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February 2010 has been typical

As Februarys go, this one has been pretty miserable.

I may have mentioned before that I don’t like February. This disdain goes back many years, back to my first journalism job at which I was both reporter and advertising salesman, a combination frowned upon by journalistic purists who see potential for conflicts of interest. I was never good enough at selling, however, to acquire enough clients to represent any kind of conflict.

But a good portion of my weekly income came from sales commissions and I always dreaded February because ad revenue was as unpredictable as the weather. Well, it was a bit more predictable. We often got some pleasant February days in South Carolina. But ad revenue was rarely pleasant.

We’d occasionally get a little blip around Valentine’s Day, but nothing worthy of hearts and flowers. Thing was, local merchants had used up most of their ad budgets for Christmas, after Christmas sales, and January white sales. Little remained for February.

So February was beans and tuna fish. And then there was the weather, which was dreadful more often than not. And spring seemed so far off and recent festive months so far in the past. It was typically a cold, often wet, miserable month.

It has gotten no better. By the time you read this, February 2010 will be history, thank goodness. For the most part it has been cold, wet and miserable. The Dallas area set a record for 24-hour snowfall accumulation. We are all so proud. More than a foot of snow blanketed the area Feb. 11-12. It was quite beautiful in a wet, cold, miserable sort of way.

It’s been warmer in Vancouver than it has been in Texas.

I stayed inside. I made no snowmen, fought no snowball battles, made no snow ice cream. I turned on the gas logs, drank a lot of hot tea and watched the flakes fall. I worked on stories for my next issue.

Which brings up another point. I work out of an office in my house, so I didn’t even get a snow day. Imagine calling in to the home office and reporting that it’s snowing in Dallas and closing up early and going home seems like a good idea.

“You are home, you ninny. Get back to work!”

Sometimes people at headquarters have no sense of humor. One supervisor did recommend that I pick up milk and bread on my way home, however. He chuckled, knowing that I was even then hunched over my computer keyboard pounding out stories. Dedication is a chief requirement for at-home offices.

As February came to a close, at long last, I returned from a trip to South Carolina, visiting family and friends. Weather there was sunny and temperatures soared into the 60s. We returned to Denton to find temperatures in the low 40s and headed south. This morning, as I bent down to pick up the morning newspaper I noticed tiny white flakes swirling around my head. More snow. Forecasts call for high temperatures hanging around the mid to upper 40s for the next few days, with dips into the 20s — cold, miserable, February weather.

I haven’t been fishing in two months. My trout flies have probably deteriorated from non-use. My waders are likely cracked and leaky. My joints ache. I get grumpy in February. But as the poet said: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Apparently it can. Winter has been here way too long and spring is still way too far off.

February, “humbug, bah humbug.”


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