Saturday, May 2, 2015

No May Day baskets UP on the tundra

Yesterday was Vappu, aka May Day, aka International Workers Day. It's one of those holidays that gets celebrated in different ways in different parts of the world. A friend mentioned on Facebook that she can recall making May Day baskets when she was in elementary school and actually picking violets to put in them.

Here in the U.P., of course, we had a different tradition. I do remember making May Day baskets in grade school, but I always wondered why? What we were supposed to do with them? There usually wasn't anything blooming yet that we could pick. Oh, maybe crocuses were up in some people's yards, but more typically we were all still bundled up in cold weather gear and being depressed by the sight of filthy snow banks and dead grass. The big excitement in May usually involved kids indulging their inner arsonist, torching the dead grass, and waiting for the fire trucks to show up. I don't expect to see wild flowers like violets for at least a couple more weeks. IIRC, last year they bloomed around Memorial Day. There is, in fact, still snow on the ground in our yard. It's not as bad as last year, but it's there.

It's at this time of the year that I always kind of wonder why we want to live here. Winter lasts forever, Spring is brief, and as for Summer? Well, like they say about Summer in Duluth and Canada, if it falls on a weekend, we'll have a picnic. April in the Texas at Canyon Lake felt like July in the U.P. While we were in Texas, the S.O. called a friend, one his classmates from high school, to talk about the class reunion that's scheduled for sometime in July this year. The friend was in Florida where he was volunteering as a campground host at a state park there. He told the S.O. he used to go back to the U.P. around April 1, but last year and this he decided not to. In the U.P., April really is the cruelest month. Lots of horrible in-between weather, not winter, not spring, just wretched. This year it was apparently drier -- there's a burn ban on because the wildfire danger level is Very High. Enough of the snow has melted that the ground is mostly bare, but there hasn't been much rain so nothing's greened up yet. Hence, no Vappu bonfires.

I shouldn't complain too much. The high temperature for today is predicted to hit somewhere around 70 so maybe, just maybe, the last of the snow covering the flowerbeds will melt and I can do some gardening. Maybe.

In any case, having the yard mostly bare is a huge improvement over last year:
View from the front door, April 30, 2014

1 comment:

  1. it's been sun, rain, sun rain sun rain...where is texas and what did you do with it?


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