Friday, July 21, 2017

Mysteries of the Circle of Life Revealed



Dear George,
Today is my eightieth birthday.  That’s a shock, though there’s not much I can do about it.  Everybody in the world who was born on July 21, 1937, turns eighty today, whether they like it or not.  I find it much easier  to visualize my grandfather at eighty since that’s the last age I remember him at.  Though my father lived to his mid-eighties, I imagine him in his forties (which is who he was when I lived at home as a teenager).  For myself, I’m more likely to think of myself as eighteen than as eighty.  Eighty just seems completely alien.  I know that’s delusional, but sometimes it’s for the best. 

I also get confused about the meaning of my birthday.  At the moment, for example, I tend to think that I’ve just started my eightieth year and consequently am at the very beginning of my eighties.  That’s totally wrong.  The truth of the matter is that I’ve just finished my eightieth year (and consequently I’ve been in my eighties for a full 365 days).  This becomes clear when one thinks of their first birthday.  We don’t start our first year on our first birthday.  Rather, we’ve finished our first year and are beginning the second.  Despite my confusion, this all works out o.k.  I’ve been traumatized recently about turning eighty.  But then I realized I’ve actually completed my entire eightieth year.  Being in my eighties, it turns out, has worked out just fine for a pretty long time. 

Two days ago I was drafting this blog post at the university.  It was ninety degrees out, but I still enjoyed the one-mile walk home at the end of the afternoon.  Our Honda wasn’t in the driveway when I arrived, so I figured that Katja had gone to the grocery store.  I was startled to find her sitting in our sun room.  She was equally startled when I asked where our car was.  We looked out on the street, but it was nowhere to be seen.  Katja returned to the house to call the police, but I said I wanted to check down the block first.  The car, of course, wasn’t down the block.  On my way back it suddenly dawned on me where it was.  I’d driven it to the university, parked it in the garage, left it there, and walked home.  Whew, that was a relief!  The next to last sentence I’d written on my office computer before I’d left was: “I’m glad that I’m still of sound mind at age eighty.”

Here are some other interesting items about being eighty.  

A FEW OF THE TENS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO TURNED EIGHTY THIS MONTH:
7-2-37     Richard Petty, NASCAR champion
7-6-37     Ned Beatty, Actor
7-6-37     Gene Chandler, Singer/songwriter/producer
7-6-37     Vladimir Ashkenazy, Russian pianist/conductor
7-12-37   Bill Cosby, Comedian/TV actor/sexual harasser
7-31-37   U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (Rep., NY, 1981-99)  
(12) [Note: Numbers In parentheses refer to sources at end]

SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED EIGHTY YEARS AGO (July 1937) :
July 1: The Gestapo arrested and imprisoned pastor Martin Niemöller for opposing the Nazis’ state control of German Protestant churches.  
July 2: Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared after taking off from New Guineau during Earhart’s attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world. 
July 7: Japanese forces invaded China in the Battle of Lugou Bridge, often seen as the beginning of World War II in Asia. 
July 11:  Composer George Gershwin died of a brain tumor in L.A. at age 38. 
July 31: The Politburo of the Soviet Union approved an order to execute 75,950 people and send an additional 193,000 to the Gulag.  (12)

OTHER EVENTS WE EIGHTY-YEAR OLDS WENT THROUGH:
The Great Depression (its later years)
World War II
The Atomic Bomb
The Korean War
Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy
McCarthyism
Roy Rogers and Gene Autry

