On May Day, and many days in between, I think of my Grandma. Years ago, I was maybe eight, she introduced me to May Day.
We went to downtown Tolono, which literally consisted of a library, barber shop, hardware store, a tavern and Maggio's grocery and, picked up an out-of-date wallpaper book. She was probably wearing a dress, most likely with a chain belt. I recall thinking how neat it was to get a wallpaper book of your very own. As I write this now I wonder if that May Day was a May Day at all....
Once home, she taught us, my brother and I, how to make wallpaper cones and staple on a handle. Now it was time to pick the flowers.
My Grandma loved violets. LOVED them. This love is something I shared with her. I don't know if I love them because they are so sweet or because they are so intertwined with wonderful memories of her. Regardless, I am thrilled to see them pop up in the spring. While some think they are weeds, I envy those lawns where the vibrant purple sprawl is abundant.
Once the violets were picked, and if I know my Grandmother, stems wrapped in damp paper towel, secured with foil and, most likely a rubber band, was time to deliver. The whole point is to surprise someone with flowers. Sort of a nice "ding-dong ditch", you ring the bell and run. Surprising the recipient and not getting caught are thrilling.When Doug and I bought our first house on Hamlet Street, I would bring violets home from my Grandparent's yard and plant them in mine. Six years later, when we moved again, I transplanted those clumps at the yellow house.
They now thrive in my yard with memories of Grandma.