Marmots across the nation will scramble out of their burrows to dabble in seasonal prognostics tomorrow, February 2 — Groundhog Day. If it’s a sunny morning, and the groundhog of the moment is scared back under cover by seeing its shadow, the sad prediction is for six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog finds unshadowed comfort to dwell in above ground, it bolsters our hopes for an early spring.
According to the National Pie Council and those of us complicit in using tasty pastries to brighten dreary winter days, today is National Pie Day. Whether your tastes tend toward savory or sweet, fruit or custard, lattice or crumble, there's a pie out there for you. As the council says: "It's not just a dessert, it's a tradition. ... Grab a slice of life!"
Although the origins of Boxing Day are unknown, it’s a nice day-after-Christmas holiday that our UK, Canadian, Australian, and other friends celebrate. Traditionally, it has included giving gifts to service workers and those in need. Today, it’s commonly observed by relaxing and eating Christmas leftovers or by taking advantage of shopping or sporting events. (Anyone want to join me in petitioning for its official holiday status here in the United States?)
Planning and decorating and shopping and socializing can be a bit overwhelming during the holidays. Everyone wants to have a jolly good time, but the lure of quiet, cozy evenings are also unmistakable. Here’s to getting a good measure of both!
After a day of thankfulness and feasting, many in the United States look forward to the doorbuster bargains that entice them into the crowded stores on Black Friday. Others look forward to the belt-buster concoctions that entice them to their crowded refrigerators.
Disco and plaid polyester weren’t the only confusing developments of the 1970s. From 1971 to 1977, Veterans Day in the United States officially occurred in October but in many places was still observed in November.
Bring your Old Scratch vocabulary up to scratch with our devilish vocab. Can you figure out the two dozen devil-filled words and phrases? Fill in the blanks to make the word or expression that matches the clue. Difficulty level: devilishly difficult, of course.
In my part of the world, the leaves are colorful and lend a satisfying crunch and sweet scent to an afternoon stroll or ride. It’s positively autumnal.
I’ve known for some time that most of us in North America refer to this season as fall, while our British colleagues prefer autumn. In poking around the definitions,* however, I’ve just discovered that autumn in Britain can be considered the months of August, September, and October. That may be an archaic usage, however, since other definitions match the U.S. meaning more closely.
Any season and any month seems like a good time for finding a cozy spot and a long read. But there’s something about October. The bright foliage, sweet smells, and crisp air invite a sense of adventure that has some of us hiking, some of us baking, and many of us reading.