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Goodbye, February

You are my birth date month but you disappointed me this year. I had a lovely birthday celebration with family, and wonderful friends took me to lunch.
February, you gave us only a few cold days and nights, but, really, did you have to send us so many 70 and 80 degree days? Today was rather “chilly” with the high being about 60 degrees. I’m beginning to think climate change is for real. I dread those muggy, humid, hot days coming in July and August. Mother Nature, can’t you be kinder to us? I have a new pair of boots in my closet that will probably sit there until next year, if we have winter ever again! Give us some snow.
Does anyone else look at the nighttime stars? Do you know about astronomy? If so, I envy you. I lack knowledge in that area although I can identify the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. I just enjoy looking at the stars against a dark sky. The stars are especially brilliant tonight. They are so beautiful. I want to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” but I lack singing ability as well. Looking at the stars brings me much happiness and I marvel at God’s creation.
The daffodils are abloom and the pine pollen is dusting the earth. South Carolina has lots of pine trees that send off pollen the consistency of sifted flour. It covers the cars, sidewalks, and everything else with its yellow substance that is hard to remove. Imagine an entire city of commuters driving yellow-dusted cars. The pollen causes sinus problems and worsening of allergies. It’s a rite of spring we go through. I don’t recall the pollen ever coming down this early in the year. Mother Nature, can you hear me? Is climate change for real?
I don’t know the answer and there is great debate among scientists. I’m just a mere writer who could probably research the issue. But why bother if scientists do not agree?
Tomorrow we welcome March and the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. For us Catholics, Lent is a time of fasting and abstaining for six weeks until Easter. We give up things, like alcohol, candy, desserts, etc. Some of us do positive things like being kinder to others, going to Confession more often, or praying the Rosary daily. Some of us do a combination of both. I’m keeping secret my Lenten resolutions in case I have a relapse and feel I must come here and publicly confess for misleading you.
Today, Maudy Tuesday, I will eat chocolate and drink wine. In moderation, of course. Tomorrow is another day. I will wear the cross of ashes on my forehead as a reminder that I “am dust and to dust” I shall return.

February is hectic

“Thirty days hath September, / April, June, and November; / All the rest have thirty-one, / Excepting February alone. / Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine, / Till leap year gives it twenty-nine. ”

– Common in the New England states
February may be a short month but it can also be cruel. With only nine days left in this month, I can tell you it has been very hectic.
Sad News first:
My husband’s brother passed away on February 4th. Ray had been in bad health for a number of years, worsening over the past one. He went into the hospital on December 20th and that is where he died. Now, my husband is the only surviving member of a family of eleven children. He’s troubled by this. He has never thought seriously about his own mortality before, somehow thinking he would live forever.
We drove to central Florida for the funeral. The church was filled with lots of people. Ray had volunteered with the Cancer Society for over 20 years. He was a cancer survivor himself and devoted himself to helping other cancer patients. After the Mass it was time for the long drive to the Florida National Cemetery for burial. Those 21-gun salutes and the playing of “Taps” always choke up everyone. Ray’s wife and daughters held up very well.
Happy News:
I had a birthday on February 5. I’m not telling you my age. It was nice that the NFL decided to hold Super Bowl Sunday in my honor that evening, although I did not like the outcome. I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler fan to begin with and dislike the New England Patriots. Needless to say, I was cheering for the Atlanta Falcons. The Steelers have six Super Bowl ring and now the Pats have five. The Steelers need to win another Super Bowl quickly to stay ahead of the Pats. Just my thoughts….
Three of my wonderful friends took me out for lunch to celebrate my birthday. They are so thoughtful and loving. They are members of my parish church and we have a lot in common.
After Ray’s funeral, my husband Tom and I spent three days in St. Augustine, visiting with one of his nephews and his wife over lunch one afternoon. We love St. Augustine from what we could see from the trolley ride through the scenic, historic city. We did some shopping and visited the beautiful cathedral. I bought a few beautiful items from its gift shop.
Prayers Needed
One of Tom’s nieces (and my dear friend) had surgery a few days ago to remove a brain tumor. She is now in intensive care. Please remember her in your prayers because she has other serious health issues too. I don’t want to lose her and I don’t want to go to another funeral. I pray that God will watch over her and protect her.
Odds and Ends
Daffodils and white lilacs are now blooming in my yard. It’s February, for crying out loud! We’ve had an extremely mild winter, or maybe I just blinked and missed an entire season. Temperatures will be in the 70’s this week. I want February to be cold and snowy. We seldom get snow in South Carolina. But I wish we did.
Till next time – peace,


After a week and 80 degree weather, winter returned to the Midlands of South Carolina today. It snowed! Big, gorgeous, puffy flakes like we had when we lived up north. They were falling when I peered out the window at 4:30 this morning, as excited as a six-year old, and again at 7:30.
As I like to do every morning, I went outside, coffee mug in hand, to pray as I listen to the birds at the nearby feeder. The sounds were muffled by the snow. I was wearing boots, a nightgown, and a white robe, much to the amusement of the birds.
As I stood up from the table, it shifted beneath the weight of the opened umbrella, heavy with frozen snow. I grabbed the umbrella pole and began to crank it closed. One side of the table rose up. I cranked faster, only able to partially close the troublemaker. As I let down the umbrella, a mix of ice and snow slid down my back. The birds laughed harder.
All told, only about a half inch of snow fell. That’s the way snow is in the south. It teases us with hope. The snow suddenly stopped falling around lunchtime, only to melt and disappear into the grass.
My golden daffodils shriveled up last week, but a drive through town yesterday revealed purple wisteria and pink azaleas in bloom. I hope this cold snap doesn’t affect them. Rain is expected for the next several days so the sidewalks will be crowded with raised colorful umbrellas.
I leave you with several lines of poetry,
“There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes.” — Emily Dickinson

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