By Sarah Schrock

As if the lush hills of May aren’t enough to warrant celebration, as it turns out May is full of obscure holidays to give reason for jubilee. It struck me midway through this month, that there were a lot of days of recognition that keep making headlines or finding their way into the public conscience. While there are the big ones like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, a few them out there might surprise you.

Starting with the May 1, May Day marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated throughout the northern world with flowers, dancing and festivities. The tradition of May Day baskets is alive with my kids, who delight in playing “ring and run” with a purpose.

On the heels of May Day is none other than Star Wars Day on May 4. I was reminded of this iconic day when a co-worker emailed me a message saying, “May the Fourth be with you.”

Before there was time to rebound from Jedi mind tricks, Cinco de Mayo had come and gone to be immediately followed by National Nurse’s Day on May 6. Not only do nurses claim that day, they also have the whole first week of May designated in their honor.

But who can forget National No Diet Day, started by an activist who challenged social norms of body image in a response to a long battle with an eating disorder. This day also happens to coincide with the National Beverage Day, and — who knew? — National Oyster Day, because you can’t eat oysters without washing it down with something. Sounds like a conspiracy of foodies to me.

Since we honor our nurses, our teachers follow suit on the May 8 with National Teacher Appreciation Day. I wish I had known about that one — thank you, teachers!

Photo by Sarah Schrock
The orphaned socks of the author’s household, memorialized on May 9.

May 9 marks an important day of acknowledgement for the ubiquitous lost sock. Lost Sock Memorial Day commemorates the array of unmatched lost socks in your drawer. The day of recognition encourages us to reflect on the missing socks, appreciating the warmth and comfort they once bestowed our toes, and take proactive steps to organize those that remain in the drawer despite the loss of their partners.

For kids, May 10 is Clean up your Room Day which should put them in good standing with mom as Mother’s Day — in case you forgot — is always the second Sunday in May. It comes with ample notice and recognition, making most calendars, but there are few days hidden in mid-May that probably didn’t make your calendar: May 16, Love a Tree Day, National Sea Monkey Day, and Wear Purple for Peace Day. May 17 is National Pack Rat Day — there seems to be nothing else of significance on that day. The most famous person I could find with that birthday is Bob Saget.

May 8: If you were a Washingtonian alive in 1980 and over the age of say, 3, you can’t forget Mt. Saint Helens, especially this year with the Hawaiian lava fissures spewing molten rock and toxic gas on the Big Island. When May 18 arrived, the memory of St. Helen’s eruption was awoken. That was also Bike to Work Day, followed by National Armed Forces Day on May 19, which is always the third Saturday of the month.

Not to be missed as we head into the big holiday weekend, mark your calendar for National Lucky Penny Day on the May 23, because we all need a little luck. Then May 25 is National Wine Day — conveniently it falls on a Friday this year. May 26 is Sally Ride Day, a day we recognize the first woman astronaut in space. This is followed by National Sunscreen Day on the May 27, which finally brings us to Memorial Day, on May 28, which aligns with National Hamburger Day. Just to keep things interesting, the month commences with National Macaroon Day.

The flower of the week, if you are still reading, is sticky geranium, also known as crane’s bill. Geranium viscosissimum in the botanical world is a satellite-shaped pink to purple flower, with five petals about the size of a quarter. Many blossoms erupt from a bushy leafed base, about 1-2 feet tall with palmate shaped leaves that resemble deeply lobed maple or cannabis leaves. The plant likes somewhat moist meadows or forest sites. Often, they are found at the base of hills in depressions or draws where water seepage is present. Look for the sticky geranium near aspens groves and previously burned sites where they rebound aggressively bringing a pink accent to scorched lands.


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