DOES ANYONE REMEMBER MAY DAY?

It’s almost the first of May, which was a great big deal when I was a little girl. It was called May Day and we made little baskets out of cardboard oatmeal boxes, made handles out of colored, braided pipe cleaners, covered them with crepe paper or construction paper, and filled them with either wild flowers or whatever was blooming in the flower garden and gave them to people as special gifts. Besides grandmothers and mothers, some of the elderly widows in my church were often the recipients of the baskets my sister, Diane, and I made. We’d fix the little baskets, fill them with bunches of climbing roses, or flowers cut from the bar ditches on the way to town. We’d hang the basket on the doorknob of the lady’s house, ring the bell, and then run back to the car and drive away just as they were coming out to discover their ‘special gift’. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. It was fun for kids and a lesson in giving back that we didn’t forget. Seeing the smiles of delight and the happy lift of a hand as we’re driving off was “the best!”. Diane and I would giggle all the way to the next house. Looking back, I realize that it was our mother who needed the pat on the back. She was showing us the way, even at that young age, how special it was to do something for others. At school, we had a tall flag pole that they used for a May Pole. Dozens and dozens of long long strips of colored crepe paper were hung at the top of the pole and two circles of kids stood at the bottom of the pole, each with a streamer of the paper in their hand. When the music started, the inner circle of kids went one way and the outer circle the other, and as we passed each other, we went over and under, over and under each other still holding the paper and proceeded to ‘weave’ the paper around the pole. When we were finished, we thought it the most beautiful thing ever! It stood on the playground, a testament to the day of fun (and being out of class) until wind and rain began to undo it’s beauty, and then it came down. Such simple things in a world from times past. Change is inevitable…but in the metamorphosis of time, some of the more special moments are lost. This year on May Day, I will spend a few moments remembering my grandmother, Mabel Shero, and her little lady friends from church. Mrs. Sutherland. Mrs. Patton. Mrs. Case and Mrs. Nosalek. You’ve been gone too long, but still not forgotten.

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