Saturday, June 1, 2013

Time once again for...

 ...The 20th Annual Cram the Whole Family in a Two-Bedroom Condo at the Beach for a Week Family Should Be Close But Not This Close Vacation!

Yes, we are on the road again, and Willie Nelson singing that song is my earworm.  Time once again for a week of sand in our shorts, salt water in our faces, hunting ghost crabs by flashlight, fishing from the dock, hunting for fun stuff at the flea market/antique store, visiting the Naval Air Museum and the Little Zoo That Could, chlorine and sunscreen and junk food and wondering what the kids are up to but being too relaxed to really care enough to go find out.  After all, if they are up to anything, Brick the security guard will deal with them, and they don't want that, so they generally behave.

Today is travel and buy food when we get there day, and we will meet up with everyone at the condo and settle in.  This year's cast of characters are:

Dr. Born Organized Clean -- known as Doc, the patriarch and a man who, in his 70's and retired from private practice, is still busier than i am as a mom and janitor and kitten raiser and volunteer and everything else.  He's very precise, very skilled, and is finding out, now that he has time, that he's a great cook (apparently it runs in the family).

Miss Prissy -- matriarch, married 51 years to Doc as of about two weeks from now, and his opposite in terms of organization and precision.  She's born to shop, and much of our time will be making sure she gets to do so.

Uncle P -- the elder of my two younger brothers (if that makes sense, and if it doesn't, sorry, i'm working on caffeine and one brain cell right now), single and always has been and is happy that way.  Works with mentally disabled adults and loves it.

Uncle J -- younger of my two younger brothers (and to show you how tired i am, i almost typed "bothers" there instead of "brothers", which would have made sense when i was 13), divorced custodial father of two and could have become a con man but went into sales instead.  He's a natural; like Doc, who could have made a living selling eggs to chicken farmers.

Bryn -- "tweenage" daughter of Uncle J.  Is growing into a very nice young lady, although she still picks way too many fights with her younger brother.

Dre -- 6-year-old who gets on his sister's last nerve just by being 6 and existing, and one of my favorite kids ever (besides my own, of course).  He and i always have lots of fun.

Sweetie -- my husband, almost 60 and still dreaming of being a rock star on the local restaurant and bar circuit (which he will start doing when he retires in just over a year, he's already got the guys who want to do it with him).  Isn't too much for beaches, but enjoys the vacation time and all the other stuff we do over the course of the week.

Bigger Girl -- my elder daughter who just finished her second semester of Junior College.  A philosopher, she loves animals and isn't afraid to give a horse an injection, bravely prod an angry cow into a chute for a procedure, and yet gently hold a dying animal to comfort it.  Artistic and with a flair for the dramatic, she's also one of those people who talk non-stop if she isn't reading or singing or playing piano.

#2 Son -- the younger of my boys, a born con artist like Doc could have been if he hadn't had medicine as his life long dream, and like Uncle J kind of is.  Wants to be a professional chef, and meanwhile is still into going to the creek and catching snakes.

Little Girl -- my caboose.  Perfect pitch, can draw, paint, write stories, and is an anchor for the swim team.  Plays equally well with the guys and the gals, just generally gets along with everyone.  She's a big help with children and pets.

mimi -- just me, chief cook, bottle-washer, laundress, and the one whose job is to keep her head in every emergency, no matter what.

Hold on for fun, it's going to be a ride.

Today is

Arrival of the Swiss at the Port-Noir -- Switzerland

Birthday of SPB Yang di-Pertuan Agong -- Malaysia (in this elective monarchy, the current king's birthday is celebrated on the first Saturday in June, regardless of his actual birth date)

Beypazari Havuç Güveç --  Turkey (weekend festival celebrating a traditional carrot dish)

Capital Hill People's Fair -- Denver, CO, US (arts, entertainment, and fun; through tomorrow)

Dare Day -- Manteo, NC, US (a fun festival and unofficial kick-off for summer)

Derby Day -- Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey, England

Dia da Crianca -- Cape Verde (Youth Day)

Dia de la Marina -- Mexico (Day of the Navy)

Drawing Day/Pencil Day -- used to be sponsored on the first Saturday with the motto "Drop Everything and Draw", but even though no longer promoted by any specific group, you can still enjoy some time drawing today

