Have I ever mentioned to y’all how much I dislike February?
Well, probably not since this time last year, so I’ll review.
By the time February rolls around, winter, even a Texas winter, has alternately chilled, thawed and iced my bones so many times that my senses get numb to even the most pronounced change in temperatures. I never know whether to pack an overcoat or Bermuda shorts, so that’s what I usually do.
Consider: the first Saturday in February I sat in my boat most of the day in balmy spring-like temperatures, looking for fish that apparently had not gotten the word that spring had arrived six weeks earlier than usual. A week later I sat in my den, fireplace roaring, curled up with a novel, waiting for the first flake to come. My son got that honor, so we watched basketball all afternoon, when we weren’t napping, reading or trying to convince the other to walk to the kitchen for more snacks.
That’s the way it is with February. Early on, it promises so much, with or without the groundhog fable, and delivers so little. It uses warm, balmy, sunny days to remind us that spring is only six weeks away, and then turns like a cornered rat to plague us with cold, miserable, icy weather to remind us that spring is, indeed, six weeks away.
By February, the Super Bowl has become merely a distant memory. Who won, anyway? Baseball is still too far off to warrant even remote interest. The Final Four looms distantly on the horizon. And I don’t understand hockey, which seems to have been made for February.
We get Valentines Day, slap in the middle of the month, and thanks for reminding me of that. I gotta get a card. I suppose I could take my wife dancing, but she’s seen me dance and doesn’t want the public to.
For many years, a rumor persisted in Farm Press offices that I did not work in February. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The mere act of getting out of bed represents intense toil.
All of this harkens back to a simpler time in my life, to my first job in journalism, a reporter/ad salesman/office flunkie for my hometown newspaper. My income, such as it was, consisted of a base salary plus commissions on ad sales. In February, ad sales dried up like a wad of spit in a Texas windstorm. Consequently, so did my income. So did my spirits. Scars remain.
I have to change my attitude, however. As of last February, I do have something to look forward to in February: my grandson Aaron’s birthday. He’s one this week. And have I told y’all how smart he is and how handsome and how much he seems to resemble his grandfather? I have pictures.