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Column: Happiness is bidding farewell to April

Exhale. April is finally over. Nearly everyone in my world seemed overextended last month. So many events, so little room in the schedule.

The busy April calendar reinforced my long-held observation that the two busiest months of the year are April and October.

A theory: People emerge after winter hibernation and realize they need to get that party/event/ fundraiser going for April. The snowbirds are back in town. May is pretty packed, too, but by June everyone is easing into summer mode.

October is busy because people don’t want to do much in summer, especially fundraisers because no one’s in the mood or in town.

So they rev up in September and then throw everything into October. Things slow down again in November, especially toward the end because of the holidays, and then after the holidays comes winter with its hibernation, snowbirding and the postponing of everything until the snow melts, which pushes many things to April, the cruelest month, according to poet T.S. Eliot.

I don’t think he meant because people are overextended, but it works for me.

MAY DAY: In water aerobics class on Wednesday, the first of May, we reminisced about May baskets left on porches in our younger years and the former Catholic school girls among us remembered flower crowning ceremonies in honor of the BVM, as we called Mary, mother of Jesus.

We sang special Mary hymns back in the day, but it took three of us to remember snippets of them. It takes a village now to remember things.

GAS SCAM, PART III: A reader called to report that a gas scammer approached his window while he was parked at the Spokane Federal Credit Union near the Flour Mill in downtown Spokane. Out of gas. Lost my wallet. No one else to ask.

The reader had seen the scammer a month or so before at a North Side grocery store. When he pointed this out, the man scurried away. The reader reported the activity to the credit union folks, and he also reported the scammer to Crime Check. Not a bad idea. He’s hoping the man was caught on the credit union’s security cameras.

Another nag here, especially for older readers: When people, no matter how well-dressed, approach you in a parking lot or on the street and tell you they are out of gas and have an emergency and only need to borrow a few bucks, they are lying. Don’t fall for it.

SPEAKING OF SCAMS: A man who says his name is Kevin is knocking on doors in a north Spokane neighborhood where many elderly people reside asking if the neighborhood is a good one to open a business in. He says he’s a financial planning specialist, but he doesn’t really look the part. He also doesn’t have a business card or brochure. What the heck is he doing? Scoping out homes, perhaps?

CELLPHONE SIRENS: At 3:30 Sunday morning, my cellphone startled me awake with a noise that sounded like the alert signal used to test the emergency broadcast system. It was an Amber Alert out of Kalispell, notifying people about a possible child abduction.

Turns out, it woke up a lot of people in Washington and Montana. Some complained, but according to a Kalispell TV station report “they eventually ended up catching up with the suspects in Washington. In talking to some folks, it was a direct result of that alert that was sent out.”

The 1-year-old boy was abducted by his noncustodial parents and found in Fife, Wash. Is a 3 a.m. alert worth locating a missing child? Yup.

WRITER’S BLOCK: John McPhee, an amazing writer for The New Yorker, is 82 years old. His words seem so effortless on the page. In this week’s magazine, he talks about how difficult writing should be, if you want it to read effortlessly.

“You are working on a first draft and small wonder you’re unhappy. If you lack confidence in setting one word after another and sense that you are stuck in a place from which you will never be set free, if you feel sure that you will never make it and were not cut out to do this, if your prose seems stillborn and you completely lack confidence, you must be a writer.”


• Sinto Walking Club free kick-off breakfast, Tuesday, 9 a.m. Sinto Senior Center, 1124 W. Sinto Ave., Spokane, (509) 327-2861.

• Garden tour to WSU’s Master Gardener’s resource center and the greenhouse at Spokane Community College. Tuesday, May 7, 9:30 a.m., Hillyard Senior Center, 4001 N. Cook, Spokane, (509) 482-0803.

• “ReTool Box” – basic computer instructions, Thursday, 11 a.m. Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., (208) 769-2380.

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