Early Bird Day -- an internet derived day that reminds us the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese

Eel Festival -- Jyllinge, Denmark (through tomorrow; every restaurant and pub in town serves fried eel, and there's lots more fun around town)

Enshu Hamakita Hiryu Matsuri -- Hamamatsu City, Japan (honors the river god Ryujin)

Famadihana -- Madagascar (from now until November, various areas celebrate "turning the bones," a fascinating reburial of the dead ceremony)

Feast of St. Justin Martyr (a/k/a Justin the Philosopher; Patron of apologists, lecturers, orators, philosophers, speakers)

Festival of Non-Linearity -- another one you find on the internet, no meaning or rhyme to it, but if you like to think in non-linear ways, enjoy today!

Festival of the Oak Nymph -- Celtic/Pagan (around this time of year, the Celts took a day to honor all hamadryads (female natures spirits who inhabit oak trees)

Flip a Coin Day -- as noted by The Ultimate Holiday Site, which claims Julius Caesar invented it (doubtful, but the Romans did toss coins)

Gawai Dayak -- Sarawak, Malaysia (harvest festival begins today)

Go Barefoot Day -- originally sponsored by Soles4Souls, which recycles shoes to those who have none; while i cannot find if they are sponsoring a day or week this year, it's a good reminder not to let your old shoes end up in a landfill

Hari Lahir Pancasila -- Indonesia (Pancasila Day)

Heimlich Maneuver Day -- Dr. Heimlich first published his suggestion for aiding choking victims with "subdiaphragmatic pressure" on this day in 1974

Hen-Peeler's Holiday -- Fairy Calendar

Independence Day -- Samoa

International Children's Day

Kalends of June -- Ancient Roman Calendar; related observances:
     Day Sacred to Tempestas (goddess of storms)
     Festival for Juno Moneta (Juno as goddess of money)
     Festival of Carna (goddess of health and vitality, and also of doors and locks, which were to be repaired today)

Madaraka Day -- Kenya (National Day or self-rule/responsibility day)

Maritime Gig Festival -- Gig Harbor, WA, US (parades, entertainment, and fun with the view of Mount Rainier to grace it all; through tomorrow)

Mint Julip Day -- Oxford University, England (the drink was introduced there this day in 1845, and they liked it so well, they dedicated a day to it!)

Missouri State Championship Racking Horse Show -- Stoddard County Fairgrounds, Dexter, MO, US (an afternoon and evening of excellent and elegant showmanship)

Mothers' and Children's Day -- Mongolia

National Family Recreation Day -- US (seems to have been started by the community of Arvada, CO, US, wanting families to enjoy the great outdoors together)

National Hazelnut Cake Day

National Trails Day -- US (be safe out there, if you want help becoming a hiker there's info here)

National Tree Planting Day -- Cambodia

Peddler's Village Fine Art and Contemporary Craft Show and Festival -- Lahaska, PA, US (juried competitions, crafts, art activities for children, and more; through tomorrow)

Pilgrimages to St Patrick's Purgatory begin -- Station Island, Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland (three day pilgrimages to the island where St. Patrick supposedly showed the Irish heathens Purgatory so they would be converted continue through Aug. 15; such pilgrimages date back at least to the 10th century)

President's Day -- Palau

Say Something Nice Day -- as declared by the mayor of a town in South Carolina who is tired of all the negative talk all the time

Seed to Stalk --  Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, VA, and Yorktown Victory Center, Yorktown, VA, US (spend time this month exploring American agriculture of the 17th and 18th centuries, learning the practical used of herbs and plants)

Sjómannadagurinn -- Iceland (traditional Seamen's Day; now a two day Festival of the Sea)

South Carolina Festival of Flowers -- Greenwood, SC, US (thirty-six events, something for everyone; through the 26th)

Stand for Children Day -- founded by a rally this day in 1996, seeking to ensure all children graduate from high school

Strawberry Festival -- Independence, MO, US (one of many such festivals all over as strawberries come into season -- look for one near where you live some time this month, and go have a good time)

St. Theobald Roggeri's Day (Patron of church cleaners, cobblers, porters, shoemakers; against fever and sterility)

