Creating and Keeping Traditions Alive for Generations

In the last years of my mom’s life, she enjoyed living at a senior apartment complex. She formed fabulous friendships there. My sister-in-law and stayed in touch with a few of the special women for many years after my mom’s death.

The Red Hat group went out for lunch or dinner once a month. The wine-and-cheese monthly gathering was always a highlight. Residents competed to bring the most popular appetizer. My mom was a great cook, so she enjoyed creating special treats and tasting others. She faithfully attended the monthly birthday parties to honor new and old friends.

My mom rarely missed social hour, at 3:30 three days a week. She loved knowing what was going on in everyone’s lives. And, we know, she enjoyed filling people in on her activities and family.

One of my mom’s best friends was Kay. They had season tickets to the Milwaukee Symphony together and bonded especially over their love of music. One of Kay’s traditions at their apartment complex was planning a Maypole dance every May 1st with elementary students from a school the complex adopted.

When I was a young student, I remember dancing the Maypole Ribbon Dance at Roosevelt Elementary School. It was fun and challenging to dance accurately so the ribbons were intertwined to the pole and then retrace our moves to unravel the ribbons. Since I took dance lessons and I always liked music, my memory might be stronger than others. I also remember making paper baskets of paper flowers to deliver to neighbors. The goal was to hang it on a doorknob, ring the bell, and run without being seen.

Are you old enough to remember May 1st Maypole dances and baskets?

Kay kept the tradition alive, to the HUGE delight of the residents and amusement of the children because of her music-smart passions and abilities. what are you doing because of how you’re smart?