Archive for Thursday, March 4, 2010

Marching into spring

March 4, 2010

While it is a difficult choice, I’d have to pick March as my favorite month of the year. Of course, when I was young I would have probably selected December because of Christmas, the start of basketball season and the holiday break. On the other hand, I have always enjoyed September because of the football season, however, all of the months are fine, too.

Why is March my favorite? Probably the reason that seems obvious is that my birthday is March 9. I will admit that I have moved from upper middle age to senior citizenship, however, I really don’t mind telling people that I’ll be 73. I know there are some in my age group who will tell you that they don’t enjoy birthdays now that they are more mature. That certainly isn’t my case since birthdays give me the opportunity to enjoy cake and ice cream without feeling guilty about breaking my perennial diet. Yes, I have always thought that getting older is better than second choice.

This is true of those of us who are young at heart. Age really doesn’t mean all that much, and it is actually just a state of mind. I know that my knees and joints remind me that I am getting a bit long of tooth, yet right now it isn’t slowing me down all that much.

March is an interesting month in many ways. It is a time of transition when we move slowly from the ugliness of winter to the hope of the warm, pleasant days of spring. It is a time when the earth comes alive with trees, flowers and lawns showing signs of waking from the dormant season of winter. During March, we always start thinking about outdoor projects for the summer. No, we don’t get them all done, but the real fun is the planning. I look forward to yard work and lawn mowing. Actually, for me, spring begins when I dig the first spade of dirt for a planting project.

March is a great month for sports fans, too. “March Madness” certainly adds excitement as fans look forward to NCAA tournament games. Those of us who are in our mature years remember when the NCAA tournament wasn’t as big as it is now, and only a few games were televised. Now, with expanded TV coverage, many of us spend weekends watching favorite teams climb the ladder toward the Final Four. In addition, there are other basketball opportunities including the NIT, NAIA and high school state tournaments. Yes, basketball adds spice to March.

For those of us who are Royals fans, March is a time of hope, too. I always hope that this will be the year when the Royals become contenders. For me, a sure sign that winter is waning is when you can listen to a spring training baseball game on the radio.

For many, the biggest event in March is St. Patrick’s Day. In our case, the day is important but for a different reason. My daughter Melody was born on St. Patrick’s Day so we have a special reason to celebrate the holiday.

Easter can be in March, although that is rare. In general, March is a month when we begin to prepare for Easter. I might add that I really don’t like to celebrate Easter in March because of the changeable weather. To me, Easter should always be in April.

I didn’t realize this until I did some research, but March was once the first month of the year. In the old Roman calendar, “Martius” or March was the first month of the year. Apparently, the name March comes from “Mars” who was the Roman god of war.

Looking back, I found some tidbits of history that I enjoyed. One of my historic heroes, Ulysses Grant, was appointed as commander of the Union Army on March 9, 1864. The famous economist, Adam Smith, published his historic book, “Wealth of Nations” in March 1771. In the early days of the United States, the presidential inauguration was in March.

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