Friday, May 1, 2009
Day 13 - Whatever Else this day is, it's the Anniversary of Dad's Death
Day 11 - The first of May is May Day. It is observed by an assortment of customs depending upon the country and locality. Here in France on May 1st, 1561, French King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom on the 1st of May, to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime. The government permits individuals and workers' organisations to sell them free of taxation. It is also traditional for the lady receiving the spray of lily of valley to give a kiss in return.
In western countries May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labour movement. As a day of celebration the holiday has ancient origins, and it can relate to many customs that have survived into modern times. Many of these customs are due to May Day being a cross-quarter day, meaning that (in the Northern Hemisphere where it is almost exclusively celebrated) it falls approximately halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice. See Wikipedia entry for May Day.
Yet for me this year May 1st is the first anniversary of my father's death at the age of 93. Had he lived, Edward Richard Unruh would be 94 years of age today. I thought reaching 93 and living on his own and with the doctor's opinion that he was in good health was a significant accomplishment. His sweetheart Tina, my mom, preceded him six months earlier. He did very well. I loved them both very much.
(the photo is of our terrace view from our second floor at La Petite Mason in Lourmarin.)
And by the way this is our Last Day in Lourmarin before we move on to The Duckhouse at Praderies Bas / Aquitaine/Dordogne / Le Buisson de Cadouin. The Duckhouse is the cottage where we will live for one week.