Saturday, July 2, 2022

Still Life with Robin: It's Almost the 4th of July + a Week of Other Holidays We Missed!

There's quite a big holiday coming up. Of course you know what I'm talking about -- it's the one with all the fireworks, and the brass bands, the barbecues, and a ton of attendant patriotic hoopla. Well, it seems in anticipation of all the fuss around our National Day, I've neglected to mark some really cool days of the week that was. There's always next year, so I'm marking my 2023 calendar right now. And like a belated birthday card that is still worth sending, let me say I hope you all had a very happy.....

CANOE DAY. This fell on Sunday of last week and has been celebrated yearly on June 26 since 2007. Learn more about it here: Of course, this day is meant to be celebrated on the water in a small craft propelled by your own paddling power. Canoeing is environmentally friendly, a great form of exercise, and a scenic and fun way to explore our lakes and rivers. Why June 26? It's certainly not the day the canoe was invented! That happened somewhere between 9,000-10,000 years ago (written calendars were still a long way off!). You can read more about the oldest canoe ever found at: 

June 27 was NATIONAL ONION DAY. Of course we must have a day in this great Union to recognize the venerable and multilayered Onion. This versatile and aromatic vegetable is at the root of many a flavorful dish. Coming in a multiplicity of colors and shapes, it  nourishes us with its vitamins C and B6, along with potassium and some fiber, all in a low-calorie bulb. No wonder people all over the planet have been cultivating and cooking with it for over 5,000 years. What do you do to celebrate National Onion Day? Cook many delicious dishes with onions! More about National Onion Day at

JUNE 28 WAS CAPS LOCK DAY. You know the rule: Anything typed in ALL CAPS is considered shouting. While it's not polite, according to the universal etiquette of the internet, on June 28 you are granted a WAIVER. SO ON THIS DAY YOU CAN SHOUT IN ALL CAPS ALL DAY LONG. To fully appreciate this holiday, you will want answers to the following questions: 1. How did the caps lock key become a fixture on our typewriters and computer keyboards? 2. Who was the genius who thought up Caps Lock Day? 3. Why do we celebrate it on June 28th when it was originally set down as OCTOBER 22nd? You will find the answer to all these questions and more, typed out in ALL CAPS at

June 29 was The BLESSING OF THE BOATS. It's St. Peter's Day in the calendar of the saints of the Roman Catholic Church, but in seaside communities, it's a day for all who love the sea to come together and celebrate life on the water. St Peter is the patron saint of fisherfolk, and his feast day has become a day of commemoration / celebration for everyone who fishes or wants to express gratitude for the bounty of the sea. This day is also more somberly observed in honor of those lives lost at sea. You can find a typical Blessing of the Boats Day event covered in this news video from Harbor Springs, Michigan: 

June 30 was ASTEROID DAY. Not sure why we should celebrate the possibility of a giant space rock crashing down on our planet -- with the potential to wipe out all life on earth? Maybe "celebrate" is the wrong word for this day. Let's say be aware and informed. That's why Stephen Hawking, among others, worked to establish Asteroid Day. Here's what you need to know (from the World Asteroid Day webpage of TImesNowNews: "World Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the Tunguska event in 1908 when an asteroid struck a part of Siberian forests and leveled about 2,150 kilometers of forest land. The United Nations has proclaimed World Asteroid Day to be observed globally on June 30th every year. Stephen Hawking, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, Danica Remy, astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May co-founded Asteroids Day. The Asteroid Day Declaration was signed by over 200 astronauts, scientists, technologists, and artists, including Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Peter Gabriel, Jim Lovell, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, Alexei Leonov, Bill Anders, Kip Thorne, Lord Martin Rees, Chris Hadfield, Rusty Schweickart, and Brian Cox." Want to know what to watch out for in future World Asteroid Days? The answer is this big mama that could be arriving sometime around 2052: Keep your eyes on the skies!

July 1 was CANADA DAY! What a country! And it's looking better by the minute!. Great flag, great anthem -- and such nice, polite people! As we in the US contemplate a future in which every undiagnosed nutcase is now entitled to carry concealed weapons (thank you, 2/3 of SCOTUS), Canada is looking increasingly like an island of sanity and calm. Except it's not an island, it's the second largest country by land mass in the world. If you missed the chance to celebrate yesterday with our friendly neighbors to the north, mark this website and come back again in 364 days:

And now we come to today, JULY 2, which you can celebrate as HALFWAY DAY. Yes, today marks the start of the second half of the year, and if you are a glass-half-full type, that means you appreciate the half you've had so far and expect to get the most out of the half still ahead. If you're a glass-half-empty type, that means you're glad we've muddled through the past six months, and will take the next six months as a chance for things to improve. Either way, it's a day to sit back and take stock of where we are and where we're going (as illustrated here: So raise a glass (half full of champagne) to the half we've had so far -- and then give a six-months-early toast to New Year's Day 2023.
Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.  

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