Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Memories-May baskets & Maddie wisdom

Last week in the May 1st NJP newsletter I talked about May baskets. I wrote, "When I was a little girl we weaved construction paper strips through little, green, plastic, strawberry crates, stapled strips of paper over the basket as make-shift handles and then put a tuft of left-over Easter grass in the bottom. Filling the baskets with cookies, muffins or candy along with a lone tulip or crocus, we had May baskets ready to deliver to a few neighbors. Early on the morning of May 1st we sneaked up to our neighbors’ doors and set the baskets down on their doorstep then knocked loudly before running and hiding in their bushes.

"The first year, not yet having learned that it is better to give than to receive, we returned to our house where I sat on the living room couch and waited and waited for someone to deliver a May basket to us. Whenever I heard the dogs bark I ran for the door. Whenever I heard the dog’s tail thump on the step I ran for the door. Sometimes I ran for the door even when I didn’t hear anything. A May basket never came. Ever. Not that year and never after that either. After a few years I came to the conclusion that we probably never got a May basket because we didn’t have any little girl neighbors that would thrive on making paper baskets and cookies or hiding in bushes."

Yesterday at Church in our Sacrament Meeting, Bishop Merrell mentioned what I’d written and then he pulled out this

(May Basket from Bishop Merrell and his wife, Carol)

and then walked down from the podium and handed it to me. It had 5 gold dollar coins, candy, a pair of pretty earrings, Bath & Body Works lotion, an apple and various flowers and mint he’d picked in his yard. Bishop Merrell went back to the podium and continued speaking about how all of our good efforts will be rewarded someday and "now that little girl that delivered May baskets has finally been rewarded." He went on, “On the other hand I don’t expect to receive a reward for this because I did it in public and have already gotten the praise of men for doing it so that’s all I get,” and then he continued encouraging us to do good works for others and make good choices. It was very humbling and kind . . . (and Calvin mentioned to me later that I turned red, red, red and I have no doubt because the room suddenly got very warm).

I got the funniest e-mail from my niece, Maddie, about memories last night--perfect for Monday Memories. For a little background: once a month members of our Church go without eating two meals (or 24 hours) and donate that money to those in need. While "fasting" we focus our attention on and pray for ourselves or others who may have special needs or concerns.

Aunt Jane
today i was thinking about (i know you don't want to know what a 10 year old was thinking)memories. Aren't they the best? if you think really think about them you could almost cry because you want it to happen over and over again. I just love them there so fun I'm so glad god gave me a brain. I would rather be real dum then have no memories want you? What if you were blind your memories want be that great. Poor blind people. Well i know what I'm fasting for (it would be for blind people but its not) love Maddie p.s.. Hy loves nursery


Monkeys ARDently In Sinc said...

What a fun basket from Bishop Merrell! In the library at church on Sunday, Susan B was talking about May Day flowers, and how she gets them every year from her hubby and kids - how fun! I've never done that, or received anything then, but it might be a good tradition to start with my kids!
Love your newsletters and blog posts Jane!

Alisa said...

That is the sweetest thing- what a wonderful powerful object lesson!
I can just imagine how warm the room got!

Kathy said...

That would make me turn red and want to hide under the bench.

Susan said...

Ahhhh, how kind! And you totally deserve it!

Jenny said...

I couldn't have thought of a more appropriate person to give that to. How sweet :)

ldsmommyof12 said...

Jane, You must have a very special bishop. What a sweet story on your blog. I use to make May baskets when I was a little girl in Michigan. There was some way that we folded tissue paper and cut it into a nice basket. Then we put a little pebble in the bottom and secretly put it on a neighbors door. Thanks for the memory. I agree with your little niece. Carol in NC

Lyle and Mary: said...

So glad you finally have a memory of recieving a May basket!
Oprah once said "how you treat others always come full circle" and you know she's always right.
Not only did you get a May basket, but it was a deluxe May basket!!

Julie said...

I love Marlo! What a thoughtful man and a powerful lesson. I'll bet that basket was worth waiting for all these years.