May 10, 2009

May celebrations: Part II



Click on May Celebrations: Part 1 to read about special May days in the first half of May.

May 11 is my day, Eat What You Want Day. Perhaps I should make Monte take me to that restaurant I haven’t been to, that serves prime rib and lamb chops. An exclusive place. And I have never been. This is what I want to eat on this day. What would you like to eat today? Of course, if you are trying to lose weight, you might find yourself in Twilight Zone Day, also May 11. I have always enjoyed watching the TV show, the Twilight Zone, which debuted October 1, 1959, and extended into 1964. Can you write a story or poem about eating all you want in the sci-fi genre? Try it and post it in the comment box at the end of this post.

      After eating all you want and writing a post in the Twilight Zone mode, you will need to step back and rest. Fortunately for you, May 12 is Fatigue Syndrome Day, which recognizes that life is just too tiring. I understand this—it seems to me that I experience chronic fatigue, often from not sleeping at night to attempting to maintain a full schedule, in spite of the fact that I keep trying to cut back. Again on this day, while resting, I will examine what activities I can release and schedule time to just relax and smell the roses—or look at the clouds to see what they picture. 

     For persons with sleep disorders, medical intervention may be necessary. As with other medical procedures, nurses are a key part of the healing profession. On May 12, International Nurses Day, honor the nurses who participate in your care. Perhaps you could write a limerick—since this is also Limerick Day, which celebrates the 1812 birthday of writer Edward Lear. To read limericks about hot dogs, click on HOT DOG LIMERICKS. When writing your limericks, remember that it needs five lines, with the first two lines rhyming with the fifth line, and the third and fourth lines rhyming.

     May 13 offers the opportunity to spend time with a child, or perhaps to experience your own inner child. How better to do it than to find a frog and have a frog jumping contest on Frog Jumping Day. You might have to be creative if you live in an area where frogs no longer exist. Dressing up as frogs, or making frog masks to wear, and having a jumping contest with prizes is a way to bring families and communities together. Either way, part of the festivities can include reading Mark Twain’s first short story, known under the title The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

     It was here in Southwestern Pennsylvania that I first discovered that the Chicken Dance is a necessary part of wedding receptions. Couples marrying on May 14 should include this dance at their reception, since it is Dance Like a Chicken Day. It’s fun to watch the dancers dance like a chicken, and even more fun to participate. A Swiss accordion player, Werner Thomas, created this day in the 1950s, with the original title of Der Etentanz (The Duck Dance).

     On May 14, 1686, Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German physicist, was born in Danzig, Germany. He introduced the use of mercury thermometers.

     On May 15, the exercise of National Bike to Work Day is counterbalanced by National Chocolate Chip Day. So, bike to work and indulge in your favorite chocolate chip recipe.

     In the Pittsburgh area, May 15, Police Officer’s Memorial Day, has special meaning. It was only on April 4 this year, 2009, when three city police officers were killed while on duty. It is followed by Armed Forces Day on May 16. Since it is also Love a Tree Day, perhaps you could plant a tree to commemorate the lives lost by police officers and military men, whose job it is to keep the United State’s citizen’s safe. Then, on May 16, Wear Purple for Peace (Day), in the hopes that no citizen will ever have to sacrifice his life for peace again, and to support all persons struggling to bring peace to our troubled world, country, community or family.

     It’s strange how many of the celebration of days suit me. May 17 is especially meaningful because it’s my daughter’s birthday. It is also Pack Rat Day. And yes, I am somewhat of a packrat. It comes naturally—I am artistic and creative, and deeply concerned about trashing something in landfills. And I see a use for everything. It took me two years to collect enough metal juice can lids that I used for my annual Christmas card ornament, and another two other years I collected residue from structure fires (our home we rented and a church where Monte was pastor) and created an ornament from it. Since, in every community in which we lived I did something different (child day care, a craft business, work with abused adults, photo-journalism for me, physics prof, pastor and politician for my husband) many files have accumulated. And since we moved often and I never knew what I would need in the next situation, I could not throw things out. I even entered, and lost, a messiest room contest. Thus, I am clearing out an accumulation of over forty years so that my children will not have to do it. It is a struggle to undo from pack-rated-ness. It is being done very slowly. I might have to clearing out some stuff on the 17th, but will continue on the 18th. Wish me luck!

     In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was established by two dozen merchants and brokers. When the weather was good, they conducted business under a buttonwood tree on Wall street, but moved to a coffee house in inclement weather.

     May 18 gives a reason to reconnect with family, as it is Visit Your Relatives Day. Most of my visiting must be done by phone due to travel restrictions. It is also the day when, in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte snatched the French crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII during his coronation service, and then crowned himself.

     Then, on May 20, you can celebrate Be a Millionaire Day. As for me, I do not want to be a millionaire—I’m happy with my situation, and don’t want the responsibility that comes with this much mucho-buckos.

     May 20, Pick Strawberries Day, reminds me of June 5, 1970, when a friend of mine and I went to a farm in Ohio and I picked thirty-five quarts of berries. Upon returning home, I received a phone call from the adoption agency saying we could pick up our new daughter the next day. I convinced them not to make us wait, so off to Pittsburgh we went. We returned home with the sweetest five-pound baby girl you ever did see. Were it not for the two students renting a room from us, the strawberries would have rotted. As it was, they prepared them for the freezer, so we had both our baby and our berries. 

     We’ve grown to enjoy eating out, and appreciate how difficult a job our servers have. Recognize your favorite server on May 21, National Waiters and Waitresses Day, with a word of thanks and an extra high tip.

      On May 22, 1859, Sherlock Holmes was born at Edinburgh, Scotland. Deeply interested in spiritualism, he created Arthur Conan Doyle,    

     May 25 celebrates a day I wish our nation didn’t need, National Missing Children’s Day.  No family or situation is immune to child abduction. Some are never found. To read one story, click on WHERE ARE YOU NOW?   (or visit The Beanery Online Literary Magazine at and scroll down the folder WR/BW FRAN). The day was proclaimed in 1983 by Pres. Reagan. To protect your child, review and enforce protection and safety awareness techniques. As a parent or citizen, be constantly vigilant, establish neighborhood watch groups, report anything suspicious immediately, create fingerprint records and maintain current photo records on your children.

     One of my missing dreams was to learn tap dancing. Shortly after starting lessons, as an adult, I had surgery, which stopped me short. May 25, National Tap Dance Day, reminds me of my missed opportunity. It was created to honor tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, born May 25, 1878. A United States Joint Resolution was signed into law by President George Bush on November 7, 1989.

     May 29 is a day waiting for a celebration. Any suggestions from my readers? Place your idea in the comment box below.

     On May 30, 1783, the Pennsylvania Evening Post began publication. It was the first daily newspaper published in American.

     May ends on May 31 with Save Your Hearing Day and World No Tobacco Day—both concerned with health issues. I once attended a Christian concert where the music was so loud that it could be heard several blocks away, even while the band played deep in the church, in the basement. There were a couple of infants in attendance. What does this do to their hearing? And no lecture on smoking here—all smokers know the effects of the habit. On the plus side, May 31, 1819, was the birthday of Walt Whitman.

     Thus ends May. Later we will see what June holds for us in terms of celebrations, but for now, enjoy May. For it will soon be June.


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