Sunday, December 4, 2011
NaBloPoMo Day FIVE!
What was the first gift you ever made another person?
This is a hard one for me. I'm sure if I sat and put a LOT of thought into it, I could come up with my very first memory of the very first thing I ever made someone, but then I would never get to writing this blog, and that is what always leads to me not finishing them. (how's that for a run-on sentence?)
So I will go with the first one that comes to mind....
I grew up on a street where everyone was related, in one way or another. It was a dead end road, we were the last house, and there were only houses on one side. Our closest neighbors, the Houghtalings, (pronounced Ho-telling) were perhaps the sweetest people on the block. He was an ex police chief, and I really don't remember what she did, to be honest.
Every year, we would celebrate "May Day". "May Day" being May 1st. I don't know how anyone else celebrates it, or if anyone does, but for our house it meant that we spent some time collecting beautiful wildflowers, and making baskets or cones to put them in. We would color them, just make them really special. Then we would "sneak" (as much as two giddy kids could sneak, in the middle of daytime, to a police chiefs house) to the Houghtalings, and place the flowers in front of their door. Then we would knock...and RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was quite a good distance from their door to ours, so I'm sure that they saw us long before we ever made it to our door in our early years of doing this. There are times I can remember hiding in their bushes in front of their home, as we got older and realized the need to get a little more sneaky.
I remember always giggling, thinking to myself that they would always wonder who left them the beautiful flowers, and that it would forever be a secret in our house. Looking back now, we were the only kids on the block, so it was pretty damn obvious who it was...but they never once let on that they knew. I think that is what kept it so special.
That is one of the traditions that I wish I would have kept up with my kids. Just doing a little something "extra" for the neighbors like that...I think they would have enjoyed it. I guess it's never too late to start...but we sure do have a lot of snow to make it through before those gorgeous spring wildflowers show themselves!
Edited to add: After writing this blog, I decided to google "May Day". Sure enough, there was a wikipedia listing for it, which listed all the different ways that different countries and cultures celebrate the holiday. Here is what it said for the United States:
May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver would ring the bell and run away. The person receiving the basket would try to catch the fleeing giver. If they caught the person, a kiss was to be exchanged.
I learned two things from this article. One, my mom wasn't as nuts as we thought, (ok, she was) and Two...while I adored the Houghtalings, I'm even more glad that they didn't catch us now that I know what happened if they did...lol.