By Barbara A. Page
Have I mentioned that I hate February? My family and friends laugh because I start this mantra February first and continue it daily until March blows in. (Thank goodness, it’s here at last.)
This started sometime in my childhood. Maybe it started because it was always too cold to go either sledding or skating. The school districts answer to February was to give everyone a week off. I hunkered down with books or watched T.V.
This routine changed when my own kids had their February break. No one stayed home. Everyone headed to places like Chucky Cheese or the movies.
Some lucky people went to Florida. However, it was quickly discovered that Florida was becoming overwhelmed with the influx of college students and families. I remember watching news stories of totally out-of-control college students.
So, the powers that are in charge of trying to survive February staggered the breaks of the colleges. I never made it to Florida in February either as a kid or an adult. I have my own ways to survive February. I call them my February projects.
One year, I made really messy, really delicious brownies. I put various ingredients in the middle of them — carmel and nuts and peanut butter. I moved on to butterscotch chips.
This particular phase stopped when I stuffed them with marshmallow fluff and they caught fire in the stove. Whoops! Luckily it was towards the end of the month.
One year, I made candles. They were very pretty and smelled nice. But the fire thing came up again so I put my pots and pans away.
This year, February was very challenging because I am home due to a medical disability. This started in September. Since I’m not working, I’ve had time to spend with various family members who needed transportation, hand holding, or had one reason or another for me to hover around them.
But when February came, everyone was tucked into his or her respective houses and I was tucked into mine. So this year’s project was to clean out closets with the assistance of those in residence. There are now a few very full bags of clothes to be given to charity.
There are a few comments about whoever wore this attire and for what reason. The upside is I found all kinds of clothes I had forgotten that I even had so it was like getting a whole new wardrobe without having to go shopping.
I moved onto the kitchen next. I found enough expired food to fill a few more trash bags. Matching plastic container tops and bottoms should take me into next week. I can attack the pot and pan shelf where I will find, I’m sure, wedding presents that I haven’t used in 32 years.
I may never have used them but I remember who gave them to us. The gift-givers may have given them to me perhaps in the hopes that I would become a domestic goddess. Unfortunately, I became more of an open-the-box-and-the-family-will-eat-it type of cook.
Now, since I have the time, I am cooking from scratch. Sometimes my creations raise eyebrows. But my house smells good while I weed through various cooking appliances and cookbooks.
I ordered plants to plant when that time rolls around. Between cleaning out closets, I’ll venture out to meet some friends to commiserate. I have enough to read and re-read.
Yeah, I know I should count my blessings. I have a nice warm husband and a nice warm house. Our cars are running and, for most part, everyone is either healthy or healing. But the blessing I count, not the most, but among the top 10 is that February has only 28 fun (sometimes fire-filled) days.
Have I mentioned that I hate February?
Peace, love, and rock and roll.