The sun is higher in the sky and feels warmer on the skin as we look out over snow drifts. Dad always said that and I thought he was just trying to make me feel better about winter, but then years later a weatherman said the same on a local broadcast, so maybe Dad was way ahead of times.
January is a loathsome month, thrown on the calendar to absorb all the feelings , hurt and otherwise, from the holidays and merry making. I have no idea what to do with that month because , to me, skiing and snowshoeing are something I cannot do any more and probably would balk if someone strapped either to my feet.
But then comes February with its beautiful colors of Valentine’s Day. Just the colors in the store makes a person feel as though there may be life after all under the skirt of white outside.
How well I remember February in Greenwood Center! It was the month of my birthday…a day that every kid feels is his own. You went to school and just knew that everyone there knew you were special that whole day..whether they knew it or not..you just felt it. We didn’t have any big celebrations at the little Martin household. Ma might have baked a cake if the oven “behaved” and slapped some frosting on it. I can’t remember blowing out candles but I must have somewhere through the years. I do remember a couple of gifts given me. Dad was definitely not a gift shopper or giver. However , one year he went to Brown’s Variety in Bethel and presented me with a book of fairy tales. I was probably ten years old at the time and he knew very well I was reading his detective magazines on the sly and maybe trying to tone down my selection of reading a bit. I still have the book.
The other gift is strange to remember. It was a pair of green slacks and a plaid girls flannel shirt to match. I wore it to school so proudly because prior to that, I had worn my brothers’ clothes…not that any of the kids cared or bullied.
We can’t forget the Valentine Box at school. That box so covered with crepe paper it could take off on its own and leave a vapor trail. How exciting to sit and gather the cards …and then take them home and go over them one by one..and especially the rare one with a lolipop glued to it. I wonder if that is still done in the little schools..or are there any little schools left?
The best part of February( besides my birthday) was knowing that spring training was going to start soon for the Red Sox. Now mind you, all we had was the old big Philco standing in the corner, but when spring training started and a few games broadcast, my brother and I were there listening. I haven’t changed…
I loved the local baseball games and after February, well soon the snow would go, the mud dry up and Sunday afternoons were baseball time. I remember Ma taking me to a ball game in Bryant Pond one of those afternoons. Somewhere, about the seventh inning, I had a terrible headache. Well, I lasted til we got to the car and she gave me probably an aspirin. Without her knowledge I grabbed an open bottle of coke and took that pill. I do not have to tell you that by the time we got to Locke Mills village I was urging her to step on the gas. To this day, I remember the terrific relief as we pulled in our door yard, I opened the door and let nature take its course. The headache was gone.
For some reason, February gives me hope that winter is not going to last forever. As soon as I settle into this little comfort nest, a blizzard blows in about the third week of March…but that’s ok. Baseball season will start soon.
–and those are my views on February …