25 January 2013

Observing The Day

A few things for today...

First, our prayers are with all those gathered in Washington DC in support of life today! I was fortunate to be able to participate while going to school back east, but flying in from Alaska for the March for Life would obviously be impractical. If we ever live on the East Coast again... well, I pray that by that time the March will no longer be necessary, because the murder of children will no longer be protected by federal law. If that is not the case, though, I'm sure we would do our best to attend.

Second, happy Danish Squirrel Day! I'm at a loss as to what to make for dinner tonight, because the traditional meal is ribs, but today is a Friday... What? Am I making up holidays again? Maybe a little bit. I think all of my siblings have their own versions of the origins of Danish Squirrel Day, but as I remember it, my mother had a rack of pork ribs sitting out thawing for dinner one late January day when my then-young brother (now in college) came into the kitchen.

"What is that?" he asked. My father, with a perfectly straight face, told him they were squirrel ribs. "That's a big squirrel," the skeptical little boy said. Dad retorted that it was from Denmark, which satisfied my brother, and my sister and I spent the next hour cutting out construction paper squirrels with Danish flags to decorate the kitchen.

Why do we celebrate this every year? I do not know. Possibly because, at this point, we are already four months into winter with at least two and a half to go; it is still dark outside more than half the day; it is always cold (and usually getting colder); and we just need an excuse to do something fun and a little bit silly. None of us remember the exact date of the original, but have gone with the 25th in recent years because it is easy to remember. We talked about changing it this year; the 19th is the (old calendar) feast of the Danish king and martyr St Canute, and some American ecologist has apparently declared the 21st to be National Squirrel Appreciation Day, so either would theoretically make a good candidate. The discussion was extraordinarily unfruitful, though:

Me: What do y'all think of changing Danish Squirrel Day to the 19th?

Sister 1: That sounds good!

Sister 2: St. Canute's feast sounds like something we should celebrate. Hey, you should name your next son Canute!

Mom: I like the 25th because we always forget until the 22nd... and maybe you could make "Canute" a little more Alaskan, like "Kanuti."

Matt: ...

So for the time being, since as far as I can tell there was no consensus and it's already the 25th anyway, Danish Squirrel Day remains January 25. And just to be clear, we aren't expecting, and I don't have any idea why the conversation got hijacked into a discussion of our hypothetical future son's name.

This little guy is enough of a handful all by himself right now.

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