Robin grew up in Franklin County, Missouri, with four brothers and a family of pets named after the characters on the Andy Griffith show. She is mom to three children and grandma to three. She’s been married twice. The second is the better one.

It’s time to make that first significant purchase of 2020. I’ve browsed throughout the holiday season, looking for the perfect calendar.

I know I have a calendar on my phone. But I want one I can see without technology. Call me quaint.

The checklist for the new calendar is short but vital. The squares of each day have to be big enough to write in. Seems basic, but have you tried to write “Dr. Appt, 10:30” in the space occupied by “Victoria Day (Canada)” or “Charles Schulz’ Birthday” printed at the top? I want blank boxes for my own life’s happenings. I don’t need to know the phase of the moon. I just need to know what day it is.

The pictures are the most important criteria. In the old days, most calendars gave you one pastoral scene on the top. The months were attached below by a couple staples; you tore them off as the year passed. Now there is a new picture every month to make the view more exciting.

Our calendar pictures have spanned the spectrum over the years: the syrupy “LOVE IS” couple hugging each other. Inspiring quotations and poems. Sunsets and sunrises. I used to get to choose them each year.

Then, a couple decades ago, the family started to help.

“How about this cool Hanson Brothers calendar? Or this one…it has bright orange and fluorescent peace signs all over?” My daughter’s input and wheedling resulted in years of eye-aching pictures on glossy, overpriced calendars.

Now that she’s grown and in her own home, I am thrilled to have the calendar choice back.

Sadly, John surprised me last year by bringing home the 2019 calendar for the kitchen. Trying, as he always does, to please me while also serving his own needs, he bought what amounted to a 12-page photo shoot of massive deer in various settings and poses. He figured I’d go for it because each month had a Bible verse printed in tiny letters within the grass and hooves, telling of God’s wonderful creation.

John x-ed each day with a fat Sharpie marker, making it clear that his life was kinda empty, but he could at least keep track until it was time to hunt. I scribbled tiny occasions between the black ink triangles.

Now, I get to rip it off the wall and choose a calendar I can enjoy.

I’ve seen dozens of calendars with photos of everything from the Australian Outback to outhouses. I’ve seen snarky, silly ones and ones with sayings that soothe the soul.

I have seen calendars the size of matchbooks and ones large enough to cover the front of the frig. But I haven’t found THE ONE yet. I know it’s out there, just waiting have its empty days filled with our daily lives.

In a few weeks, all the calendars will be on sale. I don’t know if I can wait that long, though. I might get stuck with the one I saw at Dollar Tree (July is missing).

But the day I settle for whatever calendar my creditors send me in the mail? That’s the day I figure I’ve given in and gotten old and miserly. And that can NEVER happen—even though my kids say it’s too late.

John has his marker ready to x his new allotment of 365 days. I already have appointments and birthdays in January. Better find one soon.

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Contact Robin at robinwrites@yahoo.com

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