Home » Gate Guarding » Mayday! on May Day!

Mayday! on May Day!

Yesterday was May 1st. That means yesterday was May Day, except in Texas, where not one single person that came through our gate (maybe 150 or so all told) had ever heard of May Day.

Heidi baked a big batch of warm cookies for the 5:30 meeting. We cheerfully passed out candy to everyone who came through in, greeting them with a hearty Happy May Day!

It quickly become apparent that no one had ever heard of May Day. Is this just a Midwestern thing? May baskets made with pipe-cleaner handles, filled with candy and sometimes flowers that you hang on the front door knob or leave on the Welcome mat in the case of no knob. Then you ring the doorbell and hide in the bushes until your friend opens the door and sees their gift! 😀

I did it. My kids did it. My Facebook friends assure me that it’s still happening in Iowa, but in Texas, not so much. Clearly there’s no point in Tap to create event here. We did have one Californian who’d heard of it but he was probably a Midwest transplant.

Anyway, everyone was happy to eat the candy and cookies and it didn’t really matter to them what the occasion was. They did make it known that they know what Cinco de Mayo is. They’ll be pretty disappointed when they come to the gate on Saturday if they’re expecting Margaritas!

Last night, Henry and I were having a Mayday of our own.

 Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal. It derives from the French venez m’aider, meaning “come help me”.  ~Wikipedia

If you’re a regular reader, you know, we’ve had some mighty mouse duels. Heidi – 14, Mice-0 at last count. Henry and I have enjoyed weeks of peace until last night. We both heard it at the same time. As usual, the sound started in his food dish.

Henry, who had been long asleep in his bed, switched to his high alert mode, ears straight up. He took a few tentative steps toward his dish. I took a few steps toward his dish. The sound changed from the rattle of dog food to the familiar stuck in the sticky trap thumping.

At this point, Henry changed course. He’s a perfect, certified, pet therapy dog. He’s not a watch dog or a mouser.

I’ve never seen him hide between the footstool and the chair before. This caused me to become a little alarmed at just what was thumping the trap up and down under the cabinets. But not alarmed enough to look. Just alarmed enough to build a protective barrier to prevent it from thumping out onto the kitchen floor.

I knew a mouse could easily squeeze between the water jugs, but I didn’t think he’d be able to drag the trap through. For, oh I suppose an hour and a half, the thumping persisted. Henry continued to look alarmed behind the footstool. I turned on yesterday morning’s GMA to drown out the sound.

I made periodic trips to the coffee pot to make sure the mouse was still safely ensconced. You can’t really do catch and release with mice and the only traps that have worked for us down here (and believe me, we’ve tried them all) are the sticky ones.

When we caught the first mouse under the sink, I was going to take it out, but I saw it’s heart beating and I couldn’t finish the job. Heidi has no problem with this whatsoever and considers every mouse caught a personal victory.

I was relieved when the thumping stopped. This was a change in the pattern. It usually goes on night. This mouse had also been blessedly mute (not a bit of squeaking).

I decided that either the mouse was very, very tired or sleeping or inexplicably dead. I slowly pulled away the water bottles.

A cricket almost the size of a Dorito had been thumping the trap all over the floor.



Seriously, don’t let anyone tell you everything isn’t bigger in Texas. We need a mouse trap for our bugs!

42 thoughts on “Mayday! on May Day!

    • Judi –
      No May Day in Michigan, huh. Well, that’s that then. It seems it was pretty hit and miss geographically.
      Considering the places you’ve lived, you’ve had a lot more than mice and giant crickets that go bump in the dark!

      • Yes there is May Day in Michigan!! I hung and receied many a May Day basket as a child. My 9 year old grandson received one this year from a little girl.

        • Judi –
          I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to see whatever they are caught in a sticky trap!
          I don’t have a great imagination so I’m better off NOT knowing! 😉

  1. Holy s***! That is one big cricket! OK … WOW, as always, wow.

    I used to love May Day … thanks for reminding me of the pipecleaners! I remember the paper baskets, and pullying out all the crayons! Cookies and candy, erm, well i’m thrilled! I can see where Mayday and May Day might not be considered compatible phrases … ?

