What's to Love About February?

I'm ready to do some month bashing, and I'd like to start with the one we are currently in. For years I thought January was the bad guy. There was all that resolution stuff and reassessing your life to rid yourself of the bad habits you loved. The tax man was breathing down your neck as Christmas bills arrived. Your power bill went up as your cash flow went down. As it turns out, these things were really not all that bad compared to the second month of the year.

February has all of these features mentioned above and it's harder to spell. It's the month a relative of the furry marmot is heralded as and by weather men while his sleepy little eyes are exposed to hundreds of people by a man in a tall hat back East. Folks love the little critter and can hardly wait to see if he has a shadow or not. He's in mid air when we see him. Shadow? I never got this part. Here in Oregon no one cares about the shadows of thousands of moles who emerge from piles of dirt on the very same day. I've only seen one of these tiny furry things and he wasn't predicting weather. He was grinning as he surveyed his night's work.

February is also about LOVE and all of its many splendored things. For me Valentine's Day was the most anticipated holiday of childhood. I loved getting and giving those little paper valentines. I loved the part where we each made little mail boxes for our desks and decorated them. I loved the cupcakes or cookies our Mom's brought. That was in the good old days before the Health Department decided schools couldn't have homemade food because it might poison all of us. It's a good thing we didn't eat Romaine lettuce back then.

As an adult, Valentine's Day has kind of lost its luster for me. Mr. S is not a fan of this day so our commercial show of love has been left to me. This creates a danger zone for our budget because I have to show him love for both of us. One year I got him a chipper shredder. He loved it so much that I had to guard the wooden furniture. Another year he got a super duper electric weed eater. When he cut the cord in half, he got a superdy-duperdy weed eater with a gas engine.

One year I took him to Mexico. He fought the whole way and then didn't want to come home. What started with a four-day-and-three-night special turned in to a twenty year habit. Love hurts and this love pretty much took all of our retirement savings but we sure had a good time for all those years and Valentine's Day was not mentioned again.

Now, on the positive side of this month, I've found some things to celebrate. According to my Cow Yoga calendar February 5 is also Chinese New Year. You will be pleased to know that this is the Year of the Pig. Pigs are smarter than the average animal and are made of tasty bits. They should be celebrated. Things are looking up for February on the 18th when we celebrate President's Day, which is also called Family Day in many countries and is often a day working people can spend a day at home.

Along with October, February is a month which celebrates African American History. Oregon Public Broadcasting has a special program on Feb. 25 called Oregon's Black Pioneers. The older I get, the more I find that I am clueless about the role African Americans played in the formation of this state and this country. I'll give February bonus points for the chance to learn the history of our people, our country and our state.

Now, back to the real reason we have February. Despite the rain, high winds, snow and other reminders that it's not one of those months you work in your flower beds, it's all about love and filling space between January and March.

I'd like to help out by offering up a few ideas to get through this month. If you didn't send them, it's too late to send Valentine cards so forget that. Try to erase your guilt with phone calls. Don't wait. It might be awkward to call someone and wish them Happy President's Day so I'd go for Valentine's. Keep calling until you feel like you need chocolate or flowers to help you feel better. Not to worry, they will be on sale. Ah yes... buy heart-shaped chocolate and semi-wilted flowers for yourself and all will be well. Why? March is just around the corner and it has lions and lambs...

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