Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March--Thoughts and Suggestions

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The first day of a new month is a good time to work on your family stories. What was March like when you were growing up? Those who live in coastal areas will have different memories than people who live in the mountains in the northern areas of our country.

The economic status, your ethnic heritage and more will influence the stories you write to include in your Family Memories Book. If you've never started to fill a book with your memories, today is the perfect time to begin. Family stories are told around a holiday table when families gather but they are often never written. Over the years, those special story moments will be lost. The stories you actually write now will be read by family members you may never meet--those who come as children of your grandchildren and beyond.

But let's get back to March. The list of questions below might trigger your memory to help you begin:
  • What was the weather like during March where you grew up?
  • What special foods did your family eat in March?
  • Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
  • Did you celebrate any other special days in March?
  • What theme did your teachers use for billboards in March?
  • What kinds of flowers showed up in March?
  • Did you, or any family member, have a March birthday?
  • Did anything memorable happen to you during March?
  • What sports/games did you play in March?
  • What kind of clothing did you wear in March?
  • Did your mother start spring cleaning in March?
Here's a short slice of life piece I wrote in 2012 on the month of March in Kansas, where I live.

Musing On March

Most people know that old saying "If March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb." And it works in reverse, as well.

Today in Kansas, March slipped in like a sweet little lamb. She brought clear skies, sunshine and a temperature to reach 68 by mid-afternoon. What bliss after one of the worst winters Kansas has had in a long, long time.

Along with all those good things, March winds are going to blow today. They'll whip through the trees, which are still recovering from the devastation of the December ice storm. The wind will roll across the Flint Hills with glee, bending the prairie grasses like pieces of cooked pasta. The wind will skip across rivers, stir up the sand traps on golf courses, create havoc with hairdos and swirl dirt piles when found. It doesn't matter a bit, however, because those south winds bring warm air from the gulf to our state. So, blow wind, blow. Send kites dipping and dancing through the sky.

Our town has a St. Patrick's Day celebration that grows larger every year. A Blarney Breakfast, races for runners and walkers, and plenty of green beer highlight the day in an area near the Kansas State University campus. Irish music blares through loudspeakers, and on that particular Saturday, everybody is Irish! As for me, I'm Irish every day--at least half my heritage is from that green, green land.

This year, we also celebrate Easter in March, a holiday that is both religious and commercial. Whether you celebrate one part of both, it's an important part of the year. For me, Holy Week reigns, and I plan the rest of my activities around church services on Thursday, Friday and Sunday of that week. But I love the commercial part, too, the many decorations and early spring flowers, trees budding, lambs’ births--all those things that tell of rebirth and awakening. But don't all those things stem from the Easter story of the Resurrection? For me, they do.

One more thing March may bring is another snowstorm or possibly another ice storm. Kansas almost always gets snow at least once in this third month of the year. I remember one bad ice storm that frosted trees and shrubs in the middle of March one year. The best part about March snow or ice is that it rarely lasts more than one day.

Welcome March!

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