"February, a month of despair, with a skewered heart in the center."
I have no trouble with January as it is SUPPOSED to be winter. But when February and March play with my mind, I lose. I hate the bouncing back and forth, the promise of spring, the tease of buds, and then a snowstorm. Apparently Margaret Atwood had an issue with February too!
I should be writing today as it is cold and to be frigid tonight. I can’t settle my mind. Some of that is the hopeless feeling of writing markets. I got a notice from a writing contest that I could enter as many times as I want for $18 an entry. Well I guess so; if I had $60 or $80 dollars to toss about, I would certainly pay it to win $15 prize money or maybe be printed for free!
I have read ten books since the first of the year. I have reduced my stack but not eliminated the pile entirely. I have made my eyes and mind sore though. I know I am not moving enough and reading too much. Ah, put that is the nature of winter months, right?
The groundhog told us yesterday that the spring is coming and winter about over. Sorry, Phil, I can’t trust you. I will lean on my weatherman who sometimes fails me too, but I am faithful to him anyway despite his shortcomings. When I was a kid, my old weatherman at KOAM was a man named Earl Ludlum. He was old to me, must have been 50 years old! His face seemed severe and unyielding like a dried prune; his droning voice sounded as tedious as weather and news were to me then. He wore wire frame glasses that reminded me of the local doctor so I often felt like the weatherman might have a needle hidden behind his back for me. But Earl was steady and no nonsense about the weather. He also gave the temps for La Junta, Colorado every night which was as far away and as exotic to me as Zanzibar. Little would I know then that someday I would drive through this small Eastern Colorado town many times; maybe it was old Earl that ignited me to want to see the West so much.
"February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer."
- Shirley Jackson, Raising Demons
- Shirley Jackson, Raising Demons
Today our weathermen and weatherwomen have lots of info and technology to help forecast the weather. It all sounds about the same, and still not always right. However, I have a weatherman idol at KOAM again. I always thought Doug Heady was good and capable giving his weather forecasts with stunning good looks. Even in the face treacherous storms, he maintained a level voice, warning listeners to be ready without frightening them. Then the night of the Joplin tornado I fell hard for Doug Heady. In the face of horror he remained steady, remained calm. Then when that F-5 hit, even his voice wavered a bit and we knew this was something truly sinister. With slightly quivering vocal chords barely under control, he guided listeners to remain calm and proceed to take caution.
So my family accepts that now I listen to ONLY Doug Heady, searching through channels to find that stable presence and ceaseless professionalism. He dresses in crisp business suits, often with vest, that fit perfectly. His sleeve length is impeccable, his shirts and ties harmonize like morning sunrises, and his demeanor is as flawless as his dress. In a world of relaxed and sometimes sloppy presentation, this weatherman surpasses the ordinary. Too bad for Phil and old Earl because they have stiff competition in Doug Heady!
So on a winter’s night that is cold and maybe despairing, there is always the warmth and promise from a good weatherman on the nightly news, especially one more reliable and not as ugly as Phil was yesterday!
Doug Heady from KOAM News