I have decided to commit myself to writing every day this month, mainly because I have terrible issues with discipline. When we were doing our monthly budget huddle, I told Gabe the money should reach better in such a short month. He gave me that special, patient look reserved for times of dimness. “It’s only 2 days shorter, Hon.” There is also the small matter of having two fewer days to work.
Two days, however, is two days is two days closer to spring! I am hanging on, but I admit that I fantasize about grubbing about in the dirt while I carry water to my three hardy houseplants. I also dream about eating at the picnic table when I am sweeping up a “dirt shovel” (which is how you say it in PA Dutch- how quaint!) full of rice and bread crumbs and stray peas after a meal. And I sigh wistfully when I see how lonely the Monkey Tree is these days, while the children play puppies inside with shallow dishes of dry cheerios for chow. And they bark and bark and growl from the enormous nests of pillows and blankets that their owners have arranged. There are times when an eavesdropper would hear me plead, “Please, do not bark one more time!” That is their cue to switch to kitties.
It has been truly, awfully cold this year. I step outside and feel my skin go taut and kind of dry so I quickly grab the mail and retreat into the warmth of the house. I have been reading Garrison Keillor’s stories about winter in Minnesota/North Dakota and how they had to build a charcoal fire under the car so the oil in the crankcase would warm up enough to start the car and all the thermometers ended at -40 because that was all the colder anyone wanted to know about. The hungry wolves would stalk them on the way to school, which was uphill coming and going through snow drifts higher than a child could see. I laugh and expect that if our global warming trend continues, that is probably how our grandchildren will hear our stories some day. Yeah, we used to build a bonfire on the pond bank so that the skaters wouldn’t freeze their toes and even the ski slopes closed sometimes so that they would not be dealing with prying solid chunks of ice off the lifts at the top of the mountain.
I am glad February is short and usually has some blue skies and now it seems reasonable to browse through the seed catalogs. I will be checking to see what Phil says tomorrow.