Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thoughts on February after Phil

"February, a month of despair, with a skewered heart in the center."
                                                                                              Margaret Atwood

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

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


Patricia A. Laster said...

No wonder you "fell" for that handsome guy! If he's a stabilizer for you, go with it/ him. You've read 10 books, I've written 39 things, including columns, reviews and lots of short poems.Reading-wise, I'm on a Virginia Woolf kick right now. I read Mrs. Dalloway first (bad idea), then To the Lighthouse, and now, Orlando. I wonder what her reputation would be if she were writing today??
Re reading/entry fees--that's crazy. Apparently folks have money to spend, though.
Keep on keeping on, Claudia. Depend on your dependable weatherman. Spring will be here soon. xoxo

Linda O'Connell said...

I am impressed with how many books you've read. I don't mind February. It's another month closer to spring. It's Nov-Jan that I have trouble with. When you have such a good looking weatherman, and it feels like he's speaking directly to you, well, I see a story builder here.
That's neat about the weatherman talking about a town in CO, and you eventually visited there.

Elephant's Child said...

February is often our hottest month. March is when blessed autumn starts to flirt with us, putting on colourful clothes and hinting at arboreal fireworks to come.
Our weather boffins are pretty accurate as far as temperature goes - and truly woeful on the precipitation front. Looking out the window is more reliable.
Look after yourself - body and soul.

Nasreen Iqbal said...

I wish I could find a weatherman (weather person?) I trusted. They should pay those guys by the accuracy of their forecasts.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Claudia--Perhaps you should contact his television station. They might hire you to write PR for him. ;)

10 books since 2016 began? I'm impressed as well...

Marylin Warner said...

After all the times the groundhog has led me astray, Claudia, I no longer trust Phil either!
We had 14" of snow over 2 days last week, and schools were closed for 3 days in a row. I taught in this district (Colorado's second largest district) for 30 years, and never during that time did they close for 3 consecutive days, so this was a BIG storm. Today the sun came out and tomorrow will be in the high 50s. But then on Friday the next storm is predicted.
The only good thing about being snowed in is that I can catch up on my writing and making submissions.

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

The weather has been so unpredictable. We were in Sarasota over the weekend, and every weather report we heard about home (Atlanta) promised freezing rain for our drive home Monday. Not only was the temperature higher than predicted, the sky was blue! The rain, which was supposed to be a factor all day, didn't appear until after dark, and it wasn't freezing rain---thank goodness---but I thought it so odd that every weather site we visited reported the same incorrect forecast.