March 4, 2009

March days to celebrate



     March was named for the Roman God, “Mars.” However, through the years there have been many other names identified with the third month of the year. Nationally, it’s known as Irish American Heritage, Women’s History, Nutrition, Peanut, Red Cross, Craft and Poetry months. All of which I can identify with. My Irish heritage—although washed out—extends back to the 1790s Maine coast, when Patrick Googins married Mary Rodgers. I think that Mary would have liked having a month to celebrate her gender. I know that I do. I also like celebrating Red Cross Month. I’m a medical laboratory technician who volunteered with the Red Cross for years, although I haven’t worked with them recently. Then, as a CAD (yes, I am officially labeled a cad!—that is, a “cardiac artery disease patient”) nutrition necessarily tops my list of interests—making the Nutrition Month and Peanut Month celebrations especially meaningful. Along with this, March 1, Pig Day, is a day I can celebrate this farm animal as a valued species in the animal kingdom rather than a food source—pork is something a heart patient should avoid, due to its salt and fat content.
     Although I am not a social worker, Social Workers Month is meaningful to me. I’ve been deeply involved with women (and some men) who were abused as children, guiding them through the healing process and helping them to break the cycle of abuse in their children’s generation. In one community I received a Children’s Trust Fund Grant for that purpose.
     And as for my current activities, which include facilitating the Beanery Writers Group in Latrobe, PA, we cannot neglect to celebrate Poetry Month by recognizing the poets among us. I dabble in this genre, but have only written two poems I consider satisfactory. Read one here: Moose, Goose, Deer. You, as readers, can also participate by submitting a poem to the Beanery Online Literary Magazine either by posting it in the comment box below or E-mailing it to with the word “Submission” in the subject line.
     There are many interesting days and events in March. The first day celebrates these events: 1780, Pennsylvania, the first state to abolish slavery; 1790 the first United States national census was authorized; 1803 Ohio became the 17th state; 1896, Henry Becquerel discovered radioactivity, and in 1961 the U. S. Peace Corps was founded.
      As stated, the month begins with National Pig Day. I’m not certain that our community would allow me to have a pet pot-bellied pig, even if they are clever and intelligent, able to learn many tricks. And I’m not certain I would like another pet. However, had we retired to our Slippery Rock acreage rather to a housing lot near Ligonier, I might reconsider. March 1 balances off our diet without pig-pork, this day being  Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day. And I do like my peanut butter! However, I think I have the only grandchild who dislikes peanut butter—she missed my peanut-loving gene.
     On March 3 I tell my granddaughter she doesn’t have to eat peanut better because, I inform her, that it’s “I Want You to be Happy Day.”  Although it is suggested that you greet everyone with “I want you to be happy” on this day, you should have this attitude every day.
     As a war-loving country, our population has many lonely, unhappy vets who need our loving attention. On March 4, make a special attempt to “Hug a GI,” thanking him or her, because that is this day is set aside for.
     Hurrah for split personalities! March 5 was made for me, a person of many facets. Multiple Personality Day must describe me because of the vast differences in the way other people view me. For example, in two communities I was treated as a thief—in one community, it occurred numerous times in my church. In the second community, when I went to the corner store, I was constantly watched and accused of stealing. In yet another community, when I had company from out of state, and wanted them to visit a major historical museum on the day it was closed, the owner offered me a key to the museum so I could show them the contents. These two situations demonstrate such a vast, wide gap in trust that leads me to the conclusion that one personality is shady, another lily white. These two antithetic personalities cannot reasonably coexist in a singular person. So greet me this day several times, acknowledging my multiple personalities.
     March 7 stands in direct contrast to March 1, the day we celebrate the positive aspects of the pig. Personally, National Crown Roast of Pork Day is not good for a CAD. So I will bypass the scrumptious pork roast on this day in favor of a peanut butter sandwich. For all you others out there, enjoy.
     March 8 is another day of contrast, this time with March 3. Oh, my different personalities show on these two days! On the earlier day, I want everyone to be happy. But on March 8 I bring out my alter ego, and celebrate Be Nasty Day. I’ll snarl all day, and show my impatient side. However, I will not cross over the line into cruelty!
     There is something to be nasty about on this day, too. In celebrating March 8’s International (Working) Women’s Day, there is the implication that women who choose to remain at home to care for their children, spouse and hearth are not “working.” In truth, this breed of women generally work as hard or harder than those women with outside paid employment, and in addition they often provide haven for the children of those women who are not home to care for their children themselves. Note that International Women’s Day is sponsored worldwide by the United Nations. It focuses on women workers, and advancing women’s rights in the workforce, politics and society. Check these sites: UN’s International Women’s Day and The History of IWD .
     On the heels of women worker’s celebrations is Employee Appreciation Day, March 9, when employers should create the festivities. However, if the employers do not honor this day, you have the right to panic, being cognizant that this is also Panic Day.
     Finally, a day for men—March 11—Worship of Tools Day. For many men, their tools provide their identity: loggers use saws and axes; mechanics use car tools; carpenters use saws and sanders; teachers use laptops and pens. All tools of their trade. Celebrate your man with a special tool this day. And take a moment to recall the Spanish influenza that reached America on this day in 1918, when 107 soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas, became ill. The epidemic hit one quarter of the American population and resulted in 500,000 deaths, including my uncle when he was a preschooler.
     My granddaughter is a Girl Scout, so March 12, Girl Scouts Day, is right up her alley. I encouraged my children participate in 4-H because it was easier doing traipsing them to one group than two. However, I myself was a brownie for a short time as a child in New Hampshire.
     March 14 is another special day for me. I love the grace, beauty and flight of the butterfly, and have written articles on the Monarch butterfly and its amazing flight to winter in the Mexico mountains. So I relish “Learn about Butterflies Day.” However, while reading about butterflies, I avoid a favorite snack, not good for a CAD, even though this day is also National Potato Chip Day.  My two favorites are sour cream and onion, and oil and vinegar. Oh well—hey—give me back that chip!
     My husband Monte was a former physics professor, at the State University of New York at Buffalo (N. Y.) and Slippery Rock University, PA. March 14 was made for him—National Pi Day. Yes, it is Pi, not Pie. Pi is a mathematical concept, and a number that never ends. Thus, it is rounded off to 3.14. But March 14 this year is also a day for me, National Quilting Day (the third Saturday of the month). Although I do not do much quilting any more, I used to make different kinds—and preferred appliquéd. And I tied them most of the time, rather than making all those tiny stitch patterns. 

