(Too) much to ob­serve in Novem­ber

Wisconsin Gazette - - Opinion - JAMAKAYA

Most of us know Veter­ans Day and Thanks­giv­ing are the pri­mary na­tional ob­ser­vances in Novem­ber.

When I Googled to find the date for Thanks­giv­ing and the day for Veter­ans Day this month, I was drawn into the Novem­ber vor­tex. The search en­gine of­fered me an ar­ray of other sites pro­mot­ing ob­ser­vances cov­er­ing foods, dis­eases, cul­tural events, agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, fam­ily is­sues and more.

Given that Novem­ber is the month for Thanks­giv­ing feasts, it’s no sur­prise my search in­cluded pro­mo­tions for turkey, spinach, squash, greens, plan­tains, sweet pota­toes, cran­ber­ries and pump­kins. And, of course, Novem­ber also is Na­tional Roast­ing Month.

Among the other food cel­e­bra­tions are my per­sonal fa­vorites: Ge­or­gia Pe­can Month, Peanut But­ter Lovers Month, Raisin Bread Month and Banana Pud­ding Lovers Month. Yum, I can’t wait to get started!

For the dis­senters among us, Novem­ber also is Ve­gan Month and Gluten- Free Aware­ness Month. It is Good Nu­tri­tion Month along with Hunger Aware­ness Month. Many food pantries launch their food col­lec­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion cam­paigns this month. Please con­trib­ute some non­per­ish­able items to your lo­cal pantry.

Physi­cian and health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions have des­ig­nated Novem­ber or weeks within the month for dis­ease aware­ness. It’s a fright­fully long list, which makes me cringe at the prospect of how many dis­ease days and months take up the rest of the cal­en­dar year. Nev­er­the­less, the web­sites rep­re­sent­ing each of these aware­ness events pro­vide an im­por­tant pub­lic ser­vice, with in­for­ma­tion on pre­ven­tion, test­ing and treat­ment.

Among the mal­adies high­lighted in Novem­ber are: Epilepsy Aware­ness Month; Alzheimer’s Dis­ease Month; Chronic Ob­struc­tive Pul­monary Dis­ease Month; Di­a­betes and Di­a­betic Eye Dis­ease Month; Mar­row Aware­ness Month; Lung, Stom­ach and Pan­cre­atic Can­cer Aware­ness Month; Blad­der Health Aware­ness Month; Healthy Skin Month; Sex­ual Health Month; Im­po­tency Month; and the Great Amer­i­can Smoke­out (Nov. 16).

Novem­ber also is Long Term Care and Fam­ily Care­givers Month; Home Care Month; and Hospice and Pal­lia­tive Care Month.

Af­ter learn­ing about these, I was too spooked to see if the month that be­gins with the Dia de los Muer­tos (Day of the Dead) also is Fu­neral Di­rec­tors or Grave­stone Carvers Month.

Fam­ily-re­lated ob­ser­vances in Novem­ber in­clude: Fam­ily Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Month; Na­tional Adop­tion Month; Fam­ily Lit­er­acy Month; and Child Safety Pro­tec­tion Month.

For hob­by­ists, Novem­ber is Na­tional Avi­a­tion His­tory Month and Na­tional Model Rail­road Month. For mu­sic lovers, it is In­ter­na­tional Drum/Per­cus­sion Month — while Nov. 6, the birth­day of in­ven­tor Adolphe Sax, is Sax­o­phone Day.

Novem­ber is Na­tional Novel Writ­ing Month. The event known as “NaNoWriMo” has grown in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years, with thou­sands of in­di­vid­u­als com­mit­ting to write at least 50,000 words of a novel within the month. Writ­ers who reg­is­ter on the NaNoWriMo web­site can up­load their work and get na­tional ex­po­sure and feed­back from fel­low writ­ers.

Per­haps more rel­e­vant as a com­ple­ment to Thanks­giv­ing, Novem­ber is Na­tional Na­tive Amer­i­can Her­itage Month. The web­site for this cul­tural cel­e­bra­tion lists lec­tures and exhibits spon­sored by the Smith­so­nian, Li­brary of Congress and Na­tional Park Ser­vice, with links to other on­line re­sources.

I rec­om­mend the five-episode PBS se­ries We Shall Re­main: Amer­ica Through Na­tive Eyes, which can be found on YouTube. A valu­able guide to tribes in Wis­con­sin is Patty Loew’s book In­dian Na­tions in Wis­con­sin: His­to­ries of En­durance and Re­newal, pub­lished by the Wis­con­sin His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

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