Posts Tagged With: August

Hike Fun Forward – Special Days: August 22-28

August 22 – Be an Angel Day

Trail Angels on the AT

Be An Angel Day encourages good deeds and kindness to others. Supporting those in need, a kind word, a needed hug, comfort for the grieving and hurting, a light in the darkness around us – these are the actions and attitudes to be exercised on August 22 (and every day of the year). I am glad that there is a day like this that is highlighted on our yearly calendars, but this truly should be a world-view, a lifestyle commitment, and an all-encompassing mindset.  If we acted like angels (the word literally means, messengers from God) and brought the grace, forgiveness, and love of God to those around us, the devastating aspects of our society driven by greed, selfishness, and ambition would disappear.

The first thought that came to my mind as I saw this day, was the trail angels I met along the Appalachian Trail. Sometimes the angels would set up grills and tables along the trail and cook hamburgers/and hotdogs with all the sides for the thru-hikers coming by. Sometimes the angels would offer free rides into the nearby towns so the hikers could resupply and find a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, there was a cooler filled with Gatorades and power-bars sitting in the woods with no one around to thank. The focus was not on the angel but on the kindness. How thankful I was every time I encountered these random expressions of support and thoughtfulness.  I want to respond like an angel every day in August, September, October…. you get the idea.

August 23 – Cuban Sandwich Day

Celebrate today with a sandwich that was born in Cuba, but grew up in Florida. Traditionally this sandwich is made of ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread (a light bread, usually made with all white flour with a very thin crispy crust and a soft interior). If you are interested in making your own instead of making a trip to Cuba, check out Chef John’s Cuban Bread | Allrecipes, for a good recipe.   

August 24 – Waffle Day

August 24th is the anniversary of the first waffle iron patent issued. Celebrate by savoring your favorite kind of waffle! On August 24, 1869, Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, received his patent for the waffle iron. While waffles existed long before then, the invention of this special iron made waffles easier to make and a popular breakfast item.  Grab some batter, some soft butter, and some maple syrup, or strawberries and whipped cream, or peanut butter and jelly, or powdered sugar and cinnamon, and have a smorgasbord of waffle delights. 

Great Smoky Mountains

August 25 – National Park Service Founders Day

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed what is now called the Organic Act. It established the National Park Service. As part of the Department of Interior, the National Park Service protects 400 areas in each of the 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia totaling 84 million acres.

Take some time today (or sometime soon) and look at the National Parks. Look up some photographs of the different parks. Take a virtual tour of some of the incredible spots across our country. Take special note of some places you want to see up close and personal. While you’re online, discover some of the history of the US as you explore the context of these national parks.

During my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I hiked through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Shenandoah National Park. Both parks were very different in terrain and yet both were spectacularly beautiful.   

August 26 – National Women’s Equality Day

The United States Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women full and equal voting rights on August 26, 1920. Think about that for a few minutes. The emancipation proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, ending slavery in America – it was 57 years later before women of any color got the right to vote in the United States. The women’s sufferance movement is a sad story of diligent women who would not give up. Many like Elizabeth Cady Staton (died 1902) and Susan B. Anthony (died 1906) labored for the vote but died before their dreams were realized.

Consider contacting the influential women in your life and let them know about their impact. Teachers, doctors, mothers, lawyers, scholars, scientists, astronauts, authors, musicians, illustrators, coaches, mentors, etc. In my personal life, women have played such an important role and have shaped me in my philosophy, ethic, career, lifestyle, and worldview. Make a quick top-12 list and send them a text/email to let them know of their impact and your appreciation.

August 27 – Just Because Day

Just Because Day offers up an opportunity to do stuff…just because. There is a danger in this day because it can lead us to selfishness and negative spontaneity. But it also has the potential to be creative and use our freedoms to express God’s love to other people. Think about ways you can serve others…..just because you can. Stop and take a look around you – see a need, meet a need, just because you can and just because you were created to love. I have thought of several ideas for myself, but I am not going to share them, but rather encourage you to develop a list for yourself. How can you serve others and touch the lives of those around you…just because you can.

August 28 – Thoughtful Day

I think August 27 and 28 should combine into a two-day celebration that really spills over into a daily routine and a constant way of looking a life. Being thoughtful in word and deed toward those around you will able you to meet needs and change the lives of others. Being thoughtful can manifest itself in simple ways: a quick word of encouragement, a short note of inspiration, a small token of appreciation. Being thoughtful usually involves our actions: buy some groceries, fix a meal, bake a pie, make a visit, take a kid/grandchild to the park, pick up your room.

May this Thoughtful Day be the beginning of many thoughtful days. Use today to make a list of thoughtful things you can do over the next several weeks/months. Just to prime the pump and get the creative juices flowing, here are a few ideas:

Mail a handwritten to friends you haven’t seen for a while.

Bake some cookies and deliver them to friends and family and neighbors. Look for an opportunity to sit and visit for a while.

Bring fresh flowers to someone who blesses you.

Invite someone over for tea.

Now it’s your turn to add to the list and make it your own.

Photos: Angel – Free Cartoon Angel Cliparts, Download Free Cartoon Angel Cliparts png images, Free ClipArts on Clipart Library (clipart-library.com); Cuban Sandwich – Recipe: Cuban Sandwich | Kitchn (thekitchn.com) Waffles – buttermilk waffles – price comparison – discount99.us; Just Because – Stationery – Just Because… (justbecauseuk.com); Thoughtful – 7 Habits Of Considerate People | HuffPost Life; All others from the Rough Collection

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Hike Fun Foward: Special Days – August 1-7

August 1 – Friendship Day

Friendship Day encourages people across the country and around the world to connect with friends. Reconnect with an old one, celebrate a current friendship, or make a new friend or two.

