Well, here we are almost out of February. I don’t like February very much for several reasons. It is the shortest month in days but the longest month in attitude. Just when I think I can handle February it gives me a sucker punch and I am down for the count. February plays me like a cheap ukulele with one string missing. It is invariably cold, snowy and rainy.
The month begins with Groundhog Day. When I was growing up Groundhog Day was not celebrated as much as it was a point of conversation around the potbellied stove in the Calvertville store. Some wag would ask, “Did the old groundhog see his ‘shadder’ today?” Others would chortle, “Not at my place,” or “He sure did so that means six more weeks of bad weather.” There are six weeks plus change between Groundhog Day and the first day of spring. It is still winter. What is the deal?
The countryside is waiting, longing for spring. People and animals pine for the first shoots of grass and the choir of crocus, tulips and jonquils that break through and sing the overture to spring and the prelude to summer.
Have you ever noticed how gray the skies are in February? The sky is a cauldron of molten lead with sporadic silver cumulus clouds boiling and swirling around the intermittent rays of sun that pierce the gray with swords of light bringing hope to a tired and cold world. Patches of blue dot the sky like pieces of a quilt that have been discovered in a trunk in the backroom. At least we gain an hour of daylight.
But on the brighter side, our wedding anniversary is on February 7, which is a wonderful day of remembrance and reflection. It is expensive also with gifts, eating out and some form of entertainment. That is not an expense, it is an investment if you know what I mean.
Then there is Valentines Day. Is it just me or do you wonder who creates and promulgates all of these reasons to buy gifts throughout the year? It is a merchant conspiracy! I don’t think there is a two-week period in the entire calendar when I am not expected to gift someone. “Talk on Grinch,” some are saying. But I go on.
What does a geezer do for Valentine’s Day? I never know what to buy or if I should. You can’t go wrong with chocolate even if your sweet face is carrying too much around with her already. Do I buy a serious, smoochy card that is an embarrassment at the checkout counter; a funny card and risk ostracism; a risqué card and jeopardize my good character? How about jewelry or flowers? I just don’t know.
Valentine’s Day has been a mystery to me ever since my days at Calvertville School. It was an expectation that students would give valentines to each other so there would be a run on the Calvertville store. Early shoppers got choice. Late shoppers got the ones that were picked over and had the corners bent over from all the other customers. Cards were usually a penny each or a dozen for a dime.
The best thing about February 2017 is that it is about over. I am watching and waiting for the next sucker punch.
Larry Vandeventer – I am a Calvertville Native. Reach me at 317-839-7656 or at Goosecrick@aol.com. Read about me, my books, and my columns on my Two Websites – Larryvandeventer.com and Rambler1956.com. I am a graduate of Worthington High School and Indiana State University.