Think spring! A photo of one of my favorite Forest Park gardens to look ahead to 2013.JACKIE SCHULZ/Contributor

Congratulations to Stacy LaFortune of the park district for being honored as a “Rising Star” by the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. Stacy is our superintendent of recreation, making sure all of the fun programs for Forest Park children run smoothly.

Goodbye to 2012; it’s time to look forward to 2013. Here’s a spring photo to dream about during these gray days.

Here’s what’s coming in the new year. For starters, spring will officially begin on March 20 at 7:02 a.m. Summer starts June 21, 1:04 a.m., autumn begins Sept.22 at 4:44 p.m. and next winter on Dec. 21 at 12:11 p.m.

Daylight Savings Time will start on March 10, 2013 at 2 a.m. and end on Nov. 3 at 2 a.m.

Byzantine New Year 7522 will begin on Sept.14, 2013; Jewish New Year 5744, on Sept. 25. Chinese New Year 4711, Feb. 10.This year is the Year of the Snake. Islamic New Year 1435 starts Nov. 4.

Ash Wednesday will be Feb. 13; Easter, March 31. Eastern Orthodox Ash Wednesday will be March 18 with Orthodox Easter on May 5. Christmas 2013 will be on Wednesday.

Some anniversaries next year are: the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. Henry Ford would be 150 years old. The Battle of Gettysburg was 150 years ago. The first U.S. income tax began 100 years ago. The zipper was patented 100 years ago as was the first crossword puzzle. Kristallnacht occurred 75 years ago.

In 1937, Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (75 years ago) with the aid of 750 artists using 1,500 colors. He was awarded an Oscar along with seven miniature Oscars.

In 2013, Purim will be Feb. 24. Passover will begin on March 26, Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 5 and 6. Yom Kippur will be Sept 15.

Anniversaries observed this last week of December: On Christmas Day, Washington crossed the Delaware River resulting in victory at Trenton, N.J. The 25th is Jimmy Buffett’s birthday; Dec. 26 is the feast of Kwanzaa and the birthday of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung in 1893. Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium on this day in 1898.

On Dec. 27, Johannes Kepler, father of astronomy, was born in 1571; Louis Pasteur in 1822. On Dec. 29, Pablo Casals was born in 1876; Rasputin was assassinated in 1916. Thomas of Canterbury was murdered in the Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. In 1890 the infamous Massacre of Wounded Knee occurred, resulting in the death of 200 American Indians, mostly women and children, by the U.S. Seventh Cavalry.

The 29th is Ted Danson’s birthday. Dec. 30 is the birthday of LeBron James, Sandy Koufax and Tiger Woods (among others). On Dec. 31, Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash on his way to assist survivors of the Nicaraguan earthquake. The year was 1972; John Denver’s birthday was Dec. 31, 1943. He was also killed in a plane crash. Henri Matisse was born on Dec. 31, 1869.

New Year’s Eve in Scotland is a big deal. The Hogmanay Feast is a vital part of the New Year’s Eve celebration. Nobody knows where the name came from, but the superstition is that good luck will come to the family if the first foot over the threshold on the first of the year is that of a dark-haired stranger bearing piece of coal, shortbread or whiskey.

Happy birthday to Chris Harris, Jessica Josetti Leonard, Suzy Bjornson, Angela Spinelli, Tom Ahern, Mario Tricoci, Nick Horvath , Benjamin Heffernan, Butch Jargstorf, Hunter Trieber, Mark Rice, Tom Cannon, Ryan Neff, Lauren Trage. Happy anniversary to Bob and Barbara Sullivan, and Doug and Nancy Deuchler.

A happy, peaceful 2013 to you.

Jackie Schulz

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side...

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