Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ode to February

By Annette Dashofy

Good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday. No big surprise there. And I’m not going to launch into my usual round of curses on groundhogs, because it never works. We’re going to have to face it. Shadow or not, we still have six weeks of crappy weather ahead of us.

Around here, folks start getting a glazed look in their eyes in February. I think the main reason someone decided to plunk Valentine’s Day smack in the middle of the month was so we wouldn’t all go postal on each other. Instead, we bribe those closest to us (and therefore, those who are the most annoyed with us) with gifts of chocolate and flowers and trinkets. Just a little something to tide us over to blue skies and sunshine.

I’m sure the sun comes out somewhere in February, but not in southwestern Pennsylvania. Here, the gray clouds roll in shortly after Thanksgiving and stay until May.

Perhaps I exaggerate. But not much.

Worse, though, than the clouds in February, is the dirt. February is a dirty month. January’s snow has melted into grungy gray mounds along the highways. Cars are all the same color: Road Salt. No use washing them. It rains or snows (or both) most days, so they’ll just get slopped up again.

And of course, there are the potholes. It must be February. The potholes are in bloom! My husband recently informed me that my car is in desperate need of an alignment. I laughed. Why in the world would I want to spend the money on that NOW? It would be undone two miles down the road with the first crater I smacked into.

Alignments and car washes have to wait until spring. Which is still six weeks away.

There are only two good things about February as far as I can tell.
1.) It means we survived January.
2.) It’s the shortest month.

Bring on March!


PatRemick said...

Annette -- you have very eloquently captured my feelings about February in New England (think even more dirty snow and potholes). I hate it. But it never occurred to me that's the reason for Valentine's Day. Makes a lot of sense.... Although I can find one other good thing about February -- President's Day, which means a day off for those of us who labor in government!

Joyce Tremel said...

Hey, we're supposed to get sunshine in Pittsburgh tomorrow!!! If you can trust the weatherman, that is.

Pat, my hubby still can't get used to having those holidays off. He worked in the private sector for over 30 years where he was lucky if he got to take any of his vacation days. Now it's like, "What do you mean I get another day off???"

Alan Orloff said...

I, too, am a fellow February hater. Why don't we start a movement to supersize January and March and just eliminate February? Think that would help?

Annette said...

Pat, Joyce, I know nothing about days off. In fact, I'm teaching a yoga workshop to a group of special needs teachers on Presidents' Day because the KIDS have off.

Alan, January and March already seem to go on endlessly (as does February) so it probably wouldn't matter a bit to just forget the middle month.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

So... Annette, what you're saying is,

"If you have to die, February is the best month for it."

Sorry had to plug the contest.

Annette said...

No, Will, I'm not saying that at all. I definitely DON'T want to die in February. I want to die doing something fun or in my sleep at a ripe old age after a night of passion. (Heh heh).

What I AM saying is that February is the month in which I'm most likely to go balistic and develop homicidal tendancies.

Now THERE is your plug for the contest. ;-)

Jemi Fraser said...

For a short month, February can be a loooooong one! We don't have a chance of our snow melting until at least the middle of March - usually the end or beginning of April. It can be a long stretch.

queenofmean said...

I don't care for January or February. All the hoopla from the holidays has died down. It's too cold & messy to spend any time outside. And there's not enough sunshine!
And you're right about the potholes! They seem to be popping up all over the place.

Jan said...

Where do I post an entry for the February flash fiction contest?

Sunshine, in February, I am not sure that is possible here in northwestern PA??

Annette said...

Jan, the contest gets started on Friday.

Joyce Tremel said...

Jan, click the link for the post up at the top of the page for the contest and post your story in the comments section. (Remember to begin your story with the line, "If you have to die, February is the best month for it.")

The other contest where you can guess which Stiff wrote what story will begin on Friday.

Norma said...

Hi Annette,
I'm a day late, but did you know Octara (which probably isn't spelled correctly) Orphie in Quarryville never saw his shadow? So, since Quarryville is so close to me, spring should be here immediately - right after the upcoming big snow tomorrow!

Annette said...

Norma, he probably didn't have four thousand television film crews aiming big lights at him.