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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Gray Matters:Activity or attitude?

Friday, May 23, 2008

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In a recent chat, a group of us began wondering if May wasn't becoming the busiest month on the calendar. Together, we listed graduations (on every level, starting with kindergarten), confirmations, showers (both baby and bridal), weddings, and on and on -- enough to make our heads spin. That conversation sent me to digging out some old diary calendars I'd kept many years ago when our family was in the mad midst of it all. Those calendars were the way I managed to get nine kids, my husband and myself, to the places we were supposed to be at the times we were supposed to be there.

Turning to the month of May, the first notations I saw were reminders on several days to bake cookies. Seems to me I was always baking cookies, either for school treats, to freeze for future entertaining, or just to keep the cookie jar filled for regular consumption. On the first Sunday, which happened to be my birthday that year, there was an Open House for a newly-wed couple. The groom was a close friend of one of our older sons. So we sandwiched that in between lunch with two of our boys and dinner with another one and his wife. The next evening I had a Library Board meeting. On Tuesday there was a hair appointment, and Wednesday evening we attended a choir concert in which one of the boys participated. The following Saturday was our middle son's Junior-Senior Banquet.

Things revved up a notch the following week. We had Mother's Day dinner with our oldest and his wife; then went to hear a younger son's school choir sing in an area church that evening. Monday our youngest was in a middle school band concert. On Wednesday we attended a local funeral in the morning and I went to a Woman's Club meeting in the afternoon. We spent Thursday in Orange City at the Tulip Festival and on Friday we attended a nephew's graduation in a neighboring town. Saturday I helped set up for a reception for a cousin's daughter which was held on Sunday.

The next Tuesday was our own son's High School Graduation after which we hosted a reception for him. Apparently that explained all of those cookies I'd baked earlier in the month. Our daughter's school year at UNI concluded that week, so two of her brothers drove to bring her home.

Meanwhile, my sister and her husband from Louisiana arrived bringing Mother back to Iowa after she'd wintered in the sunny south. We enjoyed Sunday together and then on Memorial Day we all drove to central Iowa to visit Dad's grave. The Louisiana relatives headed home from there and we returned to Marcus, as our youngest started to Vacation Bible School the next day.

That's a rundown of the activities I'd recorded one long-ago May. Well, perhaps things haven't changed so much after all. But I did discover that all the rest of the months seemed just as full. My husband's County Park Board, Corn Grower's Association or Local School Board meetings; many other activities of mine, as well as medical appointments, dental appointments and eye-checks, weren't even mentioned in May. What I find interesting, as I look back, is that I don't remember once feeling put upon. It was just the way our lives had fallen into place and I loved every moment of it. All of this leads me to wonder if it's the activity or the attitude that has changed.