Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Midsummer

Such problems. I won't bore you with what happened but I am getting tired of Mid summer and of my computer. Martha, my plot daugher helped me ovecome some of my computer problems and now it is full seed ahead. Or full speed back again.

Just the word Midsummer promised so much. Special food, the first new potatoes dug up out of the garden that morning. For the first time that year. Then the promise that maybe we could go swimming if the temperature was above 50*. Wearing new clothes. Probably the dress that was made for our last day of school. Probably out of town visitors for dinner. The potatoes were the best part of that meal but the fish or the meat would be special too. And a fabulous cake for desert. And then the dance around the Maj Stong ( May Pole ) Why was it called the May Pole when midsummer was in June?

There was a lot of work to be done that day. We had to help get the house ready for celebrating. Some important member had to dig up the potatoes. Maybe that's why I had a great collection of pitchforks that were sold when we moved from our Diablo house. And that's why I have said I am going to be a potato farmer in my next life. I was never important enough to dig up the spuds. ( I never put this together before ) Then around ten we had to gather in the park to get the May Pole dressed and put together.

Teenagers and adults would gather the greenery. There were tools too big for the smaller children. We had to go out on the heath to gather white Daisies, blue Bachelor Buttons and Red Clover. And then there was a group of grown ups who would raid the gardens of big red Peonies. Some years the May Pole would be a truly magnificent work of art. Depending on who was in charge. I wish I had pictures of the good ones.

The pole consisted of what looked like a telephone pole with a shorter thinner cross bar, two rings that looked like the wheels
without spokes from a bicycle. The main pole was the first to be dressed. Then grownups would raise it in the middle of a big circle in the middle of the park.The cross piece was dressed and in stalled about 31/4 of the way up the pole. The Swedish flag flew from the top. The rings attached to the crosspiece were the most colorful parts of our labor.It was a beautiful sight standing in the center of a green lawn.

And when that was done there would be dinner and an hour later swimming in the Sound between Sweden and Denmark, Oresund. And then the dance. There was an adult who played the accordion. Only ring dances were offered and we all knew all the words to all the songs and there were some that were more fun than others. The words to one for example said.. I step so close to you, I take you in my arms, And so we circle away... well what a thrill.

There was a morning after. We would go to see the pole again and there it stood in a circle of dirt. Not a blade of grass was left. All danced away. One thing that was true then. There were no candy wrappers and nothing but a dead lawn.


Anonymous said...

To "maja" is another word for " dress" with flowers and leafs.

Yes, " sill, potatis, gräddfil och gräslök" and a taste of "Skåne aquavit". Thats midsummer.

Hälsningar från Bo Thuner.

Charlene said...

Sounds wonderful. Thanks for taking us there with you around the Maypole. What a lovely tradition. Did you celebrate Midsummer this way with your children?

Anonymous said...

Don’t forget the strawberries, it’s not midsummer without strawberries and whipped cream

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