(Too) much to observe in November
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.