May Day: All Fun, No Distress

How do you celebrate May Day? Do you dance around a pole, intertwining streamers?  Or do you scratch your head and say “What the hell is May Day?”  Wikipedia says May 1st is International Workers Day, and celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere as a spring festival and (usually) a public holiday.

Glidden's Presbyterian Church features a beautiful round stained glass window.

Some things remain the same.

In the little town of Glidden, Iowa (at least in the 1960’s), May Day wasn’t celebrated by pole dancing (Hey, not that kind of pole dancing!) or days off from school.  Instead, we would make several little May baskets, and deliver them around town to our friends’ houses.

Our May baskets were much less skillfully made than those you’ll find with a Google image search.  They were made from colored construction paper, held together with a few staples or glue.   We then filled them with small candies and cheap little trinkets, and delivered tem to our friends after school.  You know, since it wasn’t a public holiday.  😉

But wait!  There’s more!
Glidder-Ralston Community School houses K-12.

Some things change a little.

In our little world, the idea was to place the basket at the friend’s door, knock or ring the doorbell, then run like crazy to the edge of the home’s property.  (Usually this meant the street.)  Meanwhile, said friend would be waiting inside for said knock or bell, and when heard would give chase to the basket bearer.  If you got caught, you got kissed.  I rarely made it to safety, but not for lack of trying.

Looking back now, I wonder why in the world would we run from a kiss?  Perhaps the more savvy girls didn’t run from the cool boys.  But I was much too shy and not that smart.

Glidden's pool is now an aquatic park.

Some things change a lot!

I thought everyone practiced this little rite of spring, but when I headed off to the University of Iowa, none of my friends had heard of it.  Perhaps it was a tradition limited to western Iowa.  Since it wasn’t known in eastern Iowa, I didn’t hold out hope for my Michigan State graduate school buddies.  As my horizons broadened to include the Navy and the world, I eventually gave up asking.

I haven’t been back to my home town in many years and wonder if they still celebrate May Day in the same manner. My guess, or at least my hope, is yes, since many of my school mates still live there, and have hopefully passed the tradition on to their children and grandchildren.

[All photos from City of Glidden’s web siteFrom the top, the First Presbyterian Church, Glidden Ralston Community School (serving grades K-12) and the  “new” aquatic center.  Each of them has a story to tell.]

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Home Again, Home Again…

…Hippity Hop

NaBloPoMo June 2013 is coming to an end.  Today’s prompt is the last for this month, since Saturday and Sunday fall on a weekend, and are thus saved for “free-writing.”  Of course, I’ve spent most of the month free-writing, so why should it matter?  It doesn’t.

Anyway, heeere’s the prompt:

Are you still living in the town where you were born? Tell us about why you did or didn’t move.

The Dairy Mart in Glidden, IA, is a local landmark

Dairy Mart: hometown landmark and site of my first job. Which I sucked at.

Actually, I never lived in the town where I was born—because the town doesn’t have a hospital.  😉 However, the house in which my family lived when I was born was the same house we lived in when my mother died and my father went into a nursing home some 38 years later.  You’d think it was a magnificent house.  It wasn’t.

Perhaps my preference for staying in one place is inherited.

I’ve thought about returning to my hometown in my golden years, but growing up there really wasn’t a happy experience.  And besides, there’s those damn winters.

To Move, or Not to Move

That is today’s NaBloPoMo question.  (Sort of.)

Do you like to stay in one place for a long period of time, or do you like to move around?

As with nearly all things in life, moving has its ups and downs.  The upside:  you’re forced to pare down your belongings, eliminating those extraneous items that tend to accumulate over the years.  The downside?  Moving is stressful.

For the first 11 years after college, I never spent more the two years in one job, and the longest I stayed in one place was 3½ years.  Moving every few years is a part of military life; and for most of those 11 years, I was in the U.S. Navy.

A picture of snow drifts on my car from the "Snowmageddon" of 2009.

Snowmaggedon: If summer gets too hot, I just gaze at this photo of my car.

All things considered, though, I prefer to stay in one place.  Which is why I’ve lived in the same place for the past 25 years.  It’s a nice, largish condo with two drawbacks.  No elevators (and I live on the top floor), and no covered parking.  (See photo)

Where will I live next?  I’ve thought about moving back to Iowa.  I like the slower pace of life there, but the winters can be a bitch.  Plus my liberal self is torn.  While Iowa recognizes gay marriage (a hot topic currently in the news), it doesn’t recognize the Health Plan for America (i.e., Obama care).  Yeah, that’s right.  I support Obama Care.  Don’t worry, none of my friends do.