Tag Archives: Calendar

January: Love It? Hate It?

Image by Julita from Pixabay.
Image by Enirehtacess from Pixabay.

Some welcomed 2023 with the same enthusiasm as author Jerry Spinelli: “I love beginnings. If I were in charge of calendars, every day would be January 1.”

Contrariwise, author Roald Dahl would “remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.”

Thankfully, neither works for a calendar company. But their clash illustrates typical debate.

Image by Alexey Marcov from Pixabay.

My highly scientific poll, based on Walmart eavesdropping, suggests that in January, most shoppers wilt like post-Christmas poinsettias.

Snow-lovers gripe because The Weather Channel sent only flurries. Snow-haters grouse because blizzards lurk behind every cloud. Kids hate January because they return to school. Babies, imprisoned in snowsuits Grandma gave for Christmas, raise loud protests.

Besides, everyone’s broke.

We’re all on diets.

Many people really hate January.

Quiet January was one of Mom’s favorite months.

My mother, a pastor’s wife, loved it. Her Christmas responsibilities ranged from distributing food baskets to ensuring no shepherd in her pageant picked his nose. Plus, we children assumed Mom would make Christmas dreams come true … without money.

Though she loved Jesus supremely, Mom thanked Him when His birthday party was done.

I, too, savor January’s serenity. Time for unhurried worship of the Christ who dared enter our crazy world. A hot-soup-homemade-bread aura helps us settle down and settle in to savor good books. For Hoosier authors, January’s excellent writing weather. (How do unlucky novelists in the Bahamas finish anything?)

Mom and I have passed January preferences to my Michigan grandson. He, however, loves shrieking forays down the highest sledding hills.

Hubby’s the only basketball fanatic in our family … not.

My husband and other sports fans welcome January because they wallow in basketball. Mourn losses. Decimate January peace with insane celebrations.

January also gave the world distinguished citizens: Martin Luther King, Benjamin Franklin and Joan of Arc. Betty White, James Earl Jones, Elvis and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Hopefully, their birthday presents weren’t wrapped in leftover Christmas paper.

If this January sends snow, I’ll welcome snowflake kisses. Swish snow angels. Sled with my grandson, shrieking all the way down, “Jesus … he-e-e-elp!”

Then do it again.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.
Image by Public Domain Pictures from Pixabay.

Sorry, Roald Dahl. I’ll never vote these days off the calendar.

John Steinbeck reminds us: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

Though, Charles Spurgeon offers even better advice: “Let January open with joy in the Lord.”

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Why do you like or dislike January?

Sorta Spring

Image by Lena Helfinger from Pixabay.

Everyone in Indiana regards the official calendar arrival of spring as great marketing by the Easter Bunny to extend his season and up his Hallmark stock’s value.

Image by arinaja from Pixabay.

Still, a walk, even on a sloppy day, can generate positive thoughts, such as, “Woo-hoo, it’s March, not November!”

See, don’t you feel better already?

Besides, staying inside does not guarantee security. I never feel safe when I share a residence with Moose Tracks ice cream left over from Christmas gatherings.

My mom always said fresh air was good for us. At the first sign of a winter thaw, she sent all five siblings outside. Conversely, she stuck her head out the door 10 minutes later to caution, “This is pneumonia weather! Cover those ears now!”

Apparently, my jingle-bell sock hat stopped pneumonia germs in their tracks.

Image by granderboy from Pixabay.

Although she now resides in Heaven, I still sense Mom-radar as I walk hatless toward the door. Despite my 60-plus years, I pause. Finally, I stuff one into my pocket. Maybe if I walk fast, pneumonia germs won’t catch me.

Especially as I’m following doctor’s orders. When people my age walk, they can look their physicians in the eye and truthfully state they are doing the cardio thing.

They save their best fibs to cover the Moose Tracks.

Today, my pathway takes me past houses whose yards still sport weary red bows and saggy inflated Santas. My heart warms toward these kindred procrastinators.

Soon, I’ll have to face thoughts of fertilizing and planting, but given March’s fickle weather, I can still file them in distant corners of my mind somewhere near cleaning the garage and attaining a size six.

Nothing colors my soul like daffodils’ green fingers, reaching up to grasp the earthy brown sill, with a few pretty but brainless yellow heads peeking out.

These dumb flowers always show up on deceptive warm days before a spring blizzard.

Image by David Underwood from Pixabay.

Every year, I try to warn them: “What part of ‘frostbite’ don’t you understand?”

Tonight, their yellow fingertips will shiver as a frozen wind arises.

But they never listen.

Thank God.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What does a March walk look like where you live?

That Between-Holidays Feeling

The calendar gap spanning Halloween and Thanksgiving gives me that between-holidays feeling.

Image by Michael Shivili from Pixabay.

Many, craving Christmas, skip it.

Me? I want to slow down. With no more scary skulls, spider webs and zombies, why not continue the fun of pumpkins, cute scarecrows and gorgeous leaves?

