I went to France and Germany in 2017. It was an impromptu trip. Who does that? My guess, usually not the person who never had a desire to travel abroad. Shannon was there for about a month while Peyton (13 at the time) toured with group of like-minded talented singers from Blue Lake Fine Arts camp.
Shannon was alone in France for a week after Tracey and Landon flew back to the States. She had rented an apartment and car, so when she offered the invite, my only cost was my flight, food and souvenirs. What the heck, I’m in. In fact when I look back, I sincerely wish I’d stayed another 2 days. There wasn’t enough time to do all the things I had on my list (the list just miraculously appeared, The Louvre, Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Normandy American Cemetery ) but with 2 days of travel back and forth to enjoy Peyton’s last concert, my sightseeing time was limited. (Note to self: 5 years down the road the cost of staying 2 more days will be negligible but the memories I should have experienced are irreplaceable. Stay the extra 48 hours).
I like calendars. I once did a story about my calendars I’ve kept. They’re kinda like mini-diaries with stuff I jot down, births, deaths, doctor visits, trips, weather oddities like snow showers during May, just snippets of my mundane life. While I was in France I bought an inexpensive calendar for 2018, mostly for the gorgeous monthly pictures of spots I got to see and some that I missed. Did the same thing when I was shopping in Germany. Nice little reminder of my impromptu trip.
After I’d been home a couple months I found the 2 calendars in a bag in my magazine rack. Tore off the plastic and enjoyed the pictures. Smugness for some, “yeah, I’ve been there, and my pictures of Notre Dame are definitely better than this lame shot in the calendar.” Regrets on other months, “why in the world did I fly back on Saturday? That was nuts. Why didn’t I stay and let Shannon take me to Versailles and Normandy? Dumb, dumb, dumb. I’ll never get that opportunity again. Foolish.”
A couple months later, maybe December I got the calendars out again. I go through each month ahead of time where I jot down the stuff I want to remember for the upcoming year. That’s when I noticed something odd about the calendars from Europe. The days of the week are listed in the wrong order. Or maybe not. Since we read from left to right their weeks started with Monday, ending with Sunday. Our calendar week starts with Sunday and end with Saturday which really doesn’t make much sense when you think about it.
It all started in the Bible. God had this monumental work project to complete. And the sundial was ticking. He let His imagination run wild with saltwater fish. I mean a clown fish wiggling around in an anemone, not many could put that one together. There were lions and tigers and bears, oh my, but also aardvarks, anteaters and zebras. Can you just imagine the fun He had with spots and stripes? He invented clouds and wanted them quite specific, cirrus, cumulus, stratus. Not done in your typical New York minute. The sun, which is indeed life sustaining (thanks for the sun God, you could let it shine more often in Michigan when you get a minute), moon for the whole in & out tide thingy, stars for the constellations, a wide variety of trees, annuals and perennials (for those of us who don’t plant every year because we hate it). He went a bit over the top with bugs, butterflies, bees, flies, cockroaches and dung beetles. I bet He cracked a smile more than once during those frenzied 6 days of creation. But one would have to question His wisdom with the whole mosquito fiasco. (Just keeping it real here God).
So 2 things happened recently that have me leaning towards the European way of this calendar business. Remember I illegally latched on to the Sioux Falls mayor’s challenge of walking 100 miles in 100 days, which started on April 20th (a Monday). As I keep track of my weekly mileage, my walk week would end on Sunday night. (Ok, gonna brag. Today is the last day of my fourth week in the challenge and I’ve logged 131 miles of walking).
The second thing is about my music while I walk. It’s old and tiresome, like me. Good music but the same crap day after day, year after year. I just can’t get motivated to check into iTunes and buy some songs. It’s time consuming and spending $1.29 a song takes a huge commitment on my part. Instead I did something that took just as long, but didn’t cost anything. Rearranged most of the songs I already have. Deleted every playlist in my library and started over. Started with my absolute top 25 favorites, allowing only one song from an artist on each list. My goal was a different playlist for each day of the week, and I didn’t want to use shuffle. Thought it would be more fun and better for my head if I tried to memorize (know/anticipate) what song was coming up next. This hasn’t worked very well, I either have too many songs on each list or not enough. One day the last song ended and I assumed it would just start over, but all I got was silence and slower feet. I can’t do anything as I’m walking so I had to stop, get out my phone, start the playlist over. With mace in one hand and my walking stick in the other. No can do.
Who in the world decided our calendar weeks should start with Sunday? It’s more logical to start with Monday, the first day of the work week for most folks? Ending the week with our 2 day weekend of Saturday and Sunday? God didn’t have any issues creating an entire world in a few days did He? Paraphrasing here, “six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the 7th day is the sabbath. In it thou shall not do any work. Almost 70 years old and just figured out Sunday should be the last day of the week on calendars, not the first. Go figure…