Easter Sunday was different and more lackadaisical for many of us this year. Our state’s shelter-at-home and extended restrictions have continued to make a huge impact on our gathering places and ways of spending time with one another. However, I would presume that it has been much more intimate within the homes of some Fort Hood families. With several units deployed across our world, many homes on Fort Hood, in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Harker Heights were restricted to a single parent home and children.
Many, if not most of us, would naturally succumb to the company of other spouses and their children, friends or family visiting from out of town. After all, it is a military community and we are all away from relatives unless we were fortunate to be stationed near some close by. Well, and let’s be honest: This is Texas! It is one of the largest states in the U.S. and it takes half the day to even leave the state by car. Nonetheless, it was not that for many of us this year. Families were cooking together in the kitchen and conducting Easter egg hunts inside living rooms or backyards. Children of all ages didn’t simply participate in egg dying and the partaking of desserts. Children were able to experience first-hand how to roll a dough and witness dough rising. Perhaps the absence of entertaining and hosting gave allowance for the family to enjoy a holiday feast without an impression to leave on outsiders. It was just us. It was just the ones who live within the four walls of the home; yet many so often miss out on the gifts that are presented every day among one another.
Isn’t it like our little children, when searching high and low for those colorful eggs spread throughout? They so desperately search for the egg, but what they really seek is what the egg holds. Wouldn’t you agree? It is never the actual egg they are after, but what surprise awaits them when they pry open the plastic egg. Even then, it is all unknown. They hold a basket full of eggs with no actual certainty of what is inside of each one. They know it could be candy, it could hold loose change, it could hold absolutely nothing. Yet, they run over anything — and anyone — that stands in their way to collect as many as possible.
What if Easter was meant to teach us this one simple thing?
We are each hunting for something because, well, everyone else is, and we are certain it holds something. Although we are uncertain of what exactly that something is, we are certain we will receive a reward of some sort for our efforts.
Take for instance our homes. As military families we are searching for new homes quite often. The excitement builds as we arrive at a new location with the choice to either stay on base, rent off post or purchase a new or old build. Superficially, we believe it is the home we are on the hunt for. However, it is what we will build within the home that will be of highest value. This will be the greatest treasure we as military families will experience.
It won’t be how many square feet, if it had a game room, a pool or large kitchen. Now, although all these features are not something to complain about, it isn’t the actual goal. Not really, right?
Essentially, it is what we are able to look back on that made the house a home.
Our bedroom a place of rest, our living rooms a place of entertainment and gathering and our backyard a place of comfort and oasis. So, I’d presume that if we are hunting for anything moving forward, it is in the eggs already in our basket.
Happy Easter, Fort Hood family!
Lori Ann PALOMARES is an Army spouse and Killeen area resident.