Another cause for celebration: colder weather brings comfort food — though the official Comfort Food Day is December 5. Do holiday authorities really think I’ll wait that long for chicken and noodles?

Fortunately, this influx of calorie-rich food is accompanied by baggy sweaters, lifesavers until New Year’s resolutions ruin everything.

Not all between-holiday positives are unhealthy. Though the growing season is finished, carrots, still residing in our garden, will bless our table. Tomatoes and peppers rescued from frost glow in golden and red splendor before patio doors. Why my parents ripened garden produce on paper grocery sacks, I don’t know. But following suit recalls their love of autumn and determination not to let food go to waste.

Rescue efforts during this between season include the migration of shivering, potted plants from porches to places inside. For plant lovers like me — and my longsuffering husband — this can prove challenging:

Image by zbuhdalu from Pixabay.

Me: I can’t let this begonia freeze. It started blooming again. My zinnias. My herbs —

Husband: How many pots have you brought in?

Me: So far, only 37.

Hubby: Where will you put them? What will we do with them at Thanksgiving? You know Tate [our toddler grandson] loves plants.

Me: Let’s hide them in our room.

Hubby: (resignedly) Gives a whole new meaning to “flower bed,” right?

Sadly, this between season doesn’t preclude yardwork. Not only should I trim perennials and compost withered annuals, but thousands of leaves wait to pounce on us. No raking deadlines are etched in stone, but this must be accomplished by Thanksgiving, right?

As should major indoor cleaning. My chaotic office — drafted as a “spare bedroom” during the holidays — couldn’t provide overnight accommodations for a visiting chihuahua. Our neglected home dictates a major cleanup. However, we have six grandsons, ages 3 to 15. Given Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings, why would anyone possessing a brain cell perform such an exercise in futility?

Wait.

I, too, have shifted to pondering the holiday season. Thoughts of cooking, shopping and wrapping cram my mind like too many ornaments on a gaudy Christmas tree.

Friends who are aliens already have completed shopping and wrapping. They’ve designed and frozen perfect cookies for Santa — plus enough for the entire state of Indiana.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

But I still sip pumpkin spice lattes when I can find them. Savor that rare, soon-to-vanish feeling of having some money.

Let’s enjoy between-holidays feelings while we can.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you in a hurry for Christmas?

Fifteen Reasons Why I Feel Fine in February

When Midwestern citizens select their favorite month, February is among the first voted off the calendar. Even 2020’s relatively civilized temperatures (so far) don’t suffice to keep February in the running.

Image by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay.

We still wear long undies. Yet swimsuits go on sale. Ack!

February Visa bills bristle with charges we’d repressed.

We’ve already lost the right gloves of new pairs our in-laws gave us for Christmas.

Cars define dirty. Even if some thug attempted to steal mine before my very eyes, I wouldn’t realize it. If I did, I’d offer him the keys.

But I’m still feeling fine in February for 15 reasons:

  • God has not run away to Florida. He knew we needed Him here big-time.
  • I love baggy clothes. Fitted-waistline spring and summer outfits constrict my creativity. Not to mention, my breathing.
  • On Groundhog Day, a marginalized species is celebrated with newspaper headlines. Isn’t it nice that groundhog groupies crowd around Punxsutawney Phil as if he were Justin Bieber? Insane, but nice.
  • I don’t have to do spring-cleaning yet. Shoot, if we squeeze a little more snow out of winter, I don’t have to take down my Christmas wreath yet.
Photo by Linnell Esler from FreeImages.
  • Let’s hear it for half-price chocolate the day after Valentine’s Day!
  • If that’s not enough to make you smile, February is also Great American Pie Month.
  • Because my toes are buried deep inside fuzzy socks, I don’t have to polish my toenails.
  • Nor must I face my March birthday yet. An added bonus: because leap year comes in 2020, I receive an extra day of reprieve.
  • My youngest grandchild was born on the 10th — a reason to throw confetti all month long!
  • February’s sloppy weather creates an excellent working environment for a writer. With a recluse sun rarely showing its face, my laptop and I snuggle in my chair with zero desire to play hooky outside.
  • A steaming mug of coffee tastes 10 times better on a February morning than in May.
  • Everybody’s windows are dirty. Everybody’s yard looks lousy. Regardless of color, houses look gray. February in the Midwest is a great equalizer when it comes to property upkeep. Unless you haven’t taken down your Christmas wreath.
  • Girl Scout Cookies arrive in February.
  • Hot flashes come in handy.
  • Finally, it’s February, not November. Only a few weeks until legal spring.

The birds, chirping a little louder, feel the change. So do brave, if stupid, daffodils poking up green fingertips in my sheltered flower bed. With these tiny pre-signs of spring — along with a few hundred Girl Scout Cookies — how can I keep from feeling fine in February?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite thing about this month?