It will be with the greatest pleasure
That we turn the wall calendar
From this amazing snowy April month
To May, inconspicuous, the shortest letter month.

Akin to the Latin word, magna-essentially great
Magnificent describes how we enthusiastically greet
The many fresh flowers that begin to decorate
Our farmhouse tables and garden gates.

A new month is always a new beginning
Of sorts, as we look to the goals we are setting
To fill each hour, minute, seconds
Of the time that has been placed in our hands.

May begins with a holiday, May Day
And ends with the reflective Memorial Day.
In between a lot of living and doing takes place
That will keep a smile on anyone’s face.

May Day with its little gift baskets
Will surely cheer the heart of all recipients.
With all the weather and news of late
This year they might just be more appropriate.

May Day is also a call for help, needing care
Thus the annual National Day of Prayer
Has been set for Thursday, May Two.
Won’t you join me in saying a prayer or two?

From there life quickly moves to Mother’s Day
To that baby in a cradle, a mother has much to say
My life has been blessed with a God-fearing mother
Times two, for the dear mother who belongs to my farmer.

Armed Forces Day slips in quietly for most of us
A day to recognize the Navy, Army and Air Force.
Courageously protecting this Land of the Free
From enemies who seem to never rest or sleep.

May the Eternal God, guard and guide
Upholding them with His steadfast hand
As we on the home front stand beside them
In preserving our liberties and freedoms.

While others take a breather
It is time for some us to celebrate
The 73rd annual Tulip Festival
A good time can be had by all.

It’s only the beginning of the summer’s calendar
With many America’s small towns taking part
In hosting events and fairs that draw the crowds
To celebrate what makes their towns unique and proud.

Come and see what rural life has to offer
From horse shows, sheep and wool crafters
To rhubarb and watermelon extravagances
One wouldn’t want to miss any threshing demonstrations.

But first we must have the school recognitions
From kindergarten all the way to college graduations.
Finishing up many long hours of learning,
Excitedly commencing toward the next step of living.

We remember that much anticipated first school day,
When tissue sales soared, we tried so hard to be brave.
Eager to learn, yet hesitate to let go of mom’s hands
Or was it mom who was and still is not so anxious to let go

Decoration Day comes at month’s end,
A day set apart at the Civil War’s end
For decorating the graves of soldiers
And holding commemorative exercises.

Called now Memorial Day, it includes all graves
Of loved ones who once walked amongst us
A reminder that earthly life is only momentary
But our immortal souls will live for an eternity.

May brings days of kite flying, bicycle riding, sunshine
We are ready for a summer filled with day long family time
Working hard, gardening, eating fresh homegrown vegetables,
Finding adventure in life on the farm with its infinite marvels.

Imagine the May day we say so long to insulated coveralls
Needed so much for protection from winters cold and snowfalls
We take great pleasure in emptying pockets of twine
Seeing them washed, hanging outdoors on the clothesline.

Somewhere squeezed between all the days
Already filled in on the calendar for May
We farmers will see that every day the cows get milked,
The eggs washed and packed, the sows farrowed.

The seeds of a future harvest will be sown
A bumper or dismal crop harvest is yet unknown
But we will see to it that the work gets done
We are farmers dedicated to feeding a nation.


Essays from My Farm House Kitchen | Renae B. Vander Schaaf

Renae B. Vander Schaaf, freelance writer, lives on a real working farm in northwest Iowa.

To Contact Renae B. Vander Schaaf, please email her at [email protected]