My nephew wrote a blog post about ten little things that helped him get through the month of February, affectionately nicknamed "Grey Bucket of Suck Month." There is only one redeeming quality of February, it's my birthday month. That's about it though. I hate Valentine's Day and all the "if you love her, prove it" bullshit. People are sick and tired of the cold. If there is snow still on the ground, it looks like dirty sludge. And did I mention people are just tired of the cold? It's a month to "just get it over with" as far as I'm concerned. Good thing it's usually a short month!
But... in the spirit of trying to be positive and grateful that we made it so far, I will give this a try. Ten little things to get us through this bucket of suck month. Okay, fine. Ten little things to be grateful for during the F month. Or maybe just things about winter that might be okay...
1. The layer of ice in the pond finally cracking and beginning to melt.
2. But not so much so that the geese can't pretend to be Jesus and walk on water. I call them my Geesuses.
3. And the ice puddle in the playing field is thick enough to pretend skate on, with pretend skates. And pretend falls.
4. Sometimes there's still enough snow on the ground to get a few last rolls in, before it turns to mush.
5. Looking out the window and seeing tiny animal prints on the back deck.
6. Hawk visiting on a clear day, hunting squirrels. But not the fat squirrel that lives in the tree outside our window. That's Ruby's squirrel.
7. Shadows. Each day is another minute longer, finally dragging us out of the long dark. But the shadows are still long and clear, the sun still at a low winter angle.
8. Parks and outdoor public places are blissfully lacking in people. You can walk down a path without getting hit by a bicycle.
9. Wildlife returns to the area after a winter of hibernation. The Canadian Geese come back in droves. (Of course there are always the lazy few who stay in the area.) The squirrels emerge from their leafy nests high up in the trees. The robins start hanging around with other birds of unknown origin.
10. Snuggling under the down comforter with my two favorite girls on lazy Saturday mornings. Warm and snug, sun streaming through the windows. Bliss.
I think the main thing that keeps me going during the month of February is the anticipation. I love the feeling of knowing something pleasant is coming. When you can tilt your head to the sun and feel warmth, not pain. Looking forward to that magical day when suddenly you smell spring in the air. The smell of fresh mud made by the ground unfreezing. Making way for the very first crocuses to emerge bright green. Daffodils to follow. I get so excited to those first few signs of spring. I know it's coming... I know it's coming. We just gotta get through February first!