Dear Mom,

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the 1st Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents’ Day. My daughter Molly was born in 1978, so I made a card and used a crayon to scribble a message to you and Dad from your granddaughter. You and Dad laughed at that, saying Molly was very bright, being just a baby but already writing with crayons.

Did you know that almost every day, week and month of the calendar has been designated as some kind of holiday? For instance, July 27 is supposedly “Take Your Pants For a Walk Day.” I have no idea who actually declared this, but we can pretend the “Tree Man” is responsible (see picture above). I like this whimsical guy, so we’ll give him the credit, and anyway, we’ve already missed the day to take our pants for a walk, though I assume we would have been wearing them.

The good news is, today, July 29,  is National Lasagna Day! Mmm. Remember how our neighbor Joanie Vignatelli cooked great Italian food?  And Monday, July 30, is Cheesecake Day. You and I aren’t big cheesecake eaters, but I don’t think the Tree Man will mind if we substitute cupcakes instead. The point is to enjoy something sweet, right?

The last day of July is Mutt Day. I hope whoever declared this day meant it affectionately, with appreciation, because mixed-breed dogs have always held a soft place in our hearts, haven’t they? The last dog you and Dad had was Fritz, a huge shaggy bear with oversized paws and a heart to match. And when Dad was bedridden in the last months with Alzheimer’s, we brought along our dog Maggie (see below) for a visit. She went right to Dad’s bed, jumped up, and snuggled against him. At first Dad was startled and confused, but the moment he touched her fur he smiled and relaxed. Yes, surely whoever declared July 31 as Mutt Day, declared it with affection.

While Dad was alive, he often said that every day is a gift, or he’d smile and say, “Every day is a good day, some are just ‘gooder’ than others.” We don’t need national declarations to appreciate the importance of days, but they’re fun to talk about, to make guesses about who designated them and why, and sometimes to just laugh and scratch our heads.

Just so you’ll know, Mom, the first week of August is supposedly “National Simplify Your Life Week.”  We won’t ask the Tree Man how we should celebrate it.  We’ll simply make the most of it, like we try to do with all the other weeks of the year.

I love you, Mom, every day.   Marylin



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons about life, memories for great-grandchildren, neighbors

18 responses to “DO YOU KNOW WHAT TODAY IS?

  1. Marylin, how do you know all this? I need a calendar that explains all the days. I could get really into National Lasagna Day and Simplify Your Life Week.
    I love the story about your mutt.

    • Oh, Julia, I just love trivia and quirky details and things that make you go “Huh?” When I was in graduate school, junk info and funny facts kept me grounded and smiling, and then when our daughter was in high school she came home with the funniest information that her dad and I just loved. It’s a family thing, I guess. And Maggie is truly a mutt extraordinaire.

  2. Thanks so much, Marylin…this was truly a wonderful post…I love the references you made to the crayon picture your baby “made”…we’ve done that so many times as well. 🙂 And thanks for the heads-up about all of the outlandish special days…it really is funny what some people think up…actually, anyone can declare a day a holiday…there is a form you need to fill out (and a fee, I’m sure) and if that particular name is not taken, you can have it. Something authors might think of as a great marketing/promotion idea to launch a new book!

  3. Great post, as usual Marylin, although we here on the other side of the pond (me too) sometimes shake our heads in disbelief at the member of this and that dates you guys have designated for some really weird things. I like the idea of the Tree Man I can just see myself, if he was in my nearby wood, visiting him on a regular basis and sitting at his base and just mulling things over with him; bet he has great advice to give.

    As I was reading this at the kitchen table I just glanced to the fridge door across in the corner there are currently nine crayon drawings arranged in a completely randomly disarayed order, just where the grand kids put them. And do you know what when one of them puts one up, they never cover their sisters or their cousins crayon drawings up, everyone can see them all and it is left to grand dad to sort out when there is to many…

    Our oldest daughter Marie was also born in 1978 and now a wonderful mom herself to twins Holly and Charlie, just some of my ‘golf balls of life’

    • Tree Man is an amazing tree in Abilene, KS. I met him on a walk with my grandchildren, and he’s become one of my favorite sights along the way. Almost makes me a tree hugger.
      “We guys” really have designated some weird things, Tom, but “you guys” in the UK have a grand sense of humor, too. Like the mock Queen parachuting out of a helicopter at the opening of the Olympics, and then her scene with James Bond. I think, actually, that some of this is necessary for both our countries, especially when there are so many serious and grim issues facing our countries.
      I love that your grandkids never cover each other’s crayon drawings displayed on the fridge. That’s the way mine are, too. Just makes me want to hug the little munchkins when they share their talents AND sense of fair play for each other.
      Thanks for writing, Tom.

  4. I love this, Marylin. Especially the last line. ❤

  5. That’s a lot to celebrate in a few days! After you eat a lot of lasagna and cheesecake, you can take your mutt and your pants for a walk, and get organized when you get back home. A friend of mine started cleaning up her closets today. I’ll have to tell her about the National Simplify Your Life Week. Maybe that will motivate her to keep going.

    • I’m still smiling over the way you combined them all into one day of meals and activities! Tell your friend I’m also using the first week in August to Simplify My Life–by getting rid of things I no longer need or use, and that’s going to be a lot of things–and I’ve even scheduled a charity pickup for the last day so I’ll be sure to meet the goal!

  6. HA, I love it! I think celebrating each day is great, just like your dad said. Some are “especially gooder days,” I am into “Cheesecake Day” (thanks for inspiration) and am hoping I can celebrate, “Put Your Feet Up Day” followed by “Take a Nap Week.” By then, I’ll be rested and raring to go…ready to keep celebrating, If there isn’t that reminder of a special joy each day, I will just have to make it so. Thanks for that reminder. Awesome. Hugs!

    • Amen to putting your feet up and taking a nap! My dad was the master of the 15 minute nap before lunch (he could lie down, close his eyes and fall asleep immediately, and then wake up in 15 min.) It was his secret for making a good day even “gooder” and longer.

  7. Very sweet, Marylin. “This is the day the Lord has made….” And I loved seeing a photo of Maggie. What a great “dawg.”

  8. Thanks, Nancy. Maggie is the best, and she makes us appreciate each day even more because we see it through her eyes and antics.

  9. Molly

    Today (in our world) is “get your eyes checked and pick out first pair of glasses” day!

    Gannon had his first “real” eye exam today, and although he may have “swung’ the results a little, he ended up getting to pick out his first pair(s) of glasses.

    This was a fun “kwirky” type of day for us….and I know that Grandma would have gotten a kick out of watching Gannon take his eye exam, and then also picking out his glasses.

    Fabulous BLOGS STORY, Mom…..they just keep getting better and better!!!

    • Grandma would have loved watching her great-grandson trying on all kinds of frames, trying to decide! I remember when my brother got his first pair of glasses in junior high; he was furious, even asking why God would do that to him. I was in the back seat trying not to laugh at him, and I could see Mom biting her lip and looking straight ahead as she drove. Then two years later when I got my first glasses I didn’t think it was as funny. I’m glad Gannon was excited that July 31 was “Get your eyes checked and pick out your glasses” Day!
      The Tree Man is smiling!

  10. Your dad was so right. Every morning we wake up is reason enough to give thanks and celebrate life.

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