    Oh Henry, my Henry! Sweet baby … peek a boo. Damn those mice. I couldn’t kills them either. I’m with you, he feel asleep. God made him mute, just for you and Monsieur Henri. Love you, MEL

    • Hello Mel!
      It’s early Saturday morning and I’m thinking of your day ahead! You’re going to cruise right through it! 😀
      Henry likes to bring us dead snakes and dead fish (no fish here, but he did bring Heidi a dead snake yesterday and he was on an 8 foot leash in the middle of the road).
      We can’t get anywhere near the grass or ditch with him for fear of rattlesnakes.
      He doesn’t have a bit of killer instinct. I don’t even think he could bite anyone or anything. Just not his nature.
      I bet your baskets were beautiful! You have such talent!
      Mine weren’t but I had fun anyway! 😀
      love and prayers for your big day!

  2. I’ve been feeling very smug that we had not ‘entertained’ and rodents since we started gateguarding–until yesterday, when I discovered a bag of chips that I left on the backseat of our CAR had been nibbled open–and I doubt it was a cricket!

    • Nancy –
      Now you have me laughing! 😉
      That’s how it started here. We had a big bag of little bags of Doritos to pass out to the guys when they left for 2 weeks. One day there was a Dorito in the middle of the bedroom floor. And yep, the outside and one inside bag were both missing some plastic!
      They seemed to like the ranch flavored ones the best. They even got into the drawer and chewed through the ranch seasoning container!
      Now we bait all our traps with extra powdered ranch dressing! 😀
      Hope you catch yours!

  3. In Newberg, Oregon, our high school celebrated May Day with a Maypole, king and queen, and a dance. Don’t remember May baskets, though.

    • Susan –
      Now that’s interesting! The two coasts seems to have done that May Day Kind and Queen!
      I thought the baskets were just the most fun thing when I was little!
      Since I hung most of mine on the door knobs of elderly people, I didn’t even have to run very fast to hide! 😉

  4. I have to admit I too use sticky traps, though I have a system, I use a skewer to lift the trap, mouse and all into a plastic bag I lined a large vase with and filled with warm water, then I plunge the whole thing so that I drown the mouse and it isn’t left to struggle, I hate them having to struggle.
    My mom in Florida has a palmetto bug that licks all the leaf green paint off all her watercolors…..it’s a giant bug!
    In New Jersey for May Day we danced around May poles, it was such fun! We do the baskets of goodies for Purim!
    Great post!

    • Sherrie-
      I hate having them struggle, too. I just can’t quite bring myself to kill them, yet…
      When Heidi wakes up in the mornings, she puts on her garden gloves, takes the captee out and…
      Well, I don’t ask but she puts an end to the suffering.
      So you did the May Pole Dance in NJ! Fun!
      Hey, by the way, my son and his wife and kids go to Halo every week at least once and sometimes twice!
      You’ve probably walked right by each other! 😀
      My last post on Two Minutes of Grace: If God had a Refrigerator Magnet has a photo (I had their permission) of their two little ones.
      If you see them, you could stop and say ‘hi’ and I know your Mom/Grandma! 😀
      Thanks, Sherrie!

  5. OMgosha! That’s deeescussting ! Yuck o yuck I’d faint at that bug. I’d make Heidi get up and dispose of it. Then I’d pack up and get out of TX. Pooor Henry he’d freak if that came after him. I’m with him. He knew something wasnt right.

    Onto delightful things. May Day. Yes. I made up 7 of them. They’re such a fun thing. I gave one to my folks. I put it on the back door rang the bell and ran over and behind a house.
    As I slowly came out and around hugging the front of the next house to get to my hidden car, I looked back and there was my mom down her driveway waving. Ugh! We laughed. We always did that as kids and so did mine. My heart was pounding as well.

    Great memories.

    • Cathy –
      I don’t mind the bugs if they stay out of my coffee and out of my shirt and outside!
      Henry usually likes to play with them but he never saw this one – just heard it!

      What a grand story!
      How sweet and wonderful of you to leave May Baskets!
      I can just see you and your Mom! I’m smiling as I type!

      So your heart was pounding! A perfect May Day!

  6. In all my travels I’ve never lived anywhere that May Day was practiced in any particular fashion. We’ve celebrated Cinco de Mayo in my family from the day I was born but for another reason 😉

    • Debby –
      Really – no May Day?
      Well, that’s just sad!
      And I’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo tomorrow with you in mind all day!
      Hope it’s WONDERFUL! 😀

    • Hannah – Henry wanted me to call Phoebe but I told him you girls were way too far away now!
      Tell Mom and Dad to give you a cheeseburger for him! 😀

  7. I had a sweet neighbor who used to leave us little flowers on May Day. 🙂 I have been hit and miss at it! Thank you for the reminder! And oh that cricket. Aub is a big bug fan. I think she would make pets of them. I think I would be in trouble. love and prayers for no more intruders!