LIFE AND DEATH TRIVIA FOR EIGHTY-YEAR OLDS:
  • 2,203,337 people were born in the U.S. in 1937.  53.7% are alive today.  (1) 
  • The average life expectancy for an 80-year-old person today is 8.9 years.  For females, it’s 9.6 years; for males, 8.1 years.  (7)
  • The rate of cognitive impairment for people ages 75 to 79 is about 5%.  Prevalence rises after age 80, approaching 20% for people 85 and over.  (8)
  • 67% of American adults report good, very good, or excellent health at ages 75-85, as do 57% at ages 85 and over.  (8)
MORE FUN FACTS FOR EIGHTY-YEAR OLDS:
  • In 2013 80-year old Japanese alpinist-skier Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.  (5)
  • The Buddha died at age 80.  Just before his death he delivered his final message, then lay down between two trees.  (4)
  • A UK survey of 300,000 adults found that life satisfaction and happiness were highest in the 65-79 age group though declining in the 80s.  Persons in their 90s were comparable to those in their 20s and 30s.  (3) 
  • 80 is the upper age limit for cardinals to vote in papal elections.  (12)
  • Sweden has a greater percent of residents age eighty and over than any other country (5%).  (10)
A FEW AGE EIGHTY JOKES:
  • So far eighty is the oldest that I’ve ever been. 
  • You know you’ve turned eighty when you look in the mirror and say, “Dad?” 
  • At eighty you’ll never be youthful again, but you can always be immature. 
  • They told me in my youth that I would lose my mind by age eighty.  What they forgot to tell me is that I wouldn’t miss it that much.  
  • Eighty is a wonderful age.  Especially if you’re ninety.  (6, 14)
MY FAVORITE QUOTE ABOUT AGE EIGHTY:
“Inherent in architecture, it involves everything in life so that there is absolutely no end to it.  By the time you’re seventy or eighty, you’re still beginning.  So, that’s the kind of life I’ve preferred to being the expert at forty and dead, you know.”  (John Lautner, architect)  (2)

IS THIS QUOTE REALLY TRUE? 
“I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow.”  (Voltaire)  (2)

DIVERSITY IN OLDER AGE PEOPLE: 
I ran across a statement about diversity in older age from the World Health Organization that I found helpful.  Paraphrased slightly, it said that, with respect to health, there is no such thing as a “typical” older person.  Biological age has only a loose association with chronological age.  Some 80 year-olds are very similar mentally and physically to 20 year-olds.  Other seniors have experienced declines at much younger ages.  There is a very wide range of experiences and needs among older people that public health responses must address.  (11) 

GOOD THINGS TO ME ABOUT BEING EIGHTY
  • I am glad to not be working.  No boss, no strained relations with colleagues, no externally imposed tasks, no deadlines, no performance evaluations, no worries about failure.  (When I contemplated retirement in my late sixties, I was sure that working was preferable.  Now at eighty I realize that I was fooling myself.)
  • I find there is a lot of personal freedom at age eighty.  I can pretty much select stuff each day that I enjoy doing and rarely have to deal with noxious alternatives.  
  • All of these big birthdays involve life transitions which present new challenges and opportunities.  My main goal for my eighties is to age well.  I want to stay in physically fit, and I would like to keep my mind alert and active.  So far, so good.    
Love,
Dave

SOURCES:
(1) www.247wallst.com, “How Many People Are Alive From the Year You Were Born” 
(2) www.brainyquote.com, keyword “age eighty”)
(3) www.cdc.gov, “Health, United States, 2016”
 (4) www.encyclopedia.com, “Buddha”
(5) www.japantimes.co.jp, “Miura oldest to climb Everest but some facts overlooked” 
(6) www.just-one-liners.com, “Age”
(7) www.life-span.healthgrove.com, “80 Year Old Life Expectancy”
(8) www.nia.nih.gov, “Growing Older in America”
(9) www.quora.com, “What Percentage of People Live to the Age of 80?”
(10) www.un.org, “Demographic Profile of the Older Population”
(11) www.who.int, “Ageing and health” [World Health Organization]
(12) www.wikipedia.org, “1937” 
(13) www.wikipedia, “80 (number)”

(14)  www.yuksrus.com, “Old Age Jokes”



Friday, July 14, 2017

Flawless Driving



Dear George,
I noticed recently that my driver’s license was set to expire on my upcoming eightieth birthday.  I was nervous about renewing it because I fantasized that they might put me through a more stringent test than usual.  That wasn’t the case though.  The only hitch was that I swear the clerk showed me Chinese hieroglyphics in my vision exam.  When I drew a blank, she told me to try  again.  I wiped my eyes, and I passed the second time around.  With my new license, I’m all set for another four years, at the end of which I plan to be driving under the auspices of a new president. I’ll just try to stick it out till then.

I’ve been uneasy about driving ever since friends told us that they are banned from renting a car in Great Britain because they are over seventy.  That came as a shock.  I think of the British as much more sensible than Americans, and, if they regard seventy plus as too hazardous to rent a car, they must know something.  To investigate the matter, I did a Google search and ran across a huge AAA-sponsored research study of driver age as it’s related to all police-reported traffic accidents in the U.S. in 1995-96, 2001-2, and 2008-9.*  I’ve summarized some of the data for 2008-9 in the table below.  The table compares age groups of drivers for total number of crashes in 2008-9 (NCrash), the rate of crashes per 10,000 drivers, and death rates per 10,000 drivers in each age group.     

