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ELDON — Louanne Durham brought her granddaughter to the Gothic House a couple years ago for the annual Easter egg hunt, so when the facility needed volunteers to work with this year’s egg roll, she signed up.

It was a similar story for Jane Powell. “They needed extra help today, so I decided to come out,” she said.

The weather was perfect. A light breeze kept things from getting too warm, but wasn’t enough to cause problems with the staked streamers that marked the lanes for this year’s egg roll.

With 15 minutes to go, though, there was no one around to compete.

Organizers need not have worried. When 1 p.m. arrived, so did the children. They found egg rolls are a little different from the game they’re familiar with today. It took some a minute to realize swiping at the eggs wouldn’t get them very far, and there were mixed results for some who lined up like you would at a golf tee. When they hit the egg, it went a good distance. But control went a lot farther.

Some of the younger children weren’t quite sure what to make of the contest. The idea of swatting at an egg with a spoon rather than picking it up and dashing to an Easter basket was new.

Lily Ehret won her race in one stroke. She got her long-handled wooden spoon at the right angle, flipped, and sent the egg flying a good 25 feet. She had an edge on her sister, though. She had competed in an egg roll before.

“I haven’t done this before,” Lyla said. “I didn’t actually win.”

Winning didn’t seem to matter much. This was a chance to get out and enjoy spring in southeast Iowa. Beyond the egg roll there were crafts, chalk for drawing on the sidewalk, and even a chance to get inside the Gothic House for a bit.

“My favorite thing is going to the Gothic House and making the bunny whiskers,” Lyla said, just as the Easter Bunny walked out and caused a stir.

“I like eating the candy,” said Lily.

Then they were off. There was too much to do, and standing still wasn’t on the list of activities. That was fine with everyone. After a long winter it was nice to just be able to enjoy the change of the seasons.

“It couldn’t be better,” Durham said. “It’s perfect.”

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Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.