It is not readily obvious from the headlines and newscasts, but Americans love to celebrate. We have parades at Easter, Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Independence Day, and for college bowl games. We begin preparing to celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving. Americans celebrate presidents, historical events, birthdays, mothers and fathers, graduations and many other occasions,

If you cannot think of a reason to celebrate, find a "days of the year" calendar website on the internet. There you will find something to celebrate every day, along with special monthly emphases. Did you know that the month of August is Water Quality Month, Romance Awareness Month, Fishing Month, and Happiness Happens Month?

In 1982 under the direction of President Ronald Reagan, August was also commissioned as "Peach Month." With Georgia being nicknamed "The Peach State," we like the idea of Peach Month! Interestingly, it is not a Georgia city, but Johnston, South Carolina, that has earned the claim to Peach Capital of the World. Only half the size of Georgia, South Carolina actually grows more peaches.

Browsing the internet, I found as many as 16 health benefits of peaches, including skin care, weight loss, reduction of hair loss, calming an upset stomach, and more. In China, peach tea is used as a kidney cleansing agent.

Many of you are like me, however, and prefer your peaches in cobbler, jam, ice cream, and milk shakes. While I hold to the idea that a peach is a peach is a peach, my wife would warn me that peaches the way I prefer them lose most of their nutritional value in the process.

In 1984 Stevie Wonder wrote, performed, and released a song that quickly rose to number one on Billboards Top 100. It is a song that celebrates love, not because it is New Years, or Valentine's Day, or springtime, or a wedding day, or Halloween, or Christmas; "I just called to say I love you."

We do very well on special occasions (and so do the stores and businesses!), and too often our extravagance is overdone. Now, I have no grudge against special days. In fact, I enjoy "excuses" to buy gifts and sit down to special dinners. But the truth is that EVERYDAY should be a celebration of life and of those persons near and dear to our hearts.

I am grateful when my family honors me on my birthday and Father's Day with the obligatory card or gift. However, receiving a text message from one of my kids in the middle of an ordinary day is really quite special: "I love you, dad! Hope you are having a great day!" To be remembered on a special occasion is great; to be remembered in the midst of the ordinary daily grind is truly awesome.

So, on your way home from work tomorrow, make a quick stop and pick up a creamy peach milkshake and surprise your sweetheart with that special treat. Every day is a great day to celebrate your life and the people you love.

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