May birthdays, motorcycles and Kentucky Derby picks

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May already? It comes as no surprise to longtime readers or people who know me that May is my favorite month. What’s not to love about turning the corner on a soggy spring, planting flowers and seeing those first buds and blossoms? Getting outside without a coat or sweater, the wonderful aroma of fresh-mowed lawns and the breeze in your face on a bike or with the convertible top down. Too early for biting bugs to be out but the birds are abundant and happy. And birthdays ... yes, birthdays. I love birthdays, even when they’re not mine — but May happens to be the month of my birth, and through the years, I’ve gathered an abundance of names of people who share this birth month.

No matter the month of your birth, birthdays are the one thing we all have in common. That one day of the year when we can embrace the simple fact that we’re alive and — with any luck at all — surrounded by family and friends. I’ll never tire of celebrating life and the blessings of these past almost 66 years!

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May is also Motorcycle Awareness Month, although except for snowy winter months, we need to always be alert for the two-wheeled vehicles that share the roadways. It could be a matter of life or death for both motorcyclists and motorists to be aware of their surroundings. Checking blind spots, mirrors and using turn signals are necessary when changing lanes and when passing.

My husband has owned and ridden a motorcycle for decades. We have a joke, that’s not really a joke, that he needs to ride with the thought that every single motorist is not paying attention, impaired or distracted. He takes responsibility for riding with caution and never assuming that a motorist is paying attention, no matter if he has the right-of-way.

Those of us who are driving on four wheels do need to pay a little extra attention now that the weather has warmed up and the motorcycles are coming out of winter storage. Motorcycle safety is a two-way street.

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Since I was a little girl and my grandma would take me to Santa Anita to “see the ponies run,” I’ve been a big fan of the Kentucky Derby. Last year my sister, Ronna, picked out a fancy derby hat for me when she was visiting Churchill Downs in Louisville, so I’m ready for Saturday. My grandma said to always bet on a gray since there were so few gray thoroughbreds. So color, name and long shot are how I choose my favorite on Derby Day. Which is a real giveaway that I’m not a professional handicapper.

In the 20-horse field for the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby there’s nary a gray horse to be found. So I’m going for No. 8, Lone Sailor, for my grandson serving in the Navy. It’s a 50-1 long shot so right up my alley.

We’ll see if I can parlay a $2 bet into a windfall. I’m thinking the odds might be better with the Powerball.

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Those in the know are putting out the hummingbird feeders now, as the little darlings are in the process of their spring migration and will be grateful for an abundant food supply. Not many flowers in bloom here in this late arriving spring season, so we put ours out this weekend. So far no sighting of the pretty little hummers at our Post Falls house, but others in the area have welcomed the visitors home.

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Things to Do: Tonight the Post Falls Lions Club hosts an open house at the Post Falls Senior Center from 6:30-8.

Thursday at 4 p.m. Kootenai County Young Professionals Volunteer Fair at Silver Lake Mall.

On Friday the Coeur d’Alene Arts Association presents the 18th annual Artist’s Showcase, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Free parking and admission.

Saturday Seeds of Change plant sale at New Vision Alternative School in Post Falls at 9 a.m. to noon. All plants grown by students and just $1 each.

Motorcycle Awareness Rally with ABATE of North Idaho and Idaho STAR, 10 a.m. Kootenai County Courthouse at the R.D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza followed by a motorcycle parade on Sherman Avenue at 11 a.m.

The Blazen Divas Kentucky Derby Party at the Hayden Lake Country Club is from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

From 9 to 4 p.m. on Saturday is the Artisan Fair and Flea Market at the Jacklin Building, Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Admission $3.

On Saturday at 7 p.m., the 30th Post Falls Distinguished Young Women scholarship program at Post Falls High School.

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Happy Birthday today to Becca Atkinson (13!), John DeLuca, Jan Bryant, Miranda Hamilton, Tre Lewis and Randy Hurt. Tomorrow Randy Bates, Tracy Flaa, Peter Willits, John Hayes, Robbie Canfield, Brooke Harris and Becky Camarata are putting on their party hats. On Friday Kay Poland, Kenley Link, Jeanette Bangs, Garrett Brown, Scott Hayden, Rand Wichman, Brittany Smith and Scott Jacobson take another trip around the sun. Happy Cinco de Mayo birthdays to Faith Brodwater, Robert Cliff, Ben Miller, Joni McCroury, Carol Toomy, Teri Farr, Angela Erickson (50!) and Andy Fischbacher. On Sunday Dusty Flamand, Tamatha Dougal, Kristi Pope (60!), Connie Clark, Steve Eachon, Jeff Rhodes, Meagan Guerreo, Dave Tester, Jerry Shriner, Karen Ouren and Kathy Sims celebrate another year. Warren Merritt (60!), Kris Phillips, Chris Moore, Randy Williams, Ruby Johnson (50!), Pete Shepperd, Kathie Brack, Lisa Aitken, Rob Rinard, Jr., Rena Pruitt, Ramona Kaiser, David Dasher (70!) and Phil Pyseky blow out the candles on May 7. Wish Olivia Backs, Chalee Atkinson (18!), Matt Barkley, Stephie Clinton, Julie Adamchak, Tiffany Teal, Dave Walker, Lindsey Sales, Nic Riorden, Jared Raynor and Mary Rednour a happy birthday on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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