Archive for Monday, August 17, 2015

Finding some excitement in the ‘blah’ month

August 17, 2015

It has long been my opinion that August is the “blah” month of the year. It’s not a bad month like January with its bone-chilling cold along with ice and snow. However, due to the fact that in August the weather is warm, well sometimes hot, I rate it as an acceptable month. I’ll take 96 degrees anytime over five degrees below zero. Yes, I’m a summer person.

When I was school aged, August was always a month of anticipation. You were preparing to start a new school year. Football was just around the corner and that meant working out. It was a nervous but exciting time. Of course in those days, school didn’t start until September.

August is a month when I appreciate air conditioning. Not long ago schools had “heat” days, but now I would imagine all area schools are air conditioned. We leave our air conditioned homes and drive our air conditioned cars to a cool work place. Yes, I remember the days when cooling off meant sitting in front of an oscillating fan! Businesses advertised “cool comfort,” but now that’s expected.

August derives its name from Roman Emperor Augustus. He was honored from his military victory in the revolution following the murder of Julius Caesar when he defeated Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. The Roman Senate decided to honor him by changing the name of the sixth month Sextilius. Obviously July was named in honor of Julius Caesar

With changes in the calendar, August was moved from the sixth month of the year to the eighth month. In the Northern Hemisphere it is traditionally observed as the last gasp of summer. Normally by this time of the year folks are anxiously waiting for football season. Now we are hoping for a World Series.

I was surprised to find that the month has two flowers – gladiolus and poppies.

August is one of the few months of the year without a national holiday. However there are a lot of special observances. My favorite is on Aug. 20 this year: World Mosquito Day, dedicated to controlling the mosquito population which prevents disease. Since I hate mosquitoes, I believe I’ll observe it by swatting as many as I can find before they find me.

There a couple of observances that are excellent ideas. The first Sunday in August has been designated “American Family Day.” The idea of the observance is to strengthen family life. Two of the little known observances are “International Forgiveness Day” and “International Friendship Day.” Both of these are important in our modern world.

In England and other parts of the world the Sunday closest to Aug. 14 is dedicated to VJ Day and the end of World War II.

There are also some rather strange observances in August. The first Friday in the month is “International Beer Day.” It surprises me that I have never heard of it, but I’d guess that nationally there are plenty of little known observances. But, without a doubt, the most unique day is Aug. 23, which is “National Go Topless” day. I really wonder if that event is observed anywhere in the United States?

Other special emphasis times during the month are for vaccination awareness and kindergarten preparedness.

For local residents, the big emphasis is preparation for Tiblow Days, always held on the weekend prior to Labor Day. The event is sponsored by the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce and during my newspaper days unofficially marked the end of summer. Hopefully, the weather won’t be too hot, and we can all enjoy a good month that features pleasant weather for Tiblow Days.


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