April showers have finally given way to May flowers for most of our readers in the Northern Hemisphere, and May flowers are quickly giving way to June weeding of vegetable gardens. Between the end-of-May graduation parties and the summer fight against garden pests, don’t forget to stop and enjoy your flower of choice now and again.
To correctly solve the MAY FLOWER wordoku, make sure that every row, column, and 3x3 box contains the following letters exactly once [difficulty: a few posy nothings]:
When I was very young, my sister and I observed May Day by making paper baskets filled with violets and dandelions or lilacs and apple blossoms. We would hang them on neighbors’ and relatives’ doors and then ring or knock and run away. It was delightful.
March is never very springlike in my neck of the woods, but each year I hold out hope for a warm and verdant first day of spring. Today, I continue to hold out hope for next year. I come from a patient people. A patient, spring-loving people.
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!