Break out the new calendars

It’s time to break out the new calendars, and if you are anything like me, it will take more than one of them to keep yourself on track. I know that those of you with iPads, iPhones, etc. have a calendar with you at all times, but I need the real thing, and several of them. Although I have one on my laptop, there’s also one on the refrigerator, another at my desk, and one more in my purse. It’s overkill, I know, but

multiple calenders help to ensure that I’ll wind up where I should be at any given time. Besides, I like going through the process of filling out those calendar squares — it gives a sense of purpose and orderliness to an otherwise helter-skelter life.

There was a time when we received so many free calendars that we ran out of places to put them. The local bank, the insurance man, the electric company — all of them came forth with their versions of the new year’s calendar. While some were actually attractive, you could be sure that all of them had the company name and phone number emblazoned on every page. Not as many companies do this anymore so some of us have to go out and actually pay for the things.

Our family had its own calendar for years. My son and daughter would combine their best shots, take them to one of the copy places and for a fee, have them turned into our very own personalized calendars. This began when my grandchildren were small, and it became a yearly chronicle of their families growing up. In fact, since most of today’s photos now reside inside cameras and computers, these calendars have become a substitute for what used to be called, “The Family Album.”

I notice that now, since our youngest generation has pretty much grown up, there are no more of these calendars. Maybe I should take over the tradition, and instead of having only shots of the rest of the family, I would use just photos of myself. Think of it — 12 closeups of Yours Truly showing my month-by-month journey into old age. I am sure the family would be thrilled to have one of those displayed on their refrigerator or bulletin board!

Speaking of calendars, I actually received a free one in the mail this week, the likes of which you readers living away from our NH seacoast will probably never see. It arrives each year from the Department of Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and sent to those of us living within a certain radius of the Seabrook Nuclear Station.

Right away I knew that despite its 12 tasteful, artistic renderings of area historical scenes, this would not be a warm and fuzzy calendar. In fact, its real purpose is to keep me informed of my escape routes, just in case what they refer to as an “incident” occurs.

While this information will also come in handy in the case of floods, fires, and hurricanes, they can’t fool me. I know what kind of “incident” they are talking about, and in my humble opinion, nuclear events are not just incidents. If I ran into an old friend in the Peterborough Post Office, or turned my ankle coming out of Nonie’s one day, those would be incidents.

Finally, if there was any doubt of what kind of event this calendar was talking about, I had only to turn to the last page. There I found an application form for me to fill out and return — it will entitle me to receive one 130 mg tablet of Potassium iodide to use in the event of an “incident.”

I don’t mean to make light of this situation — in fact, I appreciate that the government has our area’s best interests at heart. I just can’t help wishing that they had skipped this particular calendar issue, especially since this new year has the number 13 in it.

Joann Duncanson, former Peterborough resident now living in Greenland, is the author of “Who Gets the Yellow Bananas?,” co-author of “Breakfast in the Bathtub” and author of her latest book, “Eight Crayons - Poems and Stories by an Almost Sane Woman.” She can be reached via her website www.jsnowduncanson. com or email ourbooks@

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