Summer Library Book club Season begins -- anywhere that school is out, check your local library for a summer book club for children or adults; you never know what world you will discover when you read

Superman Day -- publication of the first Superman comic was this day in 1938

Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure Day 2013 -- Washington, D.C., US

Tohoku Rokkon Matsuri -- Morioka, Japan (a special matsuri, bringing together six major festivals from the district that was hard hit by the 2011 earthquake; through tomorrow)

Toppenish Mural Society's "Mural-In-A-Day" -- Toppenish, WA, US (professional artists work to paint a complete and historically accurate mural in one day, accompanied by an arts and crafts show and food fair)

Victory Day -- Tunisia (anniversary of the Adoption of the Constitution of Tunisia in 1959)

Wicket World of Croquet® Day 2013 -- The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, Indianapolis, IN, US (croquet tournament fundraiser, includes an Alice and Friends game for the little ones)

Xterra Off-Road Triathalon, Four Corners Event -- NM, US (some of the most extreme racing anywhere)

Yobuko Otsunahiki -- Higashi Matsuura, Saga prefecture, Japan (Big Tug-of-War, with one team representing the land and the other the sea; victory for the land means good crops, for the sea means good catches)

Anniversaries Today:

Kentucky becomes the 15th US state, 1792
Tennessee becomes the 16th US state, 1796
Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, is founded as the first US land-grant university, 1808

Birthdays Today:

Alanis Morissette, 1974
Heidi Klum, 1973
Ron Wood, 1947
Robert Powell, 1944
Rene Auberjonois, 1940
Morgan Freeman, 1937
Colleen McCullough, 1937
Pat Boone, 1934
Edward Woodward, 1930
Bob Monkhouse, 1928
Andy Griffith, 1926
Marilyn Monroe, 1926
Nelson Riddle, 1921
Brigham Young, 1801

Today in History:

Hugh Capet is elected King of France, 987
Beijing, then under the control of the Jurchen ruler Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, is captured by the Mongols  under Genghis Khan, ending the Battle of Beijing, 1215
Friar John Cor records the first known batch of scotch whiskey, 1495
Anne Boleyn is crowned Queen of England, 1533
Mary Dyer is hanged for defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1660
The battle of the Glorious First of June is fought, the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1794
U.S. President James Madison asks the Congress to declare war on the United Kingdom, 1812
James Lawrence, the mortally-wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, gives his final order: "Don't give up the ship!" 1813
James Clark Ross discovers the North Magnetic Pole, 1831
American adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua, 1855
Treaty of Bosque Redondo is signed allowing the Navajos to return to their lands in Arizona and New Mexico, 1868
Thomas Edison receives a patent for his electric voting machine, 1869
Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed in the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879
The United States Census Bureau begins using Herman Hollerith's tabulating machine to count census returns, 1890
Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court, 1916
The First Conference of the Communist Parties of Latin America is held in Buenos Aires, 1929
Charles de Gaulle comes out of retirement to lead France by decree for six months, 1958
New Zealand's first official television broadcast commences at 7.30pm from Auckland, 1960
Kenya gains internal self-rule (Madaraka Day), 1963
The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine, 1974
The first black-led government of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 90 years takes power, 1979
CNN begins broadcasting, 1980
Air France Flight 447 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil, Killing all 228 passengers and crew, 2009
General Motors files for chapter 11 bankruptcy, 2009


  1. Have a fun time on your vacation!


  2. You should have a fun time on vacation with that "cast of characters"!!
    You are so funny!
    Build a sand castle for me, would you? xx

  3. Dia da Criança in Cape Verde? I love it. I went to Cape Verde last year, even did my first5 photo book on it after returning. Just loved it. And I love those pieces of information you come up with. And a whole family in a two-bed room house? Oh boy, hope you like each other ....

  4. Steve, we try, and usually succeed.

    Kay, i will make sure i build one just for you.

    Angelika, we like each other, and never all stay in the place at the same time except to sleep at night -- too many other things to do!

  5. Wow! A lot of humans on this trip, but it will be fun! (I'm betting.) Summer vacations are awesome. Always many stories to tell, and i look forward to them!