Up, Up and Away . . .

Jan 9th

What goes up?  Lots of things go up . . . and today 3 holidays out of 4, in one way or another, involve UP!

Today is Balloon Ascension Day!  On this day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln watched a balloon demonstration near Washington DC.  Both the Confederate and Union armies had been experimenting with the use of balloons for military intelligence gathering, however balloons ultimately were proven to be impractical and dangerous for most war related situations.   Hot air ballooning has evolved over the years to be a very popular hobby and sport.  Enjoyed by many – whether you participate actively from the air, or whether you attend festivals and happily watch from the ground – it is stunningly beautiful to watch these colorful and creative balloons gracefully sailing across the sky.

Speaking of balloons . . . have you ever rubbed a balloon over someones hair? Of course you have!  I know I did! I used to sit on my little brother and rub a balloon over his hair til it stuck up all over the place – straight up in fact (didn’t I say that 3 holidays had things that went UP? – yup – this one’s a hair raiser – I know, not funny, but give me credit for trying!)  I know my daughter did the same thing to my son . . . it’s sort of a big sister rite of passage.  Ah memories – the screaming, the kicking, and ultimately the giggles as my little blond boy grinned from ear to ear with balloons stuck all over his head, hair crackling and snapping all over the place.  (if I had had a picture of my son to post, I would have – but I don’t, and I don’t want to google some random person’s child without permission.  I have no such qualms about their dogs though!)  Today is National Static Electricity Day and a day that we can all celebrate by rubbing our feet on the carpet and zapping someone as they walk by.  My boss is one lucky gal that I’m off work today – I pop her by accident several times a week – given a day to do it on purpose? uh huh, it would be fun and I would be merciless.  I have to admit also, it doesn’t matter what day, what time of year, or what shoes I’m wearing.  When I’m at the office I zap myself every single time I touch a filing cabinet – sometimes I see sparks! OUCH!  I thought about delving into the how’s and why’s of what makes static electricity – but decided against it when the mere thought of writing it had me yawning.  I wouldn’t want to put you through reading it.  Just knowing it happens, and we can spread the joy of it to others, is enough for me!

When someone says that someone is playing God – it doesn’t have a very good connotation, right?  Well today is Playing God Day – and while there isn’t a whole lot of information out there about how or when this day came about, it is always observed on January 9th.   The general idea is that God is good – nobody can argue that and if they do, well, they have bigger problems than even they probably know – therefore this day is about doing something good and special that will make a difference.  It can be something like visiting someone who is house bound who doesn’t get many visitors, helping someone in need, volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen.  Giving God thanks and praying would also be a great way to celebrate this day – and like I said – this day is about things that go up!  Sending prayers up for everyone reading today that they can find a way to make this portion of the day special for themselves and for someone else.  God has a difficult job, and to me, showing Him that we care enough to spread happiness, cheer, charity and love around is a great way to let Him know that we appreciate all He does for us each and every day.

Last, and not least, today is National Apricot Day.  Unless you are throwing your apricots, they won’t go up like the rest of today’s celebrations, but they do have a lot of great things to be enthusiastic about!  Apricots are small, juicy fruits that resemble peaches, but are actually related to plums and have been cultivated since prehistoric times.  These delicious little golden fruit are great fresh, in jams and chutneys, dehydrated and mixed into savory recipes.  Be careful though, research has shown that a natural chemical  found in the kernel – called amygdalin –  is extremely poisonous when ingested and turns to cyanide in the stomach.

Have a wonderful day, and may your prayers go UP, may you zap your co-workers and not be zapped in return, and if you choose to play hooky and go for a balloon ride (while eating apricots of course), let me know how it goes.  God bless you and have a wonderful time celebrating today!

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