There are many reasons I look forward to the month of May. The temperatures are (usually) warmer, it gets dark much later in the day. Last weekend was the perfect example. Three days of sunshine with temps in the 60’s and 70’s. Took my morning walk in short sleeves and capris, without a jacket for the first time this year (and we’re well into month 5, ugh. Winter seems to last longer than the other 3 seasons-combined).
Gathered my cold weather walking gear, warm cargo pants, winter coat, long johns, Cuddl duds, gloves, scarf and headed downstairs to wash and dry all of it. Folded everything and stored it in one spot ready for the very distant November I don’t even want to think about. Monday morning dawns in the 30’s with a stiff breeze and the windchill in the 20’s. Hauled out all my clean ‘November walking clothes’ which I’ve now worn all week. Midweek days were a bit better, left my gloves home and wore a lighter coat for 2 days, but the forecast had frost/freeze warnings with highs in the low 40’s this weekend. This morning’s temperature registered in at 25. Not exactly a freeze warning but 7 degrees below freezing. May 9th, 25 degrees, add the 9 mph winds and it feels like the mid-teens. Welcome to springtime in Michigan.
I’ve experienced 3 pregnancies during my life resulting in 3 (now adult) children. Firstborn was in December, not a bad time to have a baby, mostly due to my size (cute round little belly) during the summer before she was born. The stuck-in-the-middle-with-you pregnancy concluded in early May, which I’ve determined is the perfect time to bring a new life into the mix.
First you’re not ‘showing ’til it’s snowing’ and by spring your baby’s here so you don’t have to buy multiple seasons of maternity clothes which we all grow tired of very quickly. Plus the baby’s so tiny, it’s easy to haul him around during the summer. He was often perched on the front bench seat of our car while I drove. How did our kids survive to adulthood? There but by the grace of God go I (with my kids in tow precariously) Second, Joshua was my only baby born on his due date without a lot of fuss. He was my happy, contented thumb sucker.
The baby-of-the-family pregnancy signed off in mid-September. No one plans a September baby. No one. I was the size of an 18 wheeler by August. In Iowa. Blistering. Hot. Humid. Iowa. Lugging a 30 pound watermelon right under my sweaty boobs. I thank the good Lord for giving us Adam but May-June or November-December would have been much more appreciated in the year of 1979.
The beginning of May in my younger years marked the time I was done getting my tan. I’d be as brown as I wanted to get before the first of May. Not a fan of sweating (ever) so I’d lay out in March & April when it was in the mid to upper 50’s in Iowa. To maintain all summer long required an hour a week outside. By January I’d be looking pretty peaked. I know, not good for me, but I loved brown legs.
On May 5th, 1990, 30 freaking years ago, the Hubs and I stopped smoking-cold turkey-and stuck to it. I’d like to say it was a tough 3 months but who am I kidding? It was one tough year. John chewed gum with such a vengeance the inside of his cheeks looked like ground chuck. I suffered insomnia but we got through it (with the patience and understanding of Job on my part. Duh)
May Day was a huge reason for celebration when I was a kid. Mom and Dad were not big holiday celebrators so I appreciated the ones we did. For some reason Mom enjoyed planning/preparing/delivering May Day baskets, going out of her way to make the day really special. Every year she had clever ideas for the deluge of baskets we’d make together and bring to friends. The trick was not getting ‘caught and kissed’ after you delivered the basket to the front door of a friend, neighbor or teacher’s house. One of my fondest kid memories.
The month of May brings Lily’s of the Valley, Tulips, and Lilacs. For the first time in our married life, we’ve planted 3 lilac bushes. White, lilac and darker purple. None have bloomed yet but they have grown and look healthy so I’m hopeful for a few blossoms, maybe this year.
We lived on a lake for 20 plus years. The month of May was baby month for bunnies, birds, deer, ducks and geese. Since we moved 5 years ago I go past a small pond on my walk every morning. Sure enough a few days ago a Canadian goose couple added 4 yellow fuzz balls. (Baby goslings stay yellow and fuzzy about 10 days. After that they resemble their parents, minus girth). They stay pretty close to the edge of the water and are often on the bank as I’m walking past. They scold me every morning for the interruption as they slink back in the water. All the while I’m complimenting their lovely brood and assuring them I mean no harm. “Honk, honk, don’t give me any guff lady, just keep on walking,” they repeat loudly each morning-twice. I really like May babies.
What’s not to like about Mother’s Day in the month of May? From the time I was in elementary school, assuring Mom she was loved and appreciated was one of the top priorities of our teachers. Homemade invitations for a Mother’s Day tea/luncheon took up an afternoon at school. Corny cards with sappy poems were sent home with us on Friday with strict instructions to hide them until Sunday morning, then proudly present it to Mom. I still have several I made for her (she kept everything). This year’s gonna be different because of the keep-your-butt-at-home-safety-precautions, but the Hubs will buy me an ice cream and I’ll probably talk or text with most of my brood.
May means Memorial Day. When we lived in Iowa, Memorial weekend meant the kids were finished with school for the summer (not so in Michigan, they don’t get out until mid-June). The end of May means the lilacs are blooming, sometimes peonies and Iris’s. The weekend we as a nation remember, mourn and honor those in the military who made the ultimate sacrifice. But we also remember our loved ones who have passed away. I learned this very early in life when my 12 year old brother was killed when I was 7. Every year Mom, Dad and I would decorate Larry’s grave on Memorial weekend with lilacs, peonies and Iris’s. Our way of acknowledging he was still loved and thought about. Can’t see, think or smell lilacs without thinking about Larry. Yes, the month of May still holds a lot of meaning for me…