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Saturday, Apr. 25, 2015

May Day your way

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hi neighbors. It's time to celebrate May Day! Did you leave a garland or basket of flowers on your neighbor's door knobs?

Maybe you just went to the woods, cut down the tallest tree you could find, tied some streamers on it and invited all your friends over to dance in circles around it till the ribbons were all tied up.

Did you start a big fire and run your herd of cows through it? Wash your face in the morning dew? Wander through the smoke of the above named bonfire to find out who your sweetheart would be?

Of course, you could always end the day with a masquerade party with everyone dressed like animals.

Gee, it seems like people just don't know how to throw good parties these days. Well, not since the Middle Ages and before I guess.

If your May Day is substantially less boisterous than those celebrated by your distant ancestors, that doesn't need to make it less enjoyable.

I hope you've planned ahead and helped the children put ribbons on a pole for dancing. Maybe you got them to sit down long enough to make some simple baskets to put flowers in; or to weave those flowers into garlands.

No matter the origins of May Day, teaching children to give pleasant and anonymous gifts definitely has an up side. They can even write their favorite poem -- with just a few changes:

Happy May Day to you!

Happy May Day to you!

Here's a basket of flow-

ers

And good wishes too!

Happy May Day!

Or the other children's favorite:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Today's May first

And I like you!

Happy May Day!

There are lots of flowers other than roses and violets. In yards all around Nevada are flowering bushes, tulips, crocuses, lilacs and lots of others that I don't know the names of.

Of course, remind your children that no neighbor wants a May basket filled with flowers pilfered from their own flower garden!

Maybe instead of cut flowers you could put in a small potted flower, a flower bulb or a strawberry or tomato plant.

Of course, a cup full of yellow dandelions is always appreciated by mothers and grandmothers.

If you aren't into making and hanging baskets of flowers on other people's door knobs, you could just do something nice for your own family.

Help plant a flower bed. Trim some hedges. Mow the yard. If that trip to the world of nature in your own backyard just sparks your fire, offer to do some yard work for a neighbor who can't do it for themselves.

After you wear yourself out with that, a little bonfire merriment might sound like a good ending for the day. I'd keep the live cows away from the heat, but you could throw on some steaks and have a good time.

If you want to hold with tradition, deck the whole family out in some animal costumes and dance in circles around the fire (or twist streamers around a tall pole) while the food cooks. I suppose it can't hurt and it will certainly build up your appetite. Most likely such a display will probably entertain all the shut-ins in the neighborhood as well.

Until the next time friends, remember celebrations don't have to be complicated to be fun. And what kind of celebration could be more fun than one involving dancing children, bright colors, flowers and a beautiful spring day?

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup