Sonia Erickson egg collectionLake resident Sonia Erickson has been collecting Easter eggs for nearly 47 years.

A tree in Erickson’s front yard is decorated with Easter eggs. The front of the house is adorned with wreaths made out of Easter eggs. Inside is an Easter egg wonderland with displays of hundreds of eggs given by friends and family and collected from all around the world by Erickson and her husband, Ed.

“I have 1,300 eggs,” said Erickson. She showed off an antique pale green velvet-covered egg box with flowers on the top that she had as a child growing up in Bavaria, Germany. “This is the oldest.” She opened the box, exposing the threadbare pink silk lining inside.

Her passion started when her boys made Easter eggs as children.

“It just mushroomed from there,” she laughed. Eggs of all different styles, colors and designs adorn an Easter egg tree, hang from shelf bottoms, perch on top of mantles and ledges, and fill cabinets and tables. One could spend the day looking and have difficulty picking a favorite.

“My favorite is the African egg because I had it in a box and kept in my lap while we were traveling to keep it from breaking,” she said. The African egg is white with openwork.

Her collection has come from all parts of the world and the U.S. Erickson has stone, glass, plaster, shell, porcelain, wood, fabric, jeweled, decoupage, and ceramic eggs, all with different designs and all unique and representative of the artists or the country of origin.

Woodcrafter and artist Tom Ellis made Erickson a large hand-painted egg out of wood with birds native to Lake Monticello. She has other exquisite and detailed hand-painted eggs by other local artists. Her collection includes an egg from Australia with native symbolism, one from Barbara Bush when she was First Lady in the White House, and an egg in the form of an owl from the Native American Museum in Washington.

“Everywhere we traveled we collected eggs,” she said, naming some of the places she had been by pointing to the eggs from Lichtenstein, Germany, France, and many more. “We haven’t traveled everywhere. We missed a continent or two.”

Many of the eggs have stories and associated memories for Erickson. One egg was given to her by a friend who found a tiny china egg in her mother’s jewelry box and wanted Erickson to have it for her collection. Some remind her of friends who have passed on and time spent with her children and grandchildren.

Erickson said it used to take her about three days to decorate. Now, even with help from her husband, it takes almost a week to put everything out and fix up the tree. Erickson laughed and said she will do it all again next year.