May Basket


Hi All,

Believe it or not, it’s almost May.  I’ve been watching with uncommon satisfaction as the snow piles at the end of our driveway shrink.  It’s a wonder how we can go from a blizzard whiteout to spring green in 10 days.  I love Minnesota.  It’s exciting.  We lived in Florida for a few years and it’s warmer yes, but it’s boring.  

Here we have drama right outside our window.   We don’t have to watch tv for excitement or look for trouble to entertain ourselves.  The first warm day you sit outside with the sun shining on your face and hear the birds singing, it’s as much a cause for celebration as being in heaven after surviving hell.  

A couple weeks ago, I thought I might write a little.  It was cold and cloudy outside and the worn out brown was only broken by shades of gray.  It was the end of tax season as you will remember and they were forecasting a full-blown blizzard for the weekend. Nothing good could be said about this.  I built a fire in the fireplace, watched the new season of Chef’s Table on Netflix and pretended it was January instead of the middle of April.

Tax season is in the rearview mirror now and there are pansies on sale everywhere.  I have always loved May Day.  It’s hard to believe now, but I remember at Widsten school, my grade school in Wayzata, we had a giant Maypole on the playground. We’d weave and unweave the ribbons when it was our turn somehow managing to keep them from getting tangled up under our teacher's supervision. 

And I remember after school, trekking through the woods looking for bloodroot and violets.  We found them almost every year and put a few in a construction paper cone with a fat glued on handle that we hoped would fit on the doorknob of our neighbors' house and not fall off when they opened the door.  

We scrounged for things to put in them.  The Easter jelly beans were long gone and the only hope of candy was to find my mom’s stash of Hershey’s kisses.  We would never go to the store just for that. 

Distributing May baskets wasn’t a common practice even back then,  but I carried it on with my kids just the same.  There is something so sweet about tramping the woods and being surprised by what’s growing there,  then pasting together a basket to surprise the neighbors.  They took to it.

In England, Spring flowers are blooming on May Day and people lounge around outside in pastel dresses.  It’s the season of fertility.  I know all this from watching Camelot and having a vivid imagination.  But in Minnesota it’s different.  May arrives when there is only the faintest hint that summer is ever going to get here and the best part is that every bit of it lays before us.  

I wonder if the bloodroot and violets will make it out of the ground by Tuesday,  you might want to put your boots on and go out to check.

Enjoy the week,