden Egg and contain a bright, shiny dime.

“The candy was hard, like corn candy, jelly beans and M&Ms,” Bowden said. “Hershey kisses and candy like that would melt during the egg hunt. We had boiled eggs, too. Back then we could eat boiled eggs that had been hunted in the hot, sunshine all day.

Bowden, laughingly, said “back then” Easter eggs were really hidden in hard to find places.

“Today, the eggs are just lying out on the ground,”” she said. “I guess the children have fun, picking up eggs.

For all her growing up years, Bowden hunted egg-shell eggs on Easter. When she had children of her own, she carried on the Easter tradition of coloring and decorating eggs for hunting on Easter.

Her children grew up, moved away, got married and had children of their own.

Bowden wanted her grandchildren to have the experience of hunting “real” Easter eggs, so she continued to save egg shells, dye and dry them and color them.

And, to add a personal and loving touch to each egg, Bowden paints Easter images on the eggs.

“I’m not an artist but I love to paint,” Bowden said, with a smile. “Every year, I dye the eggs, and I enjoy that, but I love painting pictures on the eggs. I paint colorful things and springtime things that show the new life and hope – flowers, birds, butterflies, things that bring hope and promise because that is what Easter is all about.”

When the eggs are painted, Bowden puts the eggs in cartons and boxes them for the Easter enjoyment of her children, grandchildren and, now, great-grandchildren. And, she trusts Uncle Sam to deliver them in time for Easter weekend.

“It’s important to me, and I think to Lawrence, too, that we continue to share a family tradition with those we love,” Bowden said. “Easter is a most special time. When I’m painting the eggs, I’m reminded of all our blessings and that we have hope for tomorrow because Jesus lives.”