After Christmas and Thanksgiving, I think Memorial Day stands out as the holiday with the most memories for me.

My Mom and Grandmother always visited the graves of friends and relatives in the area, and remembered them with large bouquets made from their own garden. The making of the bouquets was a ritual that i was very involved in. It began with gathering lilacs and other spring flowers at Grandma’s house and bring her back to ours. The patio was set up with folding tables especially for the assembly of the bouquets. Old coffee cans which have been stashed away all year were covered with foil and served as the vases for the arrangements.

Our peonies played a major role in these arrangements. And they quickly became my favorite flower.

Mom and Grandma crafted unique designs, remembering the preferred flower or favorite color of the ones they loved. I knew none of the recepients, but appreciated the care that went into the arrangement, and the simple beauty of the garden flowers.

My Father patiently loaded the station wagon full of the creations and drove us around the valley to multiple cemeteries for our deliveries.

My first sunburn of the summer always happened on Memorial Day. Something that, hopefully, mothers do not allow any more.

Remember May day? I do.

There were many things I liked about May day. I supposed it was a sign that summer would soon be here and school would be out. But mostly I remember making paper cones in school and filling them will lilacs to take home to our mothers and neighbors.

I don’t suppose anyone makes flower baskets in school any longer. Next year, maybe I will…