I'm just quoting Sappho as I watch this very long month, the longest (and shortest) finally creep to a close.
Some I know will consider this an exaggeration. With global warming, have not our winters grown milder? Is there not less snow than we rather-old-timers fondly recall from sledding days?
If you said yes, you've already forgotten December (and early January).
The final verdict for this winter still remains somewhat up in the air, though, I claim much more bragging rights here in Cassadaga than I'll cede to you flatlanders.
Still, in all honesty it isn't the snow except on those days (reasonably rare, I'll agree) when the roads make moving well nigh impossible. Snow can be beautiful. What irks is the lack of sunshine.
I'm all for beauty but, please, can't we get a little light on it?
The depths of my winter doldrums struck particularly hard as I read the Sunday papers and found myself eyeing a recipe for fricasseed goat.
I am not that desperate.
I will never be that desperate.
Just like the skies cloaked in their steady gray, the icicles seem to have also frozen into place. They just hang there too cold to drip but no sticking precipitation to cause them to lengthen. I have seen years where they reach from eave to deck floor. I am denied even that drama this year.
The houseplants seem to have been affected as well. The baby banana gave up the ghost and simply keeled over. The lemon leaves are coated in a sticky goo. I've tried in the past to spray and even wipe each little leaf clean but it makes no difference. It intends to suffer until it can go out again. In all honesty, few of the crowded houseplants look happy.
But ah! The month is ending and I see the hope in that.
St. Patrick's Day may bring another blizzard and it sounds like we'll be hit again even before that but afterwards ...
The bird songs will be in earnest. The grass will remind all that mowing might well be needed within another month. The nests are filling and I find signs of spring's renewal everywhere I turn.
In the meantime I can continue to treat myself enjoy the company of friends, eat the right foods in a balanced diet (well, I can try), get plenty of sleep and, above all, take no, MAKE a little extra time to treat one well. I read that is recommended, as part of living a long and healthy life, to give yourself the best gift of all, some time to do exactly what you want.
I think again of Dunkirk Dave, Punxsutawney Phil, and all the other furry prognosticators. Do I now add Oil Valley Vic? I confess I don't pay much heed to their forecasts. The odds of spring even coming early in this month seem at least as remote as winning one of those huge lottery jackpots. Six more weeks of winter from February 2 is acceptable. I'd love to do that.
Guess it's harder than I thought for I went back and dug out the recipe for the goat. (I've found the ads for goat meat but still have no desire whatever to try.) It must be pretty terrible for eleven different spices are called for. (It would certainly give me a headstart on cleaning out those spice shelves.) Add a couple carrots, heaps of onions and just about three cups of white wine. May I recommend enjoying the wine, tossing the recipe and toasting the new month!
And let's forget the goat.
Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org