    • Deb –
      Aub would LOVE Texas is she loves bugs!
      I had a really BIG guy whip his shirt off today, right in the middle of signing in when a huge bug crawled down his back!

  8. When I was in elmentary school in Texas we did May Poles on May Day. Also at the senior citizens clubs – here in Texas have May Day Poles. The gate guard 1/2 mile down the road has been battling mice in his car. Yesterday he had killed 4 and destroyed their nest. One had been dead in the trunk for a few days, so now he is tring to get rid of the odor. Yipes.

    • Thanks, Mickey!
      You’re my first Texas May Day celebrator! 😀
      It’s a funny time of year for mice – we usually have gotten them when it get colder or when it’s really dry.
      We’re sitting on a swamp and it was in the 90’s today. Maybe they’re just looking for some air conditioning?
      We used to have them fall down in the wall behind the sink in the bathroom. They couldn’t get out and we couldn’t get to them. That smell lasted a long time! I’m sorry for your gg neighbor!

    • Janice – Seriously, don’t you think it’s just wrong for bugs to be so big!
      Glad I could make you smile!:D
      One of my family members is seriously afraid of most all bugs.
      I know I’ll never get her to visit me in Texas!

  9. I always loved May Day. Just an idea we had a lot of mice at our last location and I got one of those plug in censors they have them at Walmart and HEB it lets off a pitch that keeps mice away. We don’t have a pet so you would have to read the package but I have friends that use them and they have little dogs. Just an idea to keep those little pest away.

    • Hi Cheryl!
      You know, we’ve tried at the Walmart in Cuero and Gonzales and they didn’t have any. It never occurred to me to look at HEB! Thanks for the information. We’ll certainly try to pick up a plug in.
      Thanks again!

  10. We had Mayday in Illinois when I was a kid. I think my kids had it too, but can’t say for sure. Too long ago 😀
    I hate mice. Funny thing, for the whole three months we were at the ranch on our first job, no mice. Cool. Then we got to San Antonio KOA and we had a mouse. We caught him using a spring type trap with peanut butter on it. Got him first night. So far, no more… Yeah!!!!!

    • Hi Vicky!
      Oh funny, you had to get away from the gate to get a mouse!
      I thought we were all clear, but Heidi found fresh dropping in the underneath bin this morning, so once again, the traps are set.
      I hope you’re having a grand time off!

  11. i remember being pleasantly surprised by my first may basket. no, we did not do that in texas. and yes indeed…everything is bigger in texas.

    • Hello Gaye! 😀
      Did you get your first May basket in Iowa?
      I should have talked Texas with you before I came down here! You could have prepared me! 😀

  12. Coughing with hilarity up here in the Pac NW!! Henry is way too cute, hiding–I suspect I’d have taken a post with him! I must remember to share the “cricket big as a Dorito” story with my Houston cousin–she’ll be cackling, I reckon.

    Could be that May Baskets are mid-west–I was in Minn when we did them, though I don’t remember it well (as in positively). God bless you both–love, sis Caddo Over and Out–

    • Caddo –
      Truly, you wouldn’t believe the size of the bugs here! Flies aren’t as big as the deer flies in Minn and there aren’t nearly as many mosquitoes, but even the June bugs are huge! The moths are the size of butterflies.
      So sorry your May basket memories aren’t good ones. It’s possible to ruin even the purest pleasures, isn’t it?
      Tell your cousin that if she ever has mice trouble, we’ve found they’re really partial to ranch seasoning!They probably like Tabasco, too. Haven’t tried that but it’s Tabasco or gravy or it isn’t Texas!

  13. The cricket story was familiar. We had one in the gutter right outside our bedroom window and we never could find it. It chirped only at night. Talk about sleepless nights.

    • Steven –
      I was truly amazed that a cricket could flop around a stick trap for 90 minuets. If I’d know what it was I would have put the poor thing out of it’s misery!

      • Some of the guys I used to work with let a jar of crickets out in my apartment one time. They were “getting me back” for a prank I’d pulled on them.

  14. We did May Day in Iowa when I was in elementary school. May baskets, candy, May Day cards to all the boys and girls in the class. Moms brought brownies and cookies. I don’t think they still do, but I remember that we did. Any spare cookies or candy you can send to me if you want. :>) Happy belated May Day.

    • Hi Steven!
      We had fun anyway and the guys just thought it was funny so it was all good.
      Afraid they plumb cleaned us of of candy and cookies though! Sorry I can’t send a care package your way! 😉

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