Once Upon a Time in the West: memories of may day

When Bob and I met in high school and began dating he introduced me to his mother.  The introduction would be a fateful one, as over time she would become my “Mom away from Mom.”  (But, that’s a story for another day…)

Her favorite flowers were daisies, so on May Day I made her a  May basket and filled it with, what else?   Daisies.


Quietly I snuck up to her doorstep, placed the basket near the door, rang the bell and then ran to hide! 


It was a childhood tradition, the running and hiding. 

She was too fast in answering the door, and caught me.  It spoiled the fun of watching her wonder “Who did this?”  but time would reveal that my actions that morning had endeared me to her.

May Day observance and its meaning are long forgotten by most folks today, but not by me, and not for its original meaning.  For me, May Day brings back old memories of my Mother in Law, a basket of daisies and her love for me.

I loved you too, Mom, and some days I miss you terribly.

Happy May Day!  


For your interest…

Here is a video which shows a more traditional May Pole dance, which was, and still is, a part of the May Day Celebrations in England.

Such merry-making!

You may like to know that the dance is well choreographed, and when done correctly the May Pole will not just be wrapped in ribbons, it will be laced or woven in ribbons! 


Image courtesy of Deaf Pagan Crossroads.  Please click the image to be taken to her site and a well written post about the May Pole!


A Special thanks to Steve Schwartzman of Portraits of Wildflowers as the inspiration for my post today, and also to EarthSky for the information on May Day celebrations.  Both sites deserve a closer look!


You still here?  Well then, here is an extra tidbit.  If you are on WordPress and write a post that includes the words  may pole dance  you will be inundated by  many suggestions for tie ins regarding the POLE DANCE!  Which interestingly, seems to be promoted much differently than my understanding of the craft.  😉  That aside, Google made the distinction and offered up useful and germane information, whereas WordPress could not.  😉

43 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time in the West: memories of may day

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    LOL, well there’d be a awful lot of disappointed people “hitting on” your site this morning then, wouldn’t there?
    *giggle, snort* ; )
    Thanks for the links.
    Happy May Day Lynda!

  2. Animalcouriers says:

    Love your tradition and what lovely memories it brings back for you! Maypole dancing is indeed a wonderful tradition too – such fun to watch and if you’re lucky you get encouraged to join in – doesn’t make for the best patterns though as practice is important 😀

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks, Annie, and YES, practice is important! I have seen some of the funny things that can happen when you are not prepared! 😉

  3. dianasschwenk says:

    What a lovely memory! We don’t celebrate May Day in Canada perhaps because we would need to shuffle between weaving a pole and making an igloo! Daisies are my fave flowers too!

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Lisa. She was a very open person, and always spoke her mind. She got me through some rough (family) times in my teens. I always knew I could trust her to be honest and direct… even when I was the one in the wrong. 😉

  4. Kathee says:

    Mom and I always made May baskets together, literally made the baskets (paper doily cones with a ribbon handle for hanging on someone’s door knob, hand woven construction paper baskets, etc.). I remember we mostly had pansies and african daisies growing to pick and put in them. We’d take them all over the neighborhood together. Just the other day as May Day approached I was remembering how much I loved doing that, so your post really made my heart smile.

    • Lynda says:

      I never knew this. It must have been so much fun! So, the day is special to both of us because of your mom. Thank you for sharing with me, Kathee!

  5. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Thank you for sharing this sweet memory Lynda.
    I never knew the part about the pole ending up with beautiful lace patterns.Old traditions always come with sweet little details that make them more endearing

    • Lynda says:

      You are welcome, Sawsan, and thank you for visiting me today!

      And yes, traditions are more fun when you know the details, or at least *we* think so. 😉

  6. Littlesundog says:

    As kids, we practiced the May Day tradition of taking small cups of goodies around to all of the elderly neighbors. We decorated drink cups, used pipe cleaners for handles, then filled them with candies. I haven’t thought to do it in years now, but it sure was fun hiding the cups and running to hide, watching the surprised looks from behind a shrub or around the corner! Thanks for this wonderful memory, Lynda!

    • Lynda says:

      Yes, we are, Sally Sallie! So few get along with their MIL. But then, Bob and I knew each other for a VERY long time before we got married. I think that helped too.

  7. shoreacres says:

    The May baskets were a huge deal in my day – always filled with flowers instead of candy. Flowering almond, violets and spirea were favorites. And making the baskets was such fun. Sometimes they were nut cups with pipe cleaner handles, and sometimes they were the cones.

    Do any kids still consider construction paper, paper doilies and pipe cleaners necessities of life any more? Naw – didn’t think so. 😉

  8. George Weaver says:

    What a dear post. I ran over to visit when you reminded me that I have been delinquent. The old brain needs a nudge now and again if you don’t mind, Lynda. Yes, you need a clump or so of the Walking Iris (Regina). The clumps grow to 3-feett wide and 4-5-ft. tall in short order. They like morning sun and lots of light so they have to be in partial shade or at least shaded from direct sunlight during the day. Otherwise, you won’t have to do anything special for them. 🙂 Since they grow from rhizomes, you can order any kind you like from online, I’m sure.

    • Lynda says:

      The word ‘delinquent’ never passed my fingertips! 😉

      I will be shopping for these when we get settled up on the mountain. I just read a bit more about them today and it seems they get their name because of the little side plants that grow out from where the flowers emerge on the stems!
      What fun, George!

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