TABLE: Traffic accidents by age group (2008-9)

                 Rate.  Death
               Per 10K  Rate
Age     NCrash drivers Per 10K
16-19   1.8M   1737    2.62
20-29   2.4M   1309    2.40
30-39   3.3M    452    0.70
40-49   1.7M    399    0.64
50-59   1.2M    314    0.60
60-69   0.6M    252    0.62
70-79   0.3M    487    2.79
80+     0.1M    519    3.29
  
The first column (NCrash) shows that younger drivers are involved in a far greater number of crashes than are older drivers.  People in their thirties account for the most total crashes (about 3.3 million), while people in their eighties have the lowest total (about 100,000).  Overall, drivers in their eighties accounted for about 1% of all U.S. traffic accidents in 2008-9.  This, of course, is somewhat misleading since drivers in their 80s are fewer in number and drive fewer miles.  The next column (Rate per 10K) shows the rate of accidents by age group per 10,000 drivers.  Teenage drivers and drivers in their twenties had much higher rates than all of the other age groups.  About one in six teenage drivers had an accident in 2008-9, compared to about one in 20 drivers in their eighties.  Drivers in their seventies and eighties were most similar to drivers in their thirties.  The last column shows higher death rates (per 10,000 drivers) for those in their seventies and eighties.  This isn’t a matter of more accidents, but rather a decreased likelihood of surviving one’s injuries in the oldest age groups.  About three out of every 10,000 drivers in their eighties died in a car crash in 2008-9 — not terrible odds.   

The data clearly contradict my stereotypic fantasy that older drivers risk their lives every time they get behind the wheel.  Even so, I find myself more conscious of safety issues on the road than I was a few decades ago.  I’ve dealt with this recently by saying to myself when I set out to drive somewhere, “Time for flawless driving.”  That has a remarkable effect.  Just saying “flawless driving” to myself every now and then alters my mental state and makes for heightened awareness of the road and conscious attention to what I’m doing.  I’m not only more aware of stuff, but I adhere more carefully to various safety rules when I have “flawless driving” on my mind.  These are rules like: 

  • Keep your eyes on the road.  Don’t be distracted by pretty girls, llamas, or Burma Shave road signs.
  • Keep track of cars behind you and at your sides as well as in front of you.
  • Drive defensively.  Assume other drivers are texting or are heroin addicts. 
  • Allow plenty of time.  There’s usually no reason to be in a rush. 
  • If changing lanes, put your turn signal on and move over gradually. 
  • Stop at the white line at traffic lights — not in the pedestrian crossing. 
  • Pay attention to your spouse when they scream at you.   

The study I mentioned above indicates that about one senior driver (80+) dies in a car crash for every 12.5 million miles driven.  That’s a lot of miles.  I have almost the entire 12.5 million miles to go this year before I reach that statistic.  By staying mentally attuned to “flawless driving,” I would say I have at least 25 million miles to go before I’m done for.  I can live with that.
Love,
Dave


*SOURCE: www.aaafoundation.org, “Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age: United States, 1995-2010”


Saturday, July 8, 2017

What the Gentlemen Seeds at Wimbledon Have to Say



Dear George, 
Katja and I are busy with the first week of Wimbledon.  Sometimes I think we’ve watched Grand Slam tennis forever.  We were zealous fans of Rod Laver and Billie Jean King in the 1970’s, then Borg and McEnroe, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.  For the last fifteen years or so we’ve cheered the most for Roger Federer.   To get more sense of the current top-ranked players, here are selected quotes from the top men’s seeds at Wimbledon (see sources listed at the end).  Where available, I’ve tried to include players’ comments about their own game, their more general attitudes toward tennis, and one or two items about their personal lives.  Here are what the men’s seeds at Wimbledon have had to say.  
Love,
Dave




#1.  Andy Murray (Great Britain, age 30, 45 career titles)

  • My speed is something that has made a difference to my whole career. When I've felt quick and I'm moving well, it makes a huge difference to my entire game. When I feel a bit slower, I end up doing a lot more defending. When I'm a bit quicker to the ball, I feel I can attack a lot more.
  • In tennis, it is not the opponent you fear, it is the failure itself, knowing how near you were but just out of reach. 
  • Contrary to my image, I do have a sense of humour.
  • When I'm at home, I enjoy going go-karting. 



