My daughter once wished for a different birthday month. I referred her to God for further discussion.
I see her point. August boasts no holidays — not even a fake holiday like St. Patrick’s Day. Nobody parties on the eve of August 1, as in January.
The hotter the weather, the more we chill. Dressing up is wearing matched right and left flip-flops.
Still, a tiny tadpole of awareness wiggles into our days.
It’s August. Something’s different.
Outdoor projects delayed till warm weather now are postponed till fall. Yards need extreme makeovers, but we’re so sick of yard work, we pay 4-Hers to release goats on our premises.
August presents an end-of-summer reality check. I purchased a “miracle” swimsuit in May. Now I realize the only miracle is that I paid big bucks for it.
August affects mothers strangely. Kids talk Mom into buying cool new backpacks, though 23 uncool backpacks languish at home. Mothers also obsess about changes in schedules: “Go to bed now so you’ll be ready when school starts.” My mother did this. As of August 1, all five of us went to bed at 4:00 p.m.
Even the sun listens to Mom and retires earlier in August. Yet during daytime, it unfurls golden rays as if leading an everlasting summer parade. Eating watermelon in the backyard, we experience a different kind of reality check: It’s been a great summer.
By August, every able-bodied Midwesterner has ridden a Ferris wheel and consumed a warm, crisp elephant ear.
We’re recovering from that gathering of DNA-related strangers known as a family reunion, when we rendezvoused with cousins who long ago sneaked into drive-ins with us. We kissed baby kin’s brand-new cheeks and gave grandmas and grandpas big hugs.
In August, homeowners stop vying for the Yard of the Year. Instead, we concede the grand champion ribbon to God for His spectacular pastures of goldenrod, Queen Anne’s lace and Sweet Williams.
He treats us to evening concerts by cicada choirs. Fireflies, now veteran presenters, perform spectacular light shows at dusk with few technical glitches.
Whether we own farms or only farmers’ tans, the cornucopia of gardens, tasseled cornfields and leafy rows of soybeans reassure us: After harvest, we’ll celebrate with plenty of food on our tables.
All during August — the not-so-special month.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What do you like best about August?
Lord, thank You for my big brother. Not only is he older than I am (yay!) but he fashioned walnut wood from his acres into a lovely bowl for me. At one point, it was filled with yummy chocolate. But OMG, both You and he knew that wouldn’t last long. …
Jesus, I know You’re eternal, but for us, a half-century holds a lot of years. M*A*S*H is more than a half-century old. Nerf balls were invented half a century ago. OMG, I never thought I’d say this, but, oh, to be ONLY a half-century old!
O Lord, You remember when I couldn’t wait for my March birthday. January slogged along like, well, molasses in January. But February was short! Except during Leap Year, I had to wait a whole extra day.
Now, OMG, I see Leap Day as Your gift. BTW, couldn’t You add a few extra days … weeks … months before I turn another year older?
O Lord, October hasn’t ended, yet Christmas catalogs arrive in my mailbox. Lines of lighted holiday trees greet me at Walmart. While I’m glad people want to celebrate Your birthday, OMG, I wouldn’t want them to go crazy over mine two months early.
Few Midwesterners regard March as the dream month.
Though Halloween’s goblins haunt October, March
often qualifies as the year’s worst nightmare.
First, the time change disrupts biological clocks. “Spring forward?” Time saved?
That Sunday ranks as the crankiest of the church calendar. If I were a pastor, I’d refuse to preach until everyone had consumed two cups of coffee, plus three doughnuts apiece to sweeten tempers.
By March, we who have braved winters have had it
with gloating snowbird social media — especially if Mother Nature goes off her
meds, delivering a final winter blow.
Before attempting to consider March a “dream
month,” let’s visualize it as a combination of pluses and minuses — a wintry
mix, as weather gurus term it.
First, March weather in the Midwest presents a
huge opportunity to complain. We love to
Also, most snowbirds return by March’s end, when
Indiana typically suffers its wickedest weather. Watching beach babies shiver
in sandals makes it all worthwhile.
“This is nothing,” we stalwart Hoosiers brag.
“Wait till you hear The Weather Channel’s predictions for April!”
Another March mixed blessing: my birthday — far
more welcome during my childhood.
Now, though, my birthday presents a legal
opportunity to abandon my wretched diet and silence my exercise video’s cheery
A new mixed blessing arrived with this year’s
birthday: Social Security. I look forward to its benefits — but, Uncle Sam, haven’t
you made a big mistake? I’m still in
Given my “young” mindset, I hardly plan to retire,
as I’ve grown inordinately fond of shooting off my mouth via print. Good
behavior doesn’t sound nearly as fun.
Plus, around my birthday, I dream of next year’s
writing adventure. What stories will tease me? What new imaginary friends will visit
while I write their novels? March brings the best writing weather of the year,
when I rarely venture from my cozy writing cave.
March also presents a lo-o-ong transition time in
which we can contemplate spring cleaning for a whole month without actually
doing it. Ditto for yard work.
Winter days remain for camouflaging flab with
baggy sweaters. Yet, during thaws, we can raid spare room closets for (baggy)
During March Madness, basketball fans dream of their teams winning it all. Yet, spring training baseball scores awaken cravings for the sound of bat on ball, hot dog fragrances, and “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” wafting on spring breezes.
Daffodils, the ultimate dreamers, urge us to leave
winter behind, as does the calendar that naively celebrates spring on March 20.
So what if they’re out of touch with reality? March
is indeed the dream month, and I’m ready to celebrate. Who’s with me?
Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you celebrate/survive March?
Oh, my God, how wonderful that Jesus loved people, and they loved Him. He was and is a party Person. OMG, I’m glad, because we’re going to celebrate His birthday at four — count them, four — different parties this week alone!
O my God, You know this guy gave me a hard time when I reached 20 before he did. Then 30. Then 40. Then 50. Then … etc. You know he rubbed it in when my being carded took on a whole new meaning. OMG, thank You that he, too, has now joined the Medicare Club!