cotintin. Grandfather and grandchildren united by lily of the valley branches

For Claude and his grandchildren, the scent of lily of the valley brings back fond memories of times spent with family. (© La Presse de la Manche)

all 1Verse mayoindividuals can sell files lily of the valley twigs of their own harvest. to me Valogen (Munch)in Claude, now retired, it’s been so long ago family tradition.

I had lilies of the valley and narcissus in my garden. One day I thought I could make some money with it. Then the grandchildren arrived.

family rituals

So here it is Five cousins Who find themselves, very young, doing their job Small work of lily of the valley 1Verse mayo. An annual ritual that Jane, 27, one of her granddaughters happily remembers.

It was impossible to miss this meeting. Even when we started growing up and going to school, we were always able to be there!

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On May 1 each year, Claude's five grandchildren meet to sell the family's production.
On May 1 each year, Claude’s five grandchildren meet to sell the family’s production. (© DR Personal Collection)

Each year, Claude offered his five grandchildren the opportunity to set up a podium “in strategic locations” in Normandy’s Versailles.

“I went in the van to check that everything was going well, I came with a bucket of refreshments, I collected some money and brought them some pastries,” said the elder, a touch of nostalgia in his eyes. “Well, I was on probation,” 24-year-old Louise replied.

“We never changed the price! »

Claude and his grandchildren highlight the old signs “Four Strands of Lily of the Valley €2” as souvenirs. “We have never changed the price! Jane says.

Because for several years, Claude and his descendants have stopped selling, even if they continue to meet every May 1 to pick lily of the valley from the garden.

Grandfather came to collect money from sales, give more lily of the valley if necessary, and bring a snack for the children.
Year after year, the kids built a cute little nest egg. (© DR Personal Collection)

Sitting around the family table, their cousins, in the same place as many years ago, are not stingy with memories and photos dating back to 2003 in their hands. “It was folklore,” Louise laughs. Each year, the small band sold up to 1,000 bouquets. “We received an offer: five bouquets were bought, one offered,” Jane recalls.

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“The smell of lily of the valley flooded the house”

The week leading up to this defining moment was a source of tension: Will the lily of the valley bloom? “Although grandfather took good care of them, the heat sometimes made them very flowery or yellow,” Louise says.

The ritual is framed: The day before, April 30, “everyone met to harvest twigs in the garden. We spread them out to form bouquets, and the smell permeated the house.”

Grandfather came to collect money from sales, give more lily of the valley if necessary, and bring a snack for the children.
Grandfather came to collect money from sales, give more lily of the valley if necessary, and bring a snack for the children. (© DR Personal Collection)

The next day, at six in the morning, the whole merry band was posted. “We finished before noon and then went home to eat chicken. And in the evening, we distributed all the money on the table and divided it all fairly, our head above the grandfather who did the calculations.”

Small nest eggs are always welcome

For Claude, offering his grandchildren to play lily of the valley in the stall was more educational: “It taught them how to manage money and forced them to learn to count, without a calculator,” says the grandfather. My Father.

For Jeanne, Francois, Alexandrine, Louise and Guillaume, this was above all a way to earn a little pocket money.

If the savings earned were duly used for some to fund their hobbies for the year, others, “more ants than cicadas,” saved it. Furthermore, “I just bought myself a house. And a portion of my savings comes from selling lily of the valley,” Louise admits.

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