A flick of the calendar and BAM! What to my wondering eyes should appear ... August! The last month of summer! Holy cow! Where did summer go? I'm so not ready for the end of summer. I can feel the start of a deep depression coming on. Quick! I need resuscitation! Bring me an ice-cold Coke!
OK. Maybe that was a bit dramatic, but it's really how I feel. I don't know about you, but there just haven't been enough pool days so far this summer, and I'm hoping August will provide some really good hot sunny days.
Traditionally, August does indeed provide those hot and hazy afternoons, and they're called the dog days of summer. I often wondered about that. Good old Wikipedia reports that the Romans associated the hot weather with the star Sirius, the "Dog Star." The brightest star in the constellation is Canis Major (large dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The dog days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as the sun. The Romans sacrificed a red dog in April to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.
I like my explanation better: Dog days means it's so hot even a dog doesn't want to chase a car, rabbit or squirrel.
Of course, in today's zany world, every day is a holiday and every month is designated to some noteworthy distinction.
For instance, nationally August is: Family Fun Month, Peach Month, Admit You're Happy Month, Catfish Month, Eye Exam Month, Golf Month, Romance Awareness Month, Water Quality Month and Picnic Month. So in order to observe all of these, you could wrap it all into one outing. After you visit the eye doctor, take the family or your special someone out to play a round of miniature golf. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch with a fresh peach pie, visit a body of water that has been cleared for swimming, grill some catfish to go with your picnic lunch, then build a campfire in the evening, arrange your lawn chairs close by and look into your special someone's glowing eyes and tell him (or her) what he (or she) means to you and admit how very happy you are to share this life with him (or her).
Here are some other nationally notable days in August that you might want to celebrate.
Today, Aug. 9, is National Book Lover's Day. Obviously, you should celebrate by reading a book. I just finished "The Kitchen God's Wife" by Amy Tan, author of "The Joy Luck Club," and give it two thumbs up.
Aug. 10 is Lazy Day. Have you ever said as the alarm clock goes off, "I just want to stay in bed all day?" Well, to me, that would be the perfect lazy day, to stay in bed all day. Get awake when I wanted to, eat my meals in bed, read in bed, watch TV in bed, take a nap when I got sleepy and then have to go to the chiropractor the next day. OK. Maybe I'll have to redefine my idea of a lazy day.
Aug. 11 is Presidential Joke Day, set aside to celebrate the jokes presidents make, such as this one by President Bill Clinton: "Being president is like running a cemetery ... you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
Aug. 16 is National Tell a Joke Day. Golfer: "I'd move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course." Caddie: "Try heaven. You've already moved most of the earth."
Aug. 18 is Bad Poetry Day. "It's hot, it's hazy, I'm feeling lazy, If I were a dog, I'd sleep like a log. But since I'm not, And it's so hot, I'll just cuss, 'Cause it's August."
Aug. 28 is Race Your Mouse Day. Are you ready for this? This day is set aside for those who are a little bored at their desk waiting for that program taking forever to do its thing. So grab the mouse, and start chasing the icons. Try following patterns, such as skipping some icons but not others. Or try to trace out the shapes of animals, food, favorite computer symbols using the icons positioned as they are. Take a penalty for every accidentally opened icon or drop-down box. Think up any other amusing ways to prolong your procrastination. Hey. Whatever gets you through the day, I say.
Aug. 29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Here's a suggestion for that zucchini problem you may have right now. Slice or julienne up a zucchini, toss with olive oil, chopped onions, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic and sauté. You can use dry herbs but fresh is best. Mmm, mmm good!
Aug. 30 Frankenstein Day is to honor author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who was born on Aug. 30, 1797. She wrote the book "Frankenstein" in 1818. So shouldn't it be called Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Day? How do you celebrate Frankenstein Day? Maybe you could read the book, watch the movie, make some monster cupcakes or dig up some bodies and glue various body parts together.
Aug. 31 is National Trail Mix Day. Find a trail to walk, like the lovely and scenic D&L Trail from Weissport to Walnutport, and take along some of your favorite trail mix to snack on.
Just to let you know, the old saying goes, "If the first week of August be warm, the winter will be white and long."
Yay. Winter. Snow. That's just what I want to think about in August. Not.