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There are all kinds of reasons we might choose to celebrate the month that begins today.

In this part of the country, May is the month it might stop raining all the time. I say 'might' because it might also keep raining until mid-July. You just never know.

When I was little, the beginning of May was celebrated by giddy high school kids who would erect a big pole in the front yard of the school, tie long ribbons to the top of it and then dance around it like fairies. I'm not sure why they did this, but they usually let us out of school to watch it, so I was pretty much in favor of it.

May also happens to be the month I celebrate two of the most important events of my life.

One is my marriage to The Other Person Who Lives at Our House (TOPWLAOH), 41 years ago.

The other is my graduation from Navy boot camp on May 5 (also 41 years ago), which Americans and Mexicans everywhere now commemorate by drinking tequila, shooting pistolas and by doing crazy dancing in real big hats.

The trouble is, individuals and organizations all around the country have decided that they, too, would like a piece of this frisky May action, so many of them have delegated May as their special month. Here are a few examples.

May is National Salad Month. It's also National Bike Month. And National Barbecue Month.

Mmmm, barbecue.

These are all worthwhile things to pause and appreciate, of course, but there are more. Lots more.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are on the threshold of National Arthritis Month, Older Americans Month, Salsa Month, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, Correct Posture Month, Strawberry Month, Better Sleep Month, Get Caught Reading Month, Gifts From the Garden Month, Healthy Vision Month, Clean Air Month, Hepatitis Awareness Month, Mental Health Month, Egg Month, Allergy Awareness Month, Beef Month, Melanoma /Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, Asthma Month, Good Car Keeping Month and Vinegar Month.

These, of course, are all worthwhile things to celebrate. Nothing in that list that you can get excited about? How about National Hamburger Month? Mmmm, hamburgers. No? OK.

Well, I will have you know that May is National Foster Care Month. This is important. In our nation today, there are 523,000 children in foster care.

It's also National Museum Month. Museums, too, are important.

It's National Drug Court Month, a time to honor drug court graduates and those who have helped them break their addictions. Read my lips: im-por-tant.

May is National History Month. Hey, it doesn't get much more important than that, huh? Turn your back on history and you're doomed to repeat it (or something like that).

And, hey, speaking of repeating history, it's National Military Appreciation Month. I remember, from my own time in the service in the 1960s, how unappreciated one can feel by civilians who not only don't have that experience in common but may not approve of what their leaders do with that military. If nothing else, let's try to distinguish between the men and women who choose to serve their country and the boobs in Washington who send them to far-off places where they might be killed - and appreciate the former.

OK, because this is a family newspaper, I will not touch this topic with a 10-foot pole, but May is not only National Masturbation Month, it's also National Orgasm Month.

I know. Eeeeeewwwwww.

OK, there's got to be something there that you, too, can get excited about. If not, it's probably your fault because I've given you plenty of material to work with.

Happy May.

Former managing editor of the Beaverton Valley Times and The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, Mikel Kelly handles special sections and contributes a regular column.

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