#2.  Novak Djokovic (Serbia, age 30, 68 career titles)

  • I like my groundstrokes, I can say. I like it. That's my game - I'm a groundstroke player and I play pretty aggressive.
  • Tennis is my life, obviously; I need to focus, I need to win. But it's not the only thing. I'm not going to play forever.
  • I want to help children in Serbia and around the world so they can realize their dreams.
  • I am very skinny.



#3.  Roger Federer (Switzerland, age 35, 92 career titles) 

  • My favorite shot is always gonna be the forehand. It used to always be my favorite shot when I was young, so it's the one I've won all the points with.
  • When you do something best in life, you don't really want to give that up - and for me it's tennis.
  • I'm as patient a father as I am on the tennis court. It takes a lot for me to get really upset, but sometimes kids can get you really cross if they really keep bugging you.
  • When I was 12 years old, I was just horrible. My parents were ashamed to watch my matches. I would play on a court at the local club and they would watch from the balcony. They would scream, 'Be quiet' to me and I would scream back, 'Go and have a drink. Leave me alone.' Then we would drive home in a very quiet car. No one speaking to each other.



#4.  Rafael Nadal (Spain, age 31, 73 career titles) 

  • I play each point like my life depends on it.
  • If you don't lose, you cannot enjoy the victories. So I have to accept both things.
  • I am not the most courageous guy in the world outside of the court. Being alone in the dark is something I don't like.
  • I learned during all my career to enjoy suffering.



#5.  Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland, age 32, 16 career titles) 

  • I was a little bit lost in my head after winning a Grand Slam. You're like: 'So what's the next goal? What do you want now? Where do you want to be? It's not a problem if you lose.'
  • As a tennis player you have to get used to losing every week. Unless you win the tournament, you always go home as a loser. But you have to take the positive out of a defeat and go back to work. Improve to fail better.  (azq) 
  • I like my easy life at home. I like to live in Switzerland. I like to be with my wife, with my daughter, to take my daughter to school, to lead a normal life. I try everything possible to keep that.



#6.  Milos Raonic (Canada, age 26, 8 career titles) 

  • When I'm playing well because of my serve and trying to keep points shorter, I don't need to worry about my opponent. All I need to do is focus on myself and have them adjust to me rather than me adjust to them. That's when I play my best tennis.
  • I have an inability after matches are over to sort of switch off and relax completely.
  • The responsibility I have is a great thing, from helping tennis grow in Canada, but also in the future, being able to do stuff through my foundation, helping kids, and helping everyone I can, and really trying to make a difference. It would be a shame to be in the spotlight, have a voice and not do much with it.



#7.  Marin Cilic (Croatia, age 28, 17 career titles) 

  • For me, the most important part is the feeling on the court. Games on clay are a bit different than all the other surfaces. If I’m feeling really well on the court then on all surfaces and at all tournaments I’m very sure in myself and confident that I can beat the best guys. 
  • The most special Slam is Wimbledon, of course. But where I feel the best is Melbourne. And you're happy that you're playing. When you get to the middle of the season, everything is week after week, and it's all routine. But when it's Melbourne in January, you are fresh and you want to play. It's nice.
  • We (Croatians )don’t have good tennis schools. We don’t have too long of a tradition, as you said. We don’t have tennis centers like in bigger countries, France, Spain, that year after year the young ones are going through. Just every several years some youngster just comes up out of nowhere and he’s playing great tennis, and I feel that that’s the most important part that is in every one of us.



#8.  Dominic Thiem (Austria, age 23, 8 career titles) 

  • I was feeling not comfortable all the last two years on grass. I think the biggest difference this year is of course I got a lot of self‑confidence, but the biggest difference I think is my movement. I am much more down and much more stable. You have to stay low. The balls, they stay low. I think I'm moving much better over grass than the last two years.
  • I am very calm, maybe even more quiet than I look on the court. I think that is pretty simple to me to have great relationship with almost all other players. On the court I’m a bit more irascible, but you will never see that I go mad. 
  • A penguin is my favorite animal. They are very funny and they always have a kind smile on their faces. They just always look happy. Seems like they never have any problems. 



#9.  Kei Nishikori (Japan, age 27, 11 career titles)

  • I'm not the loudest guy on the tour, for sure. I'm more calm, I think private, too. I try to show my guts and everything, good energy on the court.
  • I love shopping. Especially I love shopping in London. I like shopping for clothes but I think I have to stay focused on my game.