How often we take our friends for granted and fail to share how significant they are in our lives. This is a great day to express your appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for those positive influences in your life.

August 2 – Coloring Book Day

Coloring Book Day celebrates the joy that both children and adults alike derive from coloring in pages of designs. Coloring and coloring books have been popular with children for decades, and in recent the years, adults have gotten more and more involved with coloring. Many people of all ages find that it is not only fun but also a great way to reduce stress.

This is one of the easiest days to celebrate – grab some crayons, buy a book reflecting your skill level and your budget, and carve out some time to be creative. Coloring is a great activity to do with your children. Their works of art are great refrigerator posts and scrapbook memories.  

August 3 – Watermelon Day

What a great day to celebrate in the heat of August. Watermelon is 92% water and is such a great treat during the high temperatures of summer. A watermelon party is a great way to meet the neighbors or to gather together with friends/family. A seed-spitting contest is great fun if your get a watermelon with seeds.

With proper growing conditions, watermelons grow to enormous sizes. Around the world, competitions award prizes each year for the largest one. The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. According to 32 Fun Facts About Watermelon – What About Watermelon?, the heaviest watermelon recorded weighed 350.5 lbs and was grown in 2013.

August 4 – Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Ruth Wakefield

It seems like every dessert every made has a day of the year, but (in my opinion) the Chocolate Chip Cookie deserves the celebrity status and recognition of a special day. I know they have been around since 1950 and my mom made a powerfully good chocolate chip cookie since I was born, but how long have they been part of the fiber of our country (I am not sure if a chocolate chip cookie has any fiber, but you know what I mean)?  

The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie is Ruth Wakefield. She was born on June 17, 1903 in Massachusetts and died on January 10, 1977. She graduated from the Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924, and gave birth to the chocolate cookie around 1938. Ruth and her husband Kenneth bought a tourist lodge named the Toll House Inn, where she prepared the meals that were served to guests.

The legend often presented recounts a day in 1938 when Wakefield was mixing a batch of cookies only to discover that she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate, expecting it to melt and absorb into the dough to create chocolate cookies. That didn’t happen, but when she removed the pan from the oven, Ruth realized that she had accidentally invented “chocolate chip cookies.” Some cookie historians take issue with this fable but who cares – it makes a great story and adds to the mystic of American’s #1 favorite cookie.

August 5 – Water Balloon Day

Just in time for the hottest days of summer! It should be water balloon month, but even a day is so much fun. What kid or adult doesn’t enjoy a water balloon battle on a hot summer afternoon? There are games you can play (see blow for a few examples) but the most fun is just a snow-ball style fight where everyone enjoys getting wet and cooling down.

Try some of these ideas:

Water balloon toss  – This one is a classic. Everyone pairs up. Each team stands close together taking turns tossing their water balloon to each other. As soon as the water balloon breaks they’re eliminated. The team that gets the furthest apart wins!

Batting practice – combine water balloons and whiffle ball bats for a wet experience at home plate.

Target Practice – draw a chalk target on the side of shed or on the driveway. Decide on a throwing mark and see who can come closest to the bullseye.

Clean-up Challenge  – Set a timer to 5 minutes. Everyone races to collect as many broken balloon pieces as possible. Present prizes to gold, silver and bronze winners.

For more great ideas check out 10 Great Ideas for Water Balloons – Happy Home Fairy. This creative website has loads of great family fun ideas.

August 6 – Lucille Ball Day

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s one of my favorite comedians was Lucille Ball. She was the star and the producer of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Here’s Lucy. I remember laughing until my side hurt at the chocolate candy conveyor belt episode, the grape stomping scene, and the mirror skit with Harpo Marx. Her comic timing and her facial expressions were truly amazing.   – born August 6, 1911 -110 years ago and yet her comedy still makes me laugh.

Check out some YouTube videos of Lucy or tune in some old episodes of her sitcoms. Reminisce or watch her for the first time, but celebrate this grand lady of fun and laughter.

August 7 – Lighthouse Day

Due to expensive lighthouse maintenance and great advancements in modern electronic navigational systems, the number of lighthouses are in great decline. Here are a few interesting lighthouse facts:

Lighthouse Day honors the beacon of light that for hundreds of years symbolized safety and security for ships and boats at sea. At one time, lighthouses could be found along almost all of America’s shorelines. These towers were designed to emit light using a system of lamps and lenses to aid ship captains with the safe navigation of their vessels.  

  • The first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria , Egypt Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II constructed it between 300 and 280 B.C. It stood about 450 feet high.
  • The oldest existing lighthouse in the United States is the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey. Built in 1764, this lighthouse is still in operation.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the United States had the most lighthouses of any nation.
  • The Sullivan Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina owns two distinctions. First, it is the only triangular-shaped lighthouse and second, it is the only lighthouse equipped with an elevator.

Resources: Ruth Wakefield: Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor (women-inventors.com); Lighthouse Facts | US Lighthouse Society (uslhs.org); August National Days – National Day Calendar.

Photos: Friends – The Rough Collection; Coloring Book – Fancy Coloring Pages For Adults – Coloring Home; Watermelon – The Rough Collection; Ruth Wakefield – There’s a Dad in the Kitchen!: Award-Winning Chocolate Chip Cookies (dadinkitchen.blogspot.com); Water Balloons Target – (516) Pinterest; Lucille Ball – Why Lucille Ball Is One of My Most Important Mentors – Honey Good®; Lighthouse – Michigan Exposures: Marblehead Lighthouse – Ohio

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