Happy April Fools’ Day! We don’t actually know where this holiday originated but we do know there is one place that has an actual festival and celebrates April Fools’ Day as a real holiday. I’ve learned more about Ukraine in the last six weeks than I’ve ever known, but this morning I was saddened to see that Odessa, Ukraine is going to be missing a wonderful hilarious celebration this year due to the war. The festival, Humorina, was born when the Soviets censored a televised improvisational comedy competition in 1972. A team from Odessa was in the lead, so local officials granted them the right to hold a festival on April 1. It has become a popular, boisterous annual celebration.
I woke up this morning and my yard was snow-covered with snowflakes filling up the sky. Winter is not over in Michigan, and April Fools’ Day is here to make sure we know it. The joke is on all of us who have been complaining and moaning about the cold since the first 60ish degree day in late February. Now we all know very well it doesn’t really warm up around here until the first week of May at the earliest. That doesn’t stop the wishing and the groaning at every 30-degree weather forecast. We are definitely April Fools.
Today I’m signing the papers to refinance my house. I beat the interest rate hike, and I’m super excited about that. But it’s much more than a money-saving opportunity. It’s a commitment to stay here in this home where I’ve lived longer than I’ve ever lived in any home in my adult life. I was hoping to sell and buy a condo or even move around the country with a new job as a result of my big career change over the last couple years. But with the housing market what it is and the securing of a great new job in this area, I decided to stay in my little St. Joseph bungalow exactly one mile from the sands of Lake Michigan. It feels good to not be in limbo. I’m here. And that’s no April Fools.
I’m not a big prankster, and I definitely don’t like pranks that humiliate others or otherwise make another person the butt of a joke. But I do like to laugh, and there is a lot to laugh about if you look around you. The fact that I opened the door to a snowstorm this morning made me giggle. Just when you think you have things figured out, life inserts a surprising punch line. So I think I’ll take a lesson from Odessa and make today my own little festival of laughter. They sadly may not be laughing in Odessa today, but we can support those lighthearted people by lightening the mood all over the world and by lighting up our hearts -and hopefully theirs – for a brief moment of laughter.
Happy April Fools Day, y’all. Make a fool of yourself today. I’ll laugh with you.