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Saturday, May 02, 2009

When I was a girl my sisters, cousins and I spent some happy hours shaping May Day baskets from Construction paper, or sometimes news paper, or brown paper bags, using flour and water for paste. Getting the handle to stick was the hardest part and important because that's what held the basket on the door knob.
We made the baskets a day or two before May Day so the paste had time to dry, then early morning on the special day we would comb the neighborhood for flowers, any flowers, tree blossoms and dandelion's included. I remember the smiles of the white haired ladies who watched out their windows as we raided their flower gardens, no doubt remembering when they were the little child doing the same.
By the time the baskets were filled our excitement had peaked so that we were unable to contain ourselves.
We thought we were being quiet and sneaky as we ran from door to door, the baskets flopping precariously, and flowers strewing our path, each trying to get to the next door first.
I know we must have sounded like a herd of cattle as our sturdy, leather soled oxfords announced our arrival. But the sweet white haired ladies played our game, just as the ladies before them had. We were never caught.
I remember hiding behind Mrs. Gahan's shrubbery, cousin's clinging to me, trying desperately not to giggle too loudly as she opened her door, looking for whomever had knocked, then looking so surprised as she spied the dilapidated, torn basket of wilted dandelions, blossoms and other pretty weeds.
Ah yes! They played the game so well.
Two of my girls came last night and brought me this lovely basket of petunias. "Happy May Day mom."
My heart smiled as a bundle of memories flooded my mind.
They visited until late and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
This afternoon, May 2nd, as I was doing computer work, my pups announced a visitor.
I looked out the window to the front deck and saw a little girl in a lavender dress, tippy toeing like a graceful fairy, carefully place a May Basket on my deck, then turn and run like the wind was chasing her.
I heard the other children giggling and shushing each other just as I had all those many years ago, but I pretended not to notice. I picked up the basket, admiring it so they could see their work was appreciated.
I set it on the Bistro table to get better picture.

Then I turned to find them hiding behind the neighbor's motor home as they waited for her to find her lovely surprise. Ho how well I remember the anticipation! I held up the basket and thanked them as they smiled back at me.
They made such a fun game out of it. Brothers lying flat on their bellies in the gravel hoping they wouldn't be seen while the Lavender Fairy quietly waits. Another generation is learning the delights of the simple things in life. The joy of giving of themselves to please another.
The delight of making something that gives happiness to their neighbors.
And the exercise that keeps them healthy and happy.
There are no modern day electronic gadgets that will ever compare to the thrill of May Day Baskets.

One more to give, and they hurry up the walk, red basket in hand, sweet anticipation flooding their precious souls.
Another generation of kind hearted children learn about May Day.
Another generation of white haired ladies learn what it's like to be on the receiving end of May Baskets.
Happy May everyone. I pray our Precious Lord will bless you and yours.



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