Out of curiosity I looked up the origin of April Fool's Day. There is some debate about the true origins of this day but I'm going to adopt today as New Year's Day. In 1582, when France adopted the reformed (Gregorian) calendar, some people didn't accept the shift from April 1 to January 1 and some people didn't hear about the change. These traditionalist were made fun of and sent on fool's errands. Over time this practice spread across Europe. Historians who argue with this theory point to England where the new calendar wasn't adopted until much later and the celebration of All Fool's Day preceded the shift. Be that as it may, at least for this year I am adopting April 1 as my New Year's Day. Call me a fool if you must. On New Year's Eve (yesterday, March 31) I took my camera with me on my walk through my neighborhood as well as on the greenway trail which is closest to my house. I planned to walk briskly through my neighborhood and concentrate on photographs on part of the greenway trail. As it turned out I ended up taking a lot more pictures of my neighbors' trees and gardens than I did on the trail. So much more going on out in the sunnier neighborhood. We continue to be weeks and perhaps a full month ahead of schedule in terms of what's blooming and what's peaking up out of the dirt. The woods are a bit slower but the birds were on parade all along the trail. Robins posed for me as I snapped their picture. I heard them full force this morning singing out Happy New Year! We're still behind on rain so I know they'll be dancing in the rain soon if the forecast holds. I am starting to get spring fever although I suspect my big flurry of activity inside my house will start in mid May when my daughter leaves for law school. She graduated from college in December and has been living with me for the first time since she went to Baltimore where she started college in 2003. This time she's moving to the Midwest and will begin during the summer session her school will hold for first year law students who want to get a jump on the year. She will probably take advantage next summer of one of their summer abroad study opportunities which include Geneva, the Hauge, and Istanbul. Since international law is one of her particular areas of interest, I'm sure it will be good for her to do one of their summer study abroad programs. She earned an academic scholarship to Law School which gives her the flexibility to take advantage of some of the summer programs abroad. This will be the biggest move she's made thus far since her undergraduate years were only a few states north of where I live. She went to college on an academic scholarship which included a semester of study abroad and she also took advantage of a winter course, during winter break, in France. Her full semester of study abroad her junior year of college was in Ireland. She also did a short exchange trip during high school which was in Germany and they had a short side trip to the Czech Republic. During that trip I went for a long weekend to take her to Paris on the train from Ulm. Now that I think about it the summer of her freshman year of high school she went on a People to People trip which included, England, Ireland and Wales. It's funny how much more traveled my daughter is than I am. I went to Europe the summer of 1974 and then joined my daughter briefly in Europe in 2001 but those are the only times I've been outside the United States. I'm glad my daughter is so adventurous and independent although I'll admit to a few security issues. I want her to be safe and adventurous. I want it all. Yep, that's about the size of it.