Welcome to National Brown-Bag-It Day. Always held on May 25, the “brown bag” has been around for a long, long time.

It seems like just yesterday, everyone was “brown-bagging it,” taking their lunch to work or school in a brown paper bag. My, how times have changed. Nowadays, very few people brown-bag it.

If you extend this line of thought to include in the definition of “brown-baggers” people who carry their lunch in a lunch bucket or a lunch pail, back in the day that would include most people.

Then somewhere along the way, brown bagging your lunch grew out of style. Busy, working moms did not have the time in the morning to pack a good lunch. School lunch programs were initiated or expanded, to the point where almost all kids bought their lunch at school. After all, bringing your lunch was not considered “cool.”

Today is the perfect day to go “retro,” if only for a day, and brown-bag your lunch. Nostalgia aside, there are good reasons to brown-bag it.

First of all, it can save a lot of money over buying lunch on a daily basis. Second, homemade foods packed from home always taste better. Third, eating leftovers for lunch saves you from having to eat leftovers for dinner. In addition, Mom or Dad can pack a lunch that is healthier and more nutritious. That’s more than enough good reasons to brown-bag it.

Now if we can only get people to look at brown bagging as being the “cool” thing to do. You know, several schools in our area are having “Lunch on the Lawn” these days. Students invite their families to bring food (I bet some are in brown paper bags.) and join them to eat their lunch outside on the school lawns. Now, that’s pretty “cool.”

Do you know what else goes well in a brown bag? Yep, you guessed it — wine! Tap a keg or crack open a bottle; today is also National Wine Day. People have been drinking wine since the early days of man (and woman). There are plenty of references to wine in the Bible. Wine has thankfully been around for thousands of years.

There are many varieties of grapes, giving us the opportunity to make and enjoy hundreds of different varieties of wines. Made from fermented grapes, wine is easy to make. As a result, there are many home vintners among us.

To celebrate the day, have some wine with your dinner, or go on a winery tour. Feeling inventive? Try making your own wine, or just try a variety that you have never tried before.

Quote for the day: “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.” Quoted from (can you believe this?) Benjamin Franklin.

Sacramento County Fair held at Cal Expo starts tomorrow, May 26, and runs through Monday, May 30. It is a great outing for the family and shows support for agriculture. Agricultural students will be showing breeding livestock (from chickens to cattle and all animals in between), indoor exhibits, equestrian events, photography, etc. And they will be auctioning off the market animals on Sunday, May 29. And industrial art projects (wood, metal, welding, etc.) will be sold at a silent auction during the day also. The proceeds go to the students to further their education.

Shoutout to the matriarch of family! Happy birthday Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Sister, Aunt, Great-Aunt, and — to her friends — Elsie. She will be celebrating her special day on Saturday, May 28. No, you may not know how many years young she is. Please join me in wishing her well. She puts the “spark” in sparkle. She is one of a kind, and we love her.

Flower of the day: Any purple flower

Recipe of the day: German Chocolate Cake

Dates to remember:

May 30 — Memorial Day

June 1 — Liberty Ranch High School graduation

June 2 — School is out for the summer for the local high schools

June 4 — Galt High School graduation

June 14 — Flag Day

June 19 — Father’s Day

June 21 — Summer Solstice

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