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23 seconds or less
4/28/2014 8:43:32 AM

By Chad Kimberley
Splash Column

Take a moment and ponder what you can accomplish in 23 seconds or less … go ahead … I will wait … I am not going anywhere … got it yet? 

OK, it has now been nearly 23 seconds; if you don't have anything by now, I am moving on with this column.

23 seconds is not a long amount of time. It is roughly the time it takes my son to brush his teeth (don't worry local dentists, I send him back for a second and third round), my daughter to finish off a bowl of ice cream or for three touchdowns to be scored in an Arena Football game. 

Now granted, other things that take 23 seconds seem to last forever, such as my wife trying to wake up enough to hit the snooze button while I lay in bed softly cursing the individual who invented that horrific noise.

But today, I want to focus on things that go quick, and another one that flew by recently was the Liberty Lake Easter Egg Hunt at Pavillion Park. I love this annual event, which has been organized the last couple of years by Alisha and Brian Davis, who took over from former Liberty Lake Mayor (and Alisha's mom) Wendy Van Orman in 2013. 

My family has been attending for about six years, and it always highlights three of my favorite things in life: community, chaos and candy. The organizers do a great job in creating spaces where each age group can participate in their own personal hunt, which in actuality is just a ton of eggs spread over a squared off area of ground in which the kids circle around like a lion stalking its prey. 

As we arrive a few minutes before the actual dash for the candy, it is always fun for the kids to see friends, for parents to reconnect with one another, and to meet a few new folks along the way. It is what Liberty Lake does best, in my opinion: creates spaces for community to occur, and the Easter Egg Hunt does this well. 

My oldest daughter, who has graduated from hunting to advising my youngest on strategies to collect the highest number of eggs in less than 23 seconds, headed over to their quadrant, while my middle daughter met up with friends on the outer edge of their space in preparation for the mad dash to the middle.

As I watched all the kids getting ready, you could start seeing a changing of philosophies as they scoured the field before them. In fact, these kids were about to go back to very pre-historic times. Some of these kids were clearly hunters; some other kids were more the gatherers. You could see kids pointing out to various toys that were placed throughout the field or specific colored or sized eggs which they believed may hold the golden tickets to earn themselves big prizes at the end of the hunt. 

Other kids were gatherers, as they positioned themselves in strategic locations where they could simply fall into the box and start scooping up arms full of eggs and throw them in their baskets before heading back home to sort through their collections. 

The next thing I knew, the countdown was going from 10 to zero, and the chaos ensued. 23 seconds later, it was all over. My kids and I sat down in the grass and started opening eggs to see what I was going to steal from their baskets when they were not looking. Butterfinger eggs, all mine. Dark chocolate goes to the wife. Sour candy goes to the oldest daughter. All other chocolate goes to the youngest two. After six years, we have a fairly solid system. 

Just like that, the event was over, and the kids spent a few more minutes talking to their friends. We picked up a coupon for a free spinner toothbrush from KiDDS Dental (solid strategy giving out certificates for a free toothbrush amongst a sea of candy and potential cavities), and we made plans to head to Liberty Lake Chevron to cash in on some free drinks and candy the kids got in the form of slips of paper from this business. 

As we headed to the car, we realized we were only at the park for about 30 minutes total, and the kids let me know that if we leave now we can get over to Valley Real Life in time for their Easter Egg grab and pick up a bit more candy. 

More Community. More Chaos. More Candy. 

I think I have 23 more seconds I can spare.

Chad Kimberley lives in Liberty Lake. He is a local teacher and coach. 

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