IMG_0559May Day, May Day!

By Mary Jo

A recent Wench blog by Christina had us describing our personal Easter customs and memories, which I much enjoyed, though I didn't have much to contribute. (I forgot to mention that we dye Easter eggs.  And then devil and eat them. <G>)

But it got me to thinking about a little custom that I hadn't thought about in literally decades: my older sister and I making little paper cones, putting in a few flowers, generally daffodils since not much else was blooming then in Upstate New York, and taking them around to the neighbors.  We lived on a rural road with not many houses within walking distance, but it was a pleasant little custom.

I remember one year when my sister had outgrown the custom so I went around on my own.  There were a lot of Polish immigrants in our area of Western New York because there was plenty of good farm land.  I didn't notice much difference in the kids at my school except that the Polish kids tended to be blonder. But many had Polish grandmothers at home. 

On this particular year, I went to a small house on the corner of the state highway where we lived and a nearby dirt road. The little house had been a schoolhouse once, and my own father once was a student there.  (When I think back, this is all pretty remarkable but at the time it was perfectly natural.)


Read more

May Traditions Old and New

Nicola here, celebrating the month of May. What does May mean to you? For me it brings back memories of dancing around a stripy maypole when I was at primary school. More prosaically it is also the month when I have to get the car taxed and serviced.  There are also two public holidays in the UK during May so that means lovely time spent with family and friends, eating, drinking and making merry. Traditionally there is a lot of that sort of celebrating in May! The month of May probably takes its name from Maia, the Roman goddess of …

Read more