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May 9, 2015

Today we celebrate:

Military-Amateur Crossband Communications Day – On this day, usually celebrated on the same day as Armed Forces Day, (moved to an earlier weekend this time to accommodate visitors for the Dayton Hamvention) the Military Auxiliary Radio System conducts a traditional military to amateur crossband communications test and a message-receiving test. This gives amateur radio operators an opportunity to display their skills and receive recognition from the Secretary of Defense. This radio system is in place so that the military, as well as state and local emergency response organizations, have access to communications in the event of an emergency.

O. Henry Pun-Off Day – This is a yearly competition inspired by the writings of William Sydney Porter who lived in Austin, TX in the late 1800s and used the pen name O. Henry. He had a gift for wordplay that is loved to this day so in 1978, pun-offs began to be celebrated. In 1990, Gary Hallock, began organizing and running the competition which takes place at the O. Henry Museum in Austin, TX.

Europe Day (Schuman Day) - The Council of Europe was formed on May 5, 1949.  A day was established to celebrate that fact in 1964.  However, in 1985, the European Union (or European Communities as it was called then) changed the date to today to coincide with that fact that on this day in 1950, the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman made a historical declaration that led to the eventual creation of the European Union.  Europe united economically to protect themselves from another conflict like the one they had just been through that nearly destroyed the entire continent.

National Moscato Day – I've never had this kind of wine before, but today is as good a day as any to try something new. Enjoy a glass today, just be careful about how much you drink if you have to drive home.

Lost Sock Memorial Day – I have a drawer that has plenty of single socks. I have no idea where the lost socks go but I suspect that my daughter, who wears the same size now and NEVER matches her socks (some sort of fashion trend), swiped them. I've never really believed the whole washing machine sock stealing conspiracy theory.

National Miniature Golf Day -  Celebrated on the second Saturday in May, this is a day to celebrate an enjoyable and entertaining game that has been around since somewhere in the 1800s.  I have seen a claim that it began in Scotland as a game for women since women were not allowed to play golf.

National Mill Day - In Holland, the second weekend in May is a day to celebrate their windmills and watermills, of which they have quite a few.  In fact, 950 of them will be opening their doors to visitors this weekend so that people can see what they do.  Many of them will have planned activities for children and their families.

Mother Ocean Day – Celebrated every year on the day before Mother's Day, this is a day to celebrate the beauty and wonder of the ocean. A common way to celebrate is to cast rose petals into the ocean from the beach and watch them flow out.

National Babysitters Day – Also celebrated on the Saturday before Mother's Day, this is a day to appreciate the love and care the babysitters of the country give to our children. They free us up to get a break from child care and enjoy conversations that can be shared with other adults now and then.  Those of you who don’t have kids yet may not understand just how important that is for a parent, but if you have kids someday, you will.

Birth Mother's Day – Yet another day that lands on Saturday before Mother's Day is a day to recognize birth mothers, without whom, many of us wouldn't have children. It can be a very difficult decision to put your child up for adoption, but if that is the best thing for your child, it's an act of great love to recognize it and be willing to do it. This day was created by a group of birth mothers in Seattle in 1990.

National Train Day – On May 1st, 1971, Amtrak first went into service. They began this holiday in 2008 to promote the advantages of rail travel and the history of trains in this country.  This will be the 8th year of celebration for trains.  This has been such a big event for Amtrak that they have decided to make it Amtrak Train Days this year to celebrate why trains matter and why people ride trains as often as they do.  There will be several events over the course of the year celebrating this idea and they will begin today at Chicago Union Station and will travel to 20 locations between now and October.  This day is celebrated on the Saturday closest to May 10th which is the anniversary of the day that the Golden Spike was pounded in Promontory, Utah signifying the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

Stay Up All Night Night – Do you remember how exciting it was to stay up all night when you were a child? Well, today...or rather, get to relive that thrill. The second Saturday in May is a night to stay up all night doing things that you don't usually have time to do. What will you do with all this extra time? Chores, visiting with friends who are celebrating with you, and watching movies are all good ideas. Do you have others?  I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it.  I recall the last time I stayed up all night.  It was about three or four years ago when I had dueling sick children who took turns throwing up all night long. One was upstairs and one was down.  I spent the night running back and forth up and down those stairs from one child to the other while my husband slept like there was nothing happening.   At 7 am they finally finished and I crawled into bed feeling half dead.  Not a circumstance I would care to repeat...ever.

International Migratory Bird Day – Created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in May, this is a day to learn about the nearly 350 species of birds that migrate every year. They nest in North America, and fly south to warmer climates when their breeding grounds in the north get cold.  Different areas may celebrate at different times depending on when migratory birds are expected to pass through their area.

Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day – Every year on the second Saturday in May, mail carriers collect non-perishable food items for local food pantries. So fill a bag and hang it on your mailbox because they will be there soon.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day – Celebrated is probably not the right word for this day so I’ll say that it is observed on the second Saturday in May.  This syndrome is a genetic disorder that is present at birth although it is not always diagnosed that early. There are physical characteristics associated with it like some other syndromes and there are common medical issues that most people with the disorder suffer such as heart defects, seizures and vision problems among others. This is a day to spread awareness of the disease that 1 in 10,000 children are born with.

World Fair Trade Day – Celebrated on the second Saturday in May, this is a day to promote fair trade and work toward trade justice for everyone. The theme for the next three years until 2017 is, “Be an Agent for Change.”

World Belly Dance Day – This is yet another second Saturday of May celebration. Boy there sure are a lot of things to celebrate today.  This day celebrates the art of belly dancing. It is an art form as well as an excellent exercise program, in my opinion. Frankly, I don't know how they move like that.  I have a friend who takes belly dancing lessons and loves it, so if you’re interested in learning how, this is a great day to find a class and give it a try.

To celebrate today, give a bottle of Moscato to a Military family you know before you gather up all your single socks and give them to your babysitter to use for crafts or cleaning whiteboards.  Next, find some belly dancing lessons and see if you can negotiate a fair trade of a special train ride in exchange.  Put some food out by your mailbox for your letter carrier to take for a local food pantry.  After that, take a trip to the ocean to cast rose petals out, and count how many windmills you see on the way home.  Then, make some puns about Europe and share them on your Amateur Crossband radio.   Finally, find a group of birth mothers and invite them over for an all night miniature golf tournament and a bird drawing extravaganza at your house.

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