Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rose Scents and Memories of May Day

This is my favorite rose in all the world. It grows in my backyard. I bought it at the grocery store, bare root, unpatented . . . I don't know how many years ago. I saw a similar one at a nursery once, it might be called Autumn Sunset. A perfect name, I think.

When I inhale the aroma of this particular rose, I become seven years old again. That's about second grade. I remember picking roses from the rose bushes in the backyard, against the back fence. {The very same rose bushes where my brothers and I dared to tempt fate and caught bees in canning jars when we were little}.

I sniff and I can hear the scissors snipping short childish snips of heavy, colored construction paper, which will be shaped into a cone. And I smell school paste. Do you remember the stuff that I'm referring to?. . .it was in a white bottle with an orange top, thick and white, we applied it with the applicator that was an extension of the handle on the lid. We would paste a long handle on the cone, and impatiently wait for it to dry enough to support the weight of Mom's freshly cut roses.

On May 1st, before school, we would take a little trek across the backyard wetting our shoes in the dewy, wet lawn to cut the most bea-u-ti-ful flowers from Mother's garden, wrap the stems in tin-foil and carry our gorgeous treasures to school. Any child whose Mother had plenty in bloom would bring extras, as would our teachers, just in case anyone forgot. Usually there was an ample supply to fill out to every little child's bouquet. Roses, especially, but I remember sweet peas, and daffodils. Hmm . . .daffodils. . . is that likely in May? Maybe just a pleasant memory, misplaced in time . . .

When we made our little tussie mussies with our elementary classroom teachers, if allowed, I always made two. One for my Mother and one for Miss Pearl, who in my childish recollection was a dead ringer for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. I walked by Miss Pearl's house on my way home. We would open her gate, and giggle up the path to her back door, climb the steps, hang our little basket of posies on her door handle, knock and run like mad! If we were really, really lucky, she would catch us, and offer milk and cookies.

Then, homeward bound with the bestest one for my own Mother, I would repeat the May Day ritual . . .tiptoe, drape it over the knob, knock and run like mad! Of course, at my house, I would hide someplace in the front yard and watch while my beautiful Mother answered the door, and would exclaim with such great surprise, "How lovely! Whoever could have left this?" . . . to a 'surprise' popping out, great giggles and hugs.

This was just the most wonderful fun! I don't think a May Day passed that my Mother didn't help me make more for my favorite neighbor ladies. More knocking and hiding. Lovely childhood memories . . . which reminds me where I started here, that rose . . .

I wish that you could smell this delicious rose. I think it's a little bit like strawberries. Every time I say that to someone though, they look at me like I'm kinda bonkers. I suppose that must mean it's my own personal scent category, and the description just doesn't register for others.

Anyway . . . I digressed, but I certainly enjoyed that little trip that I was just allowed down Memory Lane . . . sigh . . . It was a lovely time to be a child, wasn't it?

While we're on the subject of childhood memories anyway . . . I am offering you the chance to make a memory, too. While I searched for a link for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, I found that there was a television series made in the 90s, with Jean Stapleton! I can't wait to watch it! Here's the link for you, too! If you don't already love her, I think I can safely promise that you will!

~Enjoy! Love!

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