     When my friend Fred calls me from Alabama, he always asks me how my super incredible kids and grandkids are. I hope he calls me on March 15—Incredible Kid Day. Then I will righteously brag about them, and listen to him brag about his “rugrats.” This day was created by Campfire USA to show kids they are loved and cared for. Among other things, they suggest you write a letter to your kid today.
     March 16 is another day I like—a day when Everything You Do is Right Day. Perhaps this day I break the pattern of days that are just not following my plans and I can then start “getting it right.”
     Today’s political climate, at least in Southwestern Pennsylvania, is relishing Freedom of Information Day. This act, celebrating a valuable concept in American rights, was enacted in 1966.
     March 18 wasn’t as good to me as it was to the mother of the octuplets. the Goddess of Fertility, Aphrodite, did not see itnecessary to provide me with the large family I wanted during my childhood—twelve children. I birthed one, my wonderful son (I also adopted another, and unofficially adopted several others).
     Who in your life made a supreme sacrifice for you? Thank them on March 18, Supreme Sacrifice Day. Share their sacrifice with us by noting it in the comment box at the end of this post.
     Pork is not the only meat celebrated in March. The 19 is Poultry Day, including chicken and turkey, which are lower in fat and cholesterol than other meats, making it better for the diet of a CAD.  However, be chintzy with the eggs!
     The Vernal Equinox brings us International Earth Day, founded by John McConnell of Davis City, Iowa, who wrote in 1970 an Earth Day Proclamation that was signed by United Nations Secretary General U Thant, March 21, 1971. Sites include Earth Day Online Games, and Earth Day Quiz.
    Be careful on March 20, Extraterrestrial Abduction Day, lest you not see another International Earth Day. Encourage an author of science fiction, but don’t put yourself at risk of being his main character.  Following this day of super alertness, your weary mind and body might appreciate March 22, National Goof Off  Day. Relax and do whatever activities you want to do, not those you are expected to do.
     What kind of holiday would you like to create? March 26, Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, is your opportunity. Share your newly formed holiday with others by typing it in the comment box at the end of this post. After you have done so, you might want to change your name, so March 27, National “Joe” (or Joanne, Josephine etc.) Day, offers you that opportunity.
    March 30 is made for you. It is I am in Control Day. Take a deep breath, hang on to the reins, and take off. If you are a CAD, celebrate Take a Walk in the Park Day today.
















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