National Trail Mix Day is celebrated every year on August 31. As the summer winds down and fall’s cooler temperature start appearing in some areas, this is the perfect day to pack some trail mix and go hiking (at least for my northern hemisphere friends!).
Trail mix has many names and many varieties – from super salty to super sweet and everything in between. Americans often refer to it as “gorp,” a word which might stand for “Gobs Of Raw Protein,” “Granola, Oats, Raisins, and Peanuts,” or something else entirely. In Germany and several other European countries, this cheap and filling food is known as studentenfutter or a similar variant, meaning “student feed.” It’s a pretty fitting name if you ask me!
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
to him who led his people through the desert,
His love endures forever.”
Psalm 138:1 & 16
Mary Shelley, known primarily for writing Frankenstein, was born on August 30, 1797. She was the daughter of two well known writers (her mother was the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft), and she married the romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Nevertheless, Mary Shelley still managed to become famous in her own right.
The story of Frankenstein was started in 1816, when several friends decided to write their own ghost stories and compare them. Two years later, Frankenstein: or, A Modern Prometheus was published.
Celebrating Frankenstein Day should be easy with a copy of the book or one of the many movies made from it. Since August 30 is also National Toasted Marshmallow Day, I suggest getting a campfire, lots of marshmallows (plus some graham crackers and chocolate bars!), and telling your own ghost stories. “It was a dark and stormy night . . . “
Today’s verse is from the Bible’s own ghost story, Saul and the witch of Endor, in 1 Samuel 28:
The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”
“What does he look like?” he asked.
“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.
1 Samuel 28: 13b-14a
I suppose it’s probably not PC anymore, but August 29 is Happy Housewives’ Holiday. A happy housewife, or homemaker, is a beauty to behold, and, perhaps, one of the strongest building blocks of society. After all, if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! (Okay, that’s not PC either, but I never promised to be PC.)
I can’t find much history behind this day, but it seems to be related to the feast day of St. Sabina, the patron saint of housewives. St. Sabina was the wife of a Roman senator who was martyred for her faith in the early 2nd century.
“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.”
On August 28, Western Christianity celebrates the feast of Augustine of Hippo, patron saint of brewers, printers, and theologians. (In Eastern Christianity, they celebrate June 15.)
Augustine was a teacher, and theologian in the 4th and 5th centuries, famous for his writings: Confessions of St. Augustine, City of God, and On Christian Doctrine. For many years he was the bishop of Hippo, in modern day Algeria.
““You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
If you ever wondered when you were supposed to send all those “just because” cards, then today’s for you.
You can use Just Because Day as an excuse for just about anything, but here’s what I propose. Do something nice for someone, something unexpected. If they ask why, tell them “just because.” It could be a guerrilla kindness day!
P.S. August 27 is also Global Forgiveness Day. So go ahead and let go of it. Holding a grudge never helped anybody. There are plenty of reasons to forgive, but, if you need another, how about “just because?”
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity”
Regular readers, sorry this is late! There’s been way too much sickness in our house lately. I hope you still have time to celebrate today!
Dog people, rejoice! August 26 is all about those furry four footers, thanks to the National Dog Day Foundation.
Dogs are definitely man’s best friend. Guard dogs, guide dogs, police K9 units, nursing home comfort and entertainment, the furriest member of any family . . . face it: who else jumps for joy when they see you?
If you’ve got a dog, spend some extra time playing fetch or going on a walk today. You can even toss in a extra treat when you get home. If you don’t have a dog, give your local animal shelter a call. They always need volunteers!
“How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.”
Time to celebrate! August 25 is National Banana Split Day, and I think we all know how to celebrate this!
Banana Split Recipe
- Take one ripe banana, peel and split lengthwise
- Top with one scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream
- Top with whipped cream and one cherry
- Drizzle hot fudge or chocolate syrup on top
- Optional: if you feel like being fancier, add strawberries, crushed pineapple, and/or chopped walnuts
“The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.”
I’m not quite sure how to celebrate this, but August 24 is National Knife Day. Maybe we should carve things – like a bird from some oak or pine, or perhaps a slice from a watermelon or a pie! I’m a bit of a klutz, so I’m always a bit worried around sharp things; I’m afraid a butter knife is more my style than a dagger.
“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:47
Trivia for the day: August 24 is generally accepted as the day that Mt. Vesuvius erupted, destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD.
Every August 23 people, particularly those in Europe, commemorate the victims of various totalitarian regimes, especially those who died under Hitler and Stalin. The day goes by many names, including:
- Black Ribbon Day [popular international, official in Canada]
- European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism [official EU name]
- The International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Communism and Nazism [in Sweden]
- Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Crimes Committed by Communist and other Totalitarian Regimes [in Bulgaria]
On August 23, 1989, fifty years after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact divided Europe between Nazi Germany and the USSR, about two million people formed a human chain connecting the capitals of three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. At the time, all three were (reluctant) members of the Soviet Union. This Baltic Chain was a huge part of the Singing Revolution, which eventually resulted in independence for all three nations.
“When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?”
Be an Angel Day was created in the 90s by a woman named Jayne Feldman to encourage everyone to be kind towards others. Biblically, an angel means many, many things, but, by the popular definition, we all can (and should) be each other’s angels.
Celebrate today by helping someone in need and showing compassion to all you meet. You just might be the angel they need.
“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”