There’s a reason they put Valentine’s Day in between Christmas and Spring. Besides a ripe opportunity to get people to spend guilt money on love relationships and such, it had to be so we wouldn’t lose our minds in the frozen tundra of winter.

My yankee friends laugh, but it feels colder here than in Alaska (so says my Alaskan neighbor Jackie) because of the high humidity. I think, too, our wild temperature swings keep us from ever really acclimating to winter. We keep getting whiffs of balmy weather and getting our hopes up. February 2 is looming and I’m really hoping for a short winter. Ken and I desperately need to prune the old fig tree in the yard. I did it a few years back and thought I’d done killed the thing, but it came back and tried to take over the house. It might need a little humility and now’s the time, if I can just muster up some winter courage. It’s unbelievable how much you can whine, in this day of every sort of convenience.

Ken and I have our 40th wedding anniversary coming up in a few weeks (we had a major winter distraction all those years ago) and decided to do a little staycation rather than a big trip. We’re staying in dear ole Carrollton and going to the Carroll Symphony’s rendition of Beethoven’s 5th and other pieces. I’m old enough that that seems more exciting than Disneyland. That weekend, we also have reservations for Ray’s on the River for the first time ever, if we can keep our eyes open that long. We really do need to get out more.

Our family crawled through the big C-monster these last few weeks. Thank God, it was not dire for us, though I did manage to get pneumonia with it. One thing’s for certain: those steroids make your joints feel like a million bucks. Too bad there’s all those side effects, but isn’t that the way of any medication? I’m really sounding like an old lady and I must resist. My Daddy insisted he was 39 up until the day he died, and that worked pretty well for him. Bears and snakes and other critters hibernate. They fatten up in the fall and then sleep it off until spring. I think that’s a good strategy and probably explains why we don’t feel like doing much after Christmas. I’m gonna look for a patch of sunshine this afternoon and try to soak up what I can. I just gotta say it — that groundhog fella better not disappoint this year.

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