#10.  Alexander Zverev (Germany, age 20, 4 career titles) 

  • I love playing tennis because it’s one on one sport. You don’t get that in any other sport really. The closest you get is probably boxing. You still have your coaches and your team in your corner telling you what to do and stuff. I think tennis all depends on yourself. And that’s something fantastic about tennis.
  • There are a lot of stories about me being potential number one, about Kyrgios being a potential number one, about Borna Coric, but what I think that shows is there is a very strong group of teenagers or young guys coming up, I think we can all do great.



#11.  Tomas Berdych (Czechoslavakia, age 31, 13 career titles) 

  • I think I can win a slam. That's my main goal, and if I could choose one, then yes, it would have to be Wimbledon. But, honestly, I would take any one of them.
  • Every time I am off the tennis tour, I go back home.



#12.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France, age 32, 15 career titles) 

  • The serve is the only thing you know about yourself when you play tennis. If you make it right, you make it right. Nobody can touch you when you serve. Nobody can disturb you. You have the ball in the hand.
  • I wish I could’ve played 30 years ago. It was the best time to be a tennis player. Older players like Henri Leconte or Yannick Noah always tell me this. They had a lot of fun. Now it’s not possible because it is so professional and there is so much money.





Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Month of July: Cumulus Clouds and Hot Dogs With Relish



Dear George,
There are so many excellent months, it’s hard to know which one is best.  In October the forest changes from greens to yellows and reds.  December, everything is bathed in pure white and you can see your own breath.  In April and May the trees and the spring flowers burst into bloom.  In June the long school year comes to its end.  At this moment, though, I think that July tops them all.  It’s absolutely the best for sunshine and warm weather, swimming, baseball, fireworks, Grand Slam tennis, and yard sales.  It’s also way up there for parades, hours of daylight, playing tennis and golf, picnics, camping, drive-in movies, dog walking, bicycling, jazz at Clifton Plaza, zoo outings, and strawberry ice cream.  Here are some of the other things about July that make it a special month.  
Love,
Dave

JULY FLOWER:  The Water Lily, symbolizing joyfulness, fickleness, and sweetness.  (10) (Note: numbers in parentheses refer to sources at the end.) 
JULY GEM: The ruby, guaranteeing health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.  (10)  
JULY COLOR: Red.  Red party foods for July include apples, red jello, watermelon, red velvet cake, and red beans.  (13) 
JULY ZODIAC SIGNS: Cancer (June 21 - July 22) and Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22).  (15) 

TEN INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT JULY: 
  • July was named after Julius Caesar who was born on July 12, 100 BC.  Before that, this was the fifth month in the Roman calendar and was named Quintilis (“Quint’ meaning five in Latin).  (11) 
  • July is the warmest month of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the coldest month of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.  (15) 
  • Up until the 1700’s the word “July” in English rhymed with “duly” or “truly”, with the stress on the first syllable.  (5) 
  • July is sometimes called the Hay Month because the grass dries out due to a lack of rain and can be made into hay.  (3) 
  • Seven U.S. presidents have died in July — more than any other month.  These were: Thomas Jefferson, July 4, 1826; John Adams, July 4, 1826; James Monroe, July 4, 1831; Zachary Taylor, July 9, 1850; Ulysses S. Grant, July 23, 1885; Martin Van Buren, July 24, 1862; and Andrew Johnson, July 31, 1875. (5) 
  • More countries celebrate their Independence Day in July than in any other month: July 1 in Somalia and in Surinam, July 3 in Belarus, July 4 in the United States, July 5 in Venezuela, July 9 in Argentina and South Sudan, July 10 in the Bahamas, July 20 in Colombia, July 21 in Belgium, July 26 in the Maldives, July 28 in Peru, and July 30 in Vanuatu.  (6)
  • Americans eat approximately 150 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July. (7) 
  • A study of 62 million death certificates found that fatal medication errors peak in the month of July at U.S. teaching hospitals.  This is the month that new medical school graduates report for their residencies.  (1)
  • In 2010 fireworks in the U.S. caused 15,500 reported fires, 8 deaths, and $36 million in property damage. (7) 
  • Each July the Tour de Donut, a 30-mile bike race, is held in Stanton, Illinois.  Riders take 5 minutes off their time for each donut that they eat along the route.  (11) 

