I’ve always loved May. I know June is the first month of summer but to me the true first month of summer has always been May. The spring flowers and bushes are usually in full bloom. The lilacs are always out by the fifteenth. We have a lilac tree that is over forty years old. It is a double white and is right off the back patio. The smell is delightful. It looks old and sometimes I think it might not come back but I checked it out last weekend when the weather was in the high seventies, even hit eighty, and it made it another year.

My husbands birthday is in May and I remember the tulips are especially beautiful on his birthday. The weather is usually decent in May but I do remember Memorial day picnics being too cold to eat outdoors. We love to eat and cook outdoors.  If there is anyway possible we will be at the picnic table. I also remember planting my vegetable garden the first of May one season and I had tomatoes the first week in July. Only once though. My father every year says, “you really can’t plant anything before June first.” But I always try to push the season and I know even if I get something planted, the soil usually isn’t warmed up enough to help the seeds or plants grow.

As a child growing up May meant school would be ending soon and most of May was spent reviewing subjects for the finals and that was an easy month to sail through.  I still remember the feeling you got on the last day of school when you rushed out the door for the last time until September. It was so nice to sleep in the next morning and all the mornings until vacation was over. The nights in May in our area are not usually that warm but we have fires outside to keep us warm. We have an outdoor fireplace in our back gazebo and that keeps us nice and toasty. The trick is to keep your fire small so you don’t get black on the inside or ceiling of the gazebo. Charcoal works well but we always have small pieces of wood to use. 

My daughter told me about a cute idea that started in Europe but we could do it here. The first morning of May you pick the spring flowers and put them in a container of some kind and leave them on the doorstep of someone you like or love. If you’re caught delivering your surprise, however, you have to kiss the recipient. You could put a little message with the flowers like, Guess Who? or an endearment. Add a ribbon or any decorative thing you have. I suggest you pick the flowers that morning to ensure freshness.  

A peat pot, a canning funnel, a small coffeepot or an antique of some kind could hold your treasures. I know I would enjoy finding something like that on my doorstep. This year we will have our traditional Memorial Day picnic. I remember the pool was open last year but it was too cold to use it.  It should be ready this year by that time so I will be optimistic. We will also be celebrating my daughter and son – in- laws yellow lab’s birthday. His name is Kasper and he will be five years old. We got Kasper for them the year they got their house. He was with us for three months. I remember he never liked to be outdoors. I don’t know if he didn’t like the heat or what the reason was but he would run straight back to the patio and want in. It was like watching a horse that is barn sour. We really missed Kasper and after he left, we got our Yellow Lab, Belle. 

  From our backyard to yours, enjoy Mayday and the whole month because it really should be the first month of summer!


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