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Sunday, May 2, 2021


By Caroline Clemmons

Besides flowers, May stirs memories. One is of May Day. Did you celebrate May Day on May 1st?

When I was in kindergarten through the second grade, we lived in Bakersfield, California. I think I was in the first grade when we made construction paper baskets and filled them with paper flowers. I recall putting the blue (my favorite color) basket on the front porch near the door. I knocked and hid, giggling at my stealth and my surprise gift.

Mom opened the door and picked up the basket. At the time, I thought her serious when she pretended to be puzzled.

“My goodness, who could have left this lovely basket of flowers for me?”

She stood on the porch and gazed around the yard, as if failing to notice me peeking around the corner of our house.

“I’ll take them inside and save them.”  

Still giggling, I jumped out. “It was me, I made it for you.”

Mom kept the pretense going. “I had no idea you could make a basket and flowers.”

One more pleasant memory of a loving mom. In addition to May Day, it brings to mind that Mother's Day is only a week from today.

Lena Mae (Phifer) Johnson

As we approach Mother’s Day, I can’t forget many things my mom did for and with me. Although she passed in 2007, I still feel her presence and miss her daily. I’m grateful for the happy memories of her. I hope each of you have a stockpile filled with happy memories of your mom. If she’s still alive and active, you’re fortunate. You still have time to create more stories to store for years to come.

Happy May! Happy Mother’s Day!   


  1. I also remember making May Day baskets in school. When I was in first grade, we made two baskets, and the teacher's instructions were to hang one of them on my closest neighbor's door and one on my own house's door. Our closest neighbor lived over half a mile away, as was the bus stop (the other way), so neither basket survived the bike ride intact. And since my mother was paraplegic and couldn't get out the door without assistance, she didn't see my basket until Dad came in from milking the cows and brought it with him. Both the neighbor lady and Mom told me the battered and beaten wilted flowers looked lovely but I was still sorely disappointed. The next year, I made the basket but picked dandelions to put in it after I got home. LOL.

  2. We never made May baskets in school. But we did paint and fill empty small (metal)coffee cans with dirt and raised marigolds in our classroom to give to our mothers on Mother's Day. I like the idea of May Day baskets.

  3. I want to make May baskets again! I had forgotten this part of childhood. Love your fond remembrance of your Mother. Happy Mother's Day to you Caroline!

  4. Oh, my, I had completely forgotten about May baskets. Thanks for the memory. May Day used to be a big deal. I can remember being selected to dance around the May Pole. There were about a dozen of us, and we all wore matching pink dresses. Big pink ribbons were attached to the top of the May Pole. We skipped around, weaving in and out, braiding the ribbons from the top to the bottom.


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