June 27 Onion Day
I don’t typically grab an onion and take a big bite out of it like I do with an apple (actually I never remember such a bite), but onions add so much flavor to other foods. I love the taste they bring to meat, vegetables, salads, and even eggs. Adding a slice of onion to a juicy hamburger brings such a unique flavor to one of my favorite summertime meals. I am not a connoisseur of cooking with onions, but I think there are many different kinds and colors – sweet, white, red, or yellow, but all of them will make you cry and enhance the flavors of your food.
Onions are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. They are high in fiber and vitamin B6. And, they are cholesterol free. But, they will leave you with some bad breath. Add some onions to your day and cash in on some extra tastes, added vitamins, and a good source of fiber – just keep your toothbrush handy.
June 28 Paul Bunyan Day
Paul Bunyan was lumberjack. Paul Bunyan was a giant (he seems to grow with each tall tale, but at least seven feet tall and with a stride of seven feet.). Paul Bunyan has a companion, Babe, the giant Blue Ox (some say 5000 pounds, and according to others, twice that. The ox measured from tip to tip of his horns just seven feet, exactly his master’s height.) Paul Bunyan might be considered the precursor to the super-hero. He was a North American folklore hero surrounded by myths and legends. For example, it is said that Paul Bunyan and Babe formed the Grand Canyon as the tired lumberjack dragged his axe behind him at the end of the day. Bunyan also created Lake Superior as a watering hole for Babe. It is also common knowledge that it took five storks to deliver Paul as a newborn, and as a young boy, when he clapped his hands and laughed, windows shook and shattered.
His fantastic exploits were told for decades around the campfires and in the bunkhouses in the northern logging camps from Wisconsin to Maine, from Minnesota to Oregon, from Washington state and even to California.
Paul Bunyan first appeared in print in 1906 in a story published by journalist James MacGillivray. In 1914, William Laughhead reworked the stories for a logging company’s advertising campaign. To celebrate the day consider reading a tale of two about this folk hero.
Here are some online sources for some tall tales of the Paul and Babe:
Tall Tales – PaulBunyan.org
Paul Bunyan – Hero Lumberjack – Legends of America
Paul Bunyan at Americanfolklore.net
June 29 Camera Day
This day celebrates the photographs, the cameras, and the photographers. Check out the history of the camera and learn more about George Eastman, a.k.a. The Father of Photography and the innovations brought about through modern technology. Trace the development process from plates to film to digital imagery.
To celebrate consider a picture safari – as a family go out and take some great pictures. Come home and share your exciting shots. Pick a theme and hunt for animals, or flowers, or trees, or buildings, or people. Take pictures of yellow things or blue objects, or red stuff. Take the best black and white photo stressing the power of contrast. Have fun taking picture and celebrating the advances of the modern-day camera including the power and convenience of the smart phone.
June 30 METEOR WATCH DAY
Hopefully June 30 will be a warm, cloudless night so that we can all find a special place to watch for shooting stars. If we are fortunate, we might see a spectacular meteor shower. Experts confirm that there are millions of meteors that enter in the Earth’s atmosphere every day. These meteors that streak through the sky are surrounded by flaming hot air and are what we often call shooting stars – they are not stars at all. Whether we catch a few stray falling stars or witness an entire meteor shower, this day calls for an evening with friends and family under the stars.
I am not sure why June 30 is meteor watch day, because it does not appear that there is an anticipated meteor shower that night. If the evening does not reveal very much on June 30, check out the best dates for successful watching at the EarthSky website. The most active shower is called the Perseids and that shower is most prolific from mid-July to late August. If you are interested in stargazing, you might want to explore this link: 9 Steps To Night Sky Viewing.
July 1 U.S. Postage Stamp Day
Somewhere in the attic I have a stamp collection. July 1 would be a good day to find it and look through the colorful gummed squares. I might have some valuable stamps up there, or the mice might have found them and eaten my fortune. Back in the days before email, we used stamps to mail hard copies of correspondence to one another. Instead of instantaneous written communication, we would have to wait days for the stamped envelop to make its way to the prescribed destination. The first US postage stamp was issued on July 1, 1847. At that time letters could be sent without a stamp and the recipient paid for it upon delivery. That changed in 1855 when postage stamps became mandatory.
Philately is another name for stamp collecting and was quite popular when I was a lad in the 1960s – 1970s. I loved getting mail the old fashion way. A trip to the mailbox was filled with anticipation. Birthday cards, love letters, notes from friends and family members who lived out of town, Christmas cards – lots of letters to hold in your hand and read over and over. The negative communication (like bills) arrived in the mailbox as well. Today my mailbox is slim pickings, usually only holding the ads for lawn care, hearing aids, and cable TV.
Consider sending a handwritten note to a friend. Mail a special crayon creation drawn by one of your young children to their grandparents. During this summer’s vacation, think about sending a colorful postcard to friends. You might make it back home before the post card is delivered, but there is something about getting snail mail, that card or the envelope with the postage stamp in the corner, that communicates a positive, personal touch.
July 2 Second Half of the Year Day
We have made halfway through 2021. How can we live the second half better than the first? How can we serve others better? How can we bring laughter into our lives? How can we get our eyes off ourselves and build something in life that counts? When we stand on January 1, 2022, may we be able to look back on the second half of 2021 with a sense of fulfillment. Today starts the decision making that will determine the pathways of tomorrow.
July 3 Hop-a-Park Day
What a great day to explore the parks in your area. Hopefully the weather cooperates and encourages us to enjoy the green spaces and the outdoors around us. Hop-a-Park Day is a good day to get away from the screens of technology, televisions, and our phones. The potential activities are numerous: take a nice hike in the woods, throw a frisbee or a baseball; bring a picnic lunch for all to enjoy, take a hike, spend some time listening to the birds, enjoy a playground, play some tennis, take a hike, find a shady tree just right for a time of quiet reading or reflection, take a trail run, throw a fishing line in the water, kick a soccer ball, go for a hike, find a geo-cache, identify some wildflowers, find a bench and visit with a friend, discover the quiet and peace of prayer, do a sweep of the park and pick up trash, and (in case you missed it) you could always take a hike and discover the trails in your area.
Photos: Onions – Redwing Onion Plants – 30 Bunch Case, Long Day Onion Plants: Dixondale Farms; Paul Bunyan – A to Z Kids Stuff | Paul Bunyan Camera – It’s Like Potato Chips…: Vintage Camera Find (itslikepotatochips.blogspot.com); Meteor Shower – The best meteor shower of the year is set to hit Toronto skies (blogto.com) Stamps, 2nd Half, Park – Rough Collection