Anne Coburn-Griffis
Anne Coburn-Griffis

Happy National Joe Day! If your name is Joe, this is your day to celebrate the label your parents gave you somewhere around the day that you first breathed cool air. Even if you were born in August, chances your first lungful was cooler than that of the atmosphere from whence you came moments before. If your name isn’t Joe, you can either ask yourself to be called Joe for a few hours or do what I do: drink lots of coffee and assume that the day is named in honor of a cuppa joe.

No offense to Joe, but I’m really looking forward to Thursday as it’s National Something on a Stick Day. Practically anything comes on a stick these days. Celebrate the day traditionally with popsicles and fudgesicles. Or come through the freezer case to plan three square stuck meals. Corn dogs are mass marketed. They’re even available in a vegetarian variety—“not dogs”—encased in a delicious cornbread blanket. Skewer a few cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce and croutons for salad. Jam a toothpick in a piece of cheesecake and pretend the Putnam County Fair isn’t four months and 40 to 50 degrees F in the future and, Voila! You have yourself a party.

The tree branches outside are offering stickloads of munchies for returning birds, as well as the old home guard that overwintered in their fluffy feathered sweaters. Pussy willows are budding with tiny soft paws all up and down their branches. I saw a dust devil of small flies in a Road 5 field on Monday; miniscule gnats defying the frosty start to the week. There are a few wasps crawling slowly along the curtain rod here, driving the cats into a near frenzy of warming weather ecstasy. Makes even the winteriest bear want to park a chair in a sunny window and soak up a double espresso shot of today.