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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

On May Baskets and Iowa

When I was a child growing up in Iowa, it was the custom to make May baskets and place them on people's porches in the neighborhood. My mother helped us create these baskets and we ran around in the heat of the Midwest and put these treasures on the neighbors we knew and with whose children we played.

I was never quite sure as to the religious or secular history of this custom. By the time I was in high school in the late sixties, the custom had passed, although we as a family would bring baskets to the two grandmothers. The nuns at school told us as children this all was in honor of Our Lady.

These baskets were not elaborate, and usually the flowers were picked in the fields and parks in the neighborhood-violets, daisies, daffodils, even dandelions.

If anyone else grew up with this custom, please let me know on this blog.