Beth Siegalkoff

Not only does July 1 mark the middle of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, it is also International Joke Day. The unofficial holiday encourages participants to share their funniest and sidesplitting jokes with the world.

While the origins of this rib-tickling holiday are unknown, one can assume that its creators wanted people to spread cheer, laughter and happiness by telling jokes to everyone they meet.

A joke is a written or spoken narrative that entertains or generates laughter among readers or listeners. Humans have been telling jokes for a large part of their history. According to historians, the oldest recorded joke can be traced back to the ancient Sumerians in 1900 B.C. And what was the topic of that first recorded joke? It was about flatulence. Enough said.

Anthropological studies have shown that laughter evolved as a way for humans to signal friendship and as a way to create and strengthen ties with a group. Sounds a little like the beginning of support groups.

Did you know it is believed that, on average, children between the ages of 0 to 4 years laugh 200 to 300 times a day, while adults only laugh 4 to 20 times a day.

If it is true that laughter is the best medicine, there is no time like the present to make people around you laugh out loud by telling them jokes. Or ask a child to tell a joke. They get so tickled with themselves when they tell one, just watching them brings me joy. And being joyful is what it is all about.

Facial masks or coverings are now required in California while out and about and patronizing establishments. Quite possibly, “masks” may be added to the signs, “Shirts and shoes required.” Sounds simple to me. Then again, I am a germ-a-phobe to some extent. I don’t wear shorts to go out to eat, the movies, offices, etc., any public place I might be sitting down. I don’t want my skin touching anything that who knows what has been occupying that seat before me. I don’t want to get graphic, but ewwww comes to mind. And, yes, I do carry disinfectant wipes wherever I go. So, masks are a no-brainer for me. I don’t want you to breathe in my germs and I certainly don’t want to breathe in the germs around me.

On a happier note – Happy birthday to daughter Lisa! She has hit a big milestone this year. Balancing her home life, bunnies and job, along with staving off this virus, has been an everyday challenge, and she handles all of them with her faith, grace and humility. Am I a proud Mama? You bet I am! Have a wonderful day, sweet girl; we love you.

I was asked if I knew when the elementary schools were opening, so I checked their websites for their 20-21 calendars. Hopefully, they will not need to make changes to those calendars. But with changes happening every day, who knows? With exception of New Hope Elementary District, whose calendar wasn’t posted yet, the opening dates are listed in the “Dates to Remember” below.

Recipe of the day: Ice Cream Pie; Flower of the day: Wildflowers

Dates to remember:

Saturday, July 4 – Independence Day

Monday, Aug. 10 – Galt high school district first day of school

Thursday, Aug. 13 – Galt elementary district first day of school

Monday, Aug. 17 – Arcohe elementary district first day of school

Thursday, Aug, 20 – Oak View Elementary District first day of school

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.