Pioneer Potluck: About May baskets

  • By Grannie Annie
  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:30am
  • LifeFood

1940’s on a farm

North of Fort Collins,


May 1 was a big day for all us grade school kids. We spent the last week of April making May baskets out of construction paper – weaving them into a mat and then bringing up on the sides and pasted (Elmer’s Paste) the sides . The last was the handle for the basket. We would paste it on then the teacher would staple it for strength..

We would carefully bring them home after school on May 1st with bits of candy and flowers – usually dandelions – to give to our Mom’s. We always made one for our neighbor and one for Grandma who lived a mile north of us in the cherry-apple orchard. Those baskets were filled with lilac blossoms after we asked permission to get a lilac branch off Moms wonderful French lilac bush. Then we put in one of Moms’ cookies or a cupcake. We got in the car and Mom drove us to Mrs. Aranci’s. We hung the basket on her door knob, knocked on the door and ran for the car. We ducked down and told Mom to hurry and get out of the yard because you were not supposed to be seen delivering the baskets. If they saw you, you would get kissed.

Then we went to Grandma’s and Mom parked in the lane and we crept up to the door that went to the stairs and down into the basement house they lived in. I smile now because Grandmas kitchen window was positioned above the kitchen sink and she could look up and see who was at the door and Grandma was always in the kitchen! We would hang the baskets, knock and run as hard as we could. We got in the car and hide again. Mom would back out and head for our house. It was the most fun I had with my Mom when I was little.

This tradition has sadly stopped through the years, as the Communist Party adopted May 1 as their day of celebration.

I am still plan on making a May basket or two – just to see if I still can!! NO lilacs blooming and I am not sure there will be a dandelion, but this Grandma always has a cookie or two on hand to fill the baskets. Not telling who will get one either!!


Be kind and smile, you never know who needs a special kind word or your friendly smile.


Go make a May basket!

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