Publisher’s Corner

February: A Test Of Patience

February is a month of “patience” for me. And perhaps for everyone else as well. Winter lingers on in St. Louis and everything is usually frozen in time. February is the caboose of winter. And like a motorist waiting at the crossing, we count the cars and wonder how long until we come to the end of this train. (Of course I do realize that they retired cabooses some year ago, but cut me some slack, I am using a metaphor here.) You get the point, winter is not my friend. The bards like to use winter and the month of February as a time of reflection, love and romance. I get it. There are no flowers blooming to write about and few too many birds seeking mates. The little sparrow I watched yesterday with my cat Silva, was perched on the blade of the ceiling fan under the roof of our deck fluffing up his feathers so much to keep warm that he looked like a blowfish. My wife Niki said she saw a raccoon come out of the sewer at 8 am in the morning and just wander around in circles, quite disoriented from the freezing temperatures. The squirrels on our front porch keep coming out to see what happened to the pumpkins I had left over from Halloween. They like to eat holes in them to get to the tasty pumpkin seeds. But those have long gone to the compost pile. They froze and then thawed (one warm day) and then slowly melted like a Salvador Dali painting. Even our Wiener Lab Shayla has a hard time digging holes in the frozen tundra. January has been tough. And now February will be a test of patience. We will get a few warm days (you know the balmy 40s). The snow will melt and then everything will turn to mud and then it will freeze a time or two again. It’s the passage of the seasons in old St. Lou. OMG I started to channel a poet. And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. Help, I am caught in verse. What the heck else is there to do in February. Even the groundhog is pulled out of his hole to look around for a shadow. And let me get this straight, if he sees his shadow it mean 6 more weeks of winter? So if it’s a nice day on Feb. 2, it is a bad omen? And if it is cloudy and nasty, then we are in for an early Spring? Wow, someone must have been refuting global warming when they came up with that one. Oh, yea, the dip in the Arctic Vortex has nothing to do with climate change. Oh, forget it, I am too cold to argue. But we do have Valentines Day to fall back on in February. The day of love. I do like the concept. Love can make you feel wonderful, crazy, insane, intense, euphoric, tremendous, depressed, anxious, … it’s the rollercoaster of emotions. But without it, we would not have poets, country music, valentine cards, those little candies with sayings on them like “Smooch”, “Love You” and “Ouch”. Someone once said Valentine’s Day was created by Hallmark, but that is just too cynical. Everyone knows it was Brachs. Did you know that Susan Brach married William Hallmark in the early 1800s and an empire was created. That’s a lie, Bazinga! These are the kind of columns you get from me when my creative juices become ice pops. My monkey ears get frostbite. My glasses fog up every time I enter the house. I even was taking pictures of frost formed on the window pane. Now that was cool! But I am counting the train cars. Waiting for the first crocus to peek … before my patience runs out of anti-freeze!

Thawingly, J.B. Lester; Publisher