TEN PEOPLE BORN IN JULY WHO HAVE MADE MY LIFE BETTER
Larry David, comedian, writer, producer, July 2, 1947
Louis Armstrong, jazz musician, July 4, 1900
Frida Kahlo, painter, July 6, 1907
Arthur Ashe, tennis player, July 10, 1943
Henry David Thoreau, author, July 12, 1817
Ingmar Bergman, film director, July 14, 1918
Ginger Rogers, actress, dancer, July 16, 1911
Ernest Hemingway, author, July 21, 1899
Carl Jung, psychoanalyst, July 26, 1875
Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady, public figure, July 28, 1929. (4, 10) 

THE FOURTH OF JULY.  The Fourth of July holiday, as we know, celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.  Through it, the Continental Congress declared the 13 American colonies a new nation, no longer part of the British Empire.  Massachusetts in 1781 was the first state to recognize July 4 as a state celebration.  In 1938 Congress made it a paid federal holiday.  In my childhood our families shot off fireworks at the Caley’s home on the shore of Green Bay.   (15) 

TEN MORE JULY HOLIDAYS:
World UFO Day (July 2) 
Sidewalk Egg Frying Day (July 4)
International Kissing Day (July 6) 
Teddy Bear Picnic Day (July 10) 
Cheer Up the Lonely Day (July 11) 
Embrace Your Geekness Day (July 13) 
Cow Appreciation Day (July 15) 
Yellow Pig Day (July 17) 
National Talk in an Elevator Day (July 26)
National Sleepy Head Day (Finland) (July 27)  (9, 15) 

FULL MOONS IN JULY: The Full Moon in July is called the Buckmoon in the Northeast, the Ripe Cherry Moon in the Great Plains region, the Giant Cactus Moon in the Southwest, the Killer Whale Moon in Western Canada, and the Hay Moon in Great Britain.  (16)

TEN NEWSWORTHY JULY EVENTS:
July 6, 1942.  Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam.  
July 7, 1947.  An alien spacecraft was reported to have crashed near Roswell, New Mexico.  
July 12, 1962.  The Rolling Stones performed their first concert in London.  
July 16, 1951.  The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was published. 
July 20, 1969.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the Moon. 
July 24, 1974.  The Supreme Court ordered Richard Nixon to surrender the Watergate tapes. 
July 26, 1941.  President Roosevelt ordered the seizure of all Japanese assets in the U.S. 
July 26, 1948.  President Harry Truman signed an executive order ending segregation in the U.S. armed forces.  
July 29, 1981.  Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  
July 30, 1965.  President Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.  (11) 

TEN CHEERY SONGS ABOUT JULY:  Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Bruce Springsteen); Goodbye July (Shayna Leigh); July Flame (Laura Veirs), July Morning (Uriah Heel); July, July (The Decemberists); Mississippi In July (Charlie Worsham); On the Fourth of July (James Taylor); Summer Night In July (Robbie Rivera and Kay); Sunset in July (311); Winter in July (Bomb the Bass)  (12, 14) 

JULY FOLKLORE:  If ant hills are high in July, a hard winter is coming.  (16) 

JULY QUOTE: “My life, I realize suddenly, is July.  Childhood is June, and old age is August, but here it is, July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July.”  (Rick Bass, fiction writer)   (2)

WHAT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO IN JULY.  Having spent five weeks not walking much because of a strained Achilles tendon, I hope to become fully healed in July which means that I will: take hikes at Miami Whitewater Forest, resume line dancing, do the treadmill, walk to and from my office, and go to the Brookville Flea Market.  I also expect to watch lots of Wimbledon in July, celebrate a big birthday, go to the last opera of the season, and maybe even take a trip.  July looks like a great month.  

SOURCES: 
(1) www.abcnews.go.com, “The ‘July Effect’”
(2) www.brainyquotes.com, “July Quotes” 
(3)  www.ducksters.com, “July in History”
(4) www.entourages.com, “Facts about July” 
(5) www.express.co.uk, “Top 10 facts about July” 
(6) www.gone-ta-pott.com, “Facts About the Month of July” 
(7) www.greenblue.org, “Top Five Fun Facts: July”
(8) www.historyplace.com, “This Month in History: July” 
(9) www.mentalfloss.com, “17 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in July” 
(10) www.nobelcom.com, “Fun Facts about the Month of July” 
(11) www.populturemadness.com, “July Trivia” 
(12) www.songfats.com, “Songs with Months in the Title” 
(13) www.webclipart.about.com, “Fun Facts About July”
(14) www.who-sang-that-song.com, “Month Songs: July” 
(15) www.wikipedia.org, “July”
(16) www.witchipedia.com, “July”