February

Odd month, February.  a month that can’t seem to make up it’s mind.  It is the shortest month of the year but tries to be a competitor by sticking a 29th day in there from time to time just to keep us on our toes.  And what is it about being born on the 29th, anyway?  Does it mean you only turn a year older once every four years or do you have to fudge and celebrate on the 28th of February or the 1st of March.  Can you imagine dating a girl who was born on the 29th of February?  You’d have to remember two dates just to be safe.  But if your gift didn’t make that good of an impression on the 28th I guess you could produce the REAL gift on the 1st.  Like I said, February keeps you on your toes.

February is a cold, brutal month at times, and yet there can be whispers of spring in the air as well.  There is an odd little ritual in American lore called Groundhog Day that actually flips the coin of seasons to announce whether it will be an early spring or six more weeks of winter.  Silly little rodent, hasn’t he ever heard the rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers”?  Could have saved him a lot of embarrassment if he’d have paid attention in grade school.

Washington and Lincoln were born in February.  We used to set both birthdays aside as worthy of note, but now we wrap them up into one holiday and call it Presidents Day.  It is a little confusing to me, though.  Are we honoring presidents born in February or all the presidents ever born?  And what if the president was kinda crummy, shouldn’t he be delegated to a birthday month of less honor than that of Honest Abe and Lonesome George?  Maybe just make it a national holiday in Texas or something like that?  Yep, February keeps you on your toes.

Another distinction for the month of February is the birth of Charles Darwin.  You remember him, the author of “The Origin of the Species” and other fairy tales.  He’s the guy who said if you cut the toes off of a million mice eventually they will all be born without toes.  Funny thing about theories, they sometimes get projected as fact without proof.  I guess if something gets a political following and sticks around long enough people begin to believe it.

So I know what your thinking… why are we talking about February at the end of August?  It has been a rather hot month here in sunny Florida, perhaps just the thought of a frigid, icy month back in Iowa can temper the heat here, if only psychologically.  Hurricane season will be long gone by then, tourists and winter residents will be jammin’ the highways, malls and restaurants.  All those pesky little holidays will have passed (yes, even Valentines Day, sigh).  We’ll be well into 2007 by then and closing in on the first decade of the new millenium, which isn’t all that new anymore if you think in used car terms.  Just about time to trade it in.  Thinking ahead to all the unique possibilities helps to pass the time away and… it keeps you on your toes.

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