Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day!

Is it just me, or did May Day used to be a much bigger deal than it is now?

I grew up in the small town of Detroit Lakes, Minn. Lived there until the summer before fifth grade. On the lake. Best place to live. Ever. So much fun. Really hard to move. Thinking back to the move to the Twin Cities still hurts a little bit. Am I still talking? Sorry.

Anyhoo.

For whatever reason, I have really fond memories of May Day in Detroit Lakes. It meant cups full of candy (I especially remember those wax candy soda bottles) and, as far as I remember, warm weather. It meant going door to door, but for some reason, I don’t remember exactly what happened at every door. I want to say we rang the doorbell and ran away, but how the heck do you collect any goodies by doing that? Or maybe we put candy on the doorway, rang the bell, and then ran? That would make sense, so long as everyone else did the same thing. The truth is, I honestly don’t remember.

But while I look back fondly on the broad outlines of May Day, there’s one that’s forever etched in my mind. It wasn’t a pleasant May Day, but my reaction to it only solidifies my belief that May Day once was really important. It was in gym class at Rossman Elementary School in Detroit Lakes. Don’t recall exactly how our class got into trouble, but it was the end of the day and we had to stand with our noses faces the gym wall. When my mom came to pick me up at school that day, I distinctly remember saying: “This has been the worst May Day ever!”

I still remember saying it like it was yesterday, and I felt at the time that year’s May Day had been wasted. Had I known then what I think I know now – that May Day is just another day; and that people today don’t seem to have the appreciation for it they once did – I probably would have been even more crushed.

Hard-hitting stuff, huh? Anyway, Happy May Day!

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