September 27th Native American Day

There is a reason they call them Native Americans, cause they were the first ones here! There are many wonderful things about the Native Americans and we should honor them as they lived their lives with honor. It should be remembered that the Native Americans kept moving out of the settlers way until there wasn’t any place left to go. It was then that they stood up for their rights but by then, it was too late.

How to celebrate – See how many native American tribes you can name. Visit a tribe now where they can share their customs and foods with you. Read about the real Natives of America.

November 22nd Thanksgiving

Today is one of America’s favorite days, Thanksgiving. We eat all kinds of food, watch football games and whatever feature movie is on television in the evening. We look forward to it every year, always say we will eat less and get along with all those relatives we don’t get along with the rest of the year.

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We do, tend to forget that is was a celebration for Europeans that came to America and were starving before the Native Americans came to their rescue. It was 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Native Americans sat down at the same table and shared their food, culture and concerns.

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Of course it didn’t last very long. Soon the Europeans would keep coming and driving the Native Americans further and further west until there was no place left to go. Part of the problem with allowing history to move forward is that we tend to forget why it moved forward. We find fault with each other instead of trying to understand something that we cannot go back and change anyway.

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Maybe things happen because they were supposed to happen. Blaming anyone and trying to make them pay for something they could not change is pointless, and dangerous. We are not the same people that lived back in the days when we were thankful, truly thankful, so we have to come up with our own reason for being thankful. Maybe we should be thankful that we have moved forward, that people have changed and recognize their errors and move on from there.

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However… did you know the first Thanksgiving mashed potatoes were not served? That didn’t happen until the Irish came to America and brought potatoes with them! And what is Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes!?! There’s something to be thankful for!

How to celebrate – Do your best to have a Happy Thanksgiving. Give to the food banks to make sure others have a Happy Thanksgiving. Make a list of everything you have to be thankful for.

October 25th Punk For A Day

I’m not sure that I completely understand the punk movement. While I was growing up the thought of being a punk was one of the worse things one could become. I understand rebellion, I don’t understand looking like death warmed over.

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Of course, my parents didn’t understand me wanting to play rock and roll so I guess it’s a generational thing. Oddly though, much of the punk look is going back to the way Native American warrior looked when they went to war.

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It seems that mutilating parts of your body goes along with being a punker. While I guess that’s fine for youth I wonder how they will feel when they reach seventy. And I come from an era where having something hanging from you nose was considered gross.

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But its youth and so they rarely think about the future. (Or at least their future) They are too busy protesting the present. And for many they don’t even have a cause that concerns them, they just like looking that way.  I guess there are those who found Frankenstein attractive as well.

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One area I do kind of find interesting is the Steam Punk movement.  It sort of mixes the old days with modern times. Though the picture above is supposed to represent a Steam Punk Christmas which I don’t really see.

How to celebrate – Dress up like a punk for the day. (Just remember not to make it permanent!) Create your own punk era. Join a punk rock band and go rock out!

July 22nd National Hammock Day

The hammock is one of the oldest beds in history, maybe even the oldest (other than rock). If mankind came from Africa originally, and that’s what experts seem to believe, then it would make sense that the hammock was in use long before anyone could claim it as their invention.

In the dense heat of the jungle, only a hammock would make sense. It would allow any air flow to come not only from above but from below as well. We already know the hammock was in use by the Native Americans found in the US.

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Hammocks can be made from nearly any material, are simple to put up, and they last forever. They were no stranger to the sailors that discovered America.

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Hammocks were the only practical way to make any sort of bed for all the sailors on board the tiny vessels they sailed. Hammocks could be stored overhead when not in use, making room for the other activities required to keep the ships sailing. The hammocks would gently rest the sailors to sleep, swaying with the ship as it was rocked by the ocean. It is also said, whether it’s true or not I am not sure, that rodents and other creatures tended to stay away from the hammock since they do not like the movement. There were times food was kept in a hammock like sling to avoid creatures that might otherwise make a meal out of it.

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While we view the hammocks as a sign of leisure on warm summer days, much of the rest of the world sees them as their actual bed. It’s hard to resist a hammock in the shade, gently swaying in the breeze, whether it is for a couple of hours or for an entire night.

How to celebrate – Find your own hammock and two trees. Try and make your own hammock from materials you have laying around the house. See if you can spend an entire night on a hammock.

May 14th Archery Day

Archery has been with us since 2800 B.C., or perhaps even longer. It became a major weapon against the Vikings. It helped the raiding Asian tribes drive the Romans back to Rome and it served the Native Americans both as a weapon and as a tool for hunting. The longbow helped bring Knights down to their knees, equaled the power of female warriors against male warriors, and filled page after page of folklore with Elves, Woodsmen and Hunger Games.

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William Tell saved himself, and his son, by splitting an apple in two, using a crossbow to accomplish this feat, proving himself the master archer of all time.

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In other words, archery has been around for a long time, and though it lost popularity for a while it is making a strong comeback today.

It appeared as a sport in the 1900 Olympics, being phased out again after 1920.

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In 1972 it reappeared and has been an event ever since. It may never reach the heights again it once held for mankind but it still holds relevance in the world today.

In fact, NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) is growing daily in popularity.  The program teaches students how to use the weapon as well as how to respect it. The program is operated by Roy Grimes who welcomes any questions you may have about putting such a program in your school.

It takes discipline and skill to become an Archer, lessons that go way beyond the sport itself.  It should be remembered though, that a bow and arrow are considered weapons, and in the right (or wrong) hands can be very deadly.

How to celebrate: Take an archery class. Read the story of William Tell. Watch the Hunger Games.