Archive for Monday, February 3, 2014

February: A great month, despite the weather

February 3, 2014

The more I think about, I’ve decided that I like the month of February. It seems to me that it is a “transition” month as we move from the cruelty of January into the promise of spring. When the calendar turns to February you know that spring can’t be far behind, although you might not believe it by some of the temperatures. Right now, it appears that February will be worse weather-wise than January. We need to look forward to March.

There are several reasons I like the month. Jean’s birthday is on Feb. 6, and we had our first date on Feb. 7, 1958. Our daughter Angela also was married in February, so it has been a good month for our family.

February is the shortest month of the year and it was almost left off the calendar. The Romans obviously hated winter and the coldest two months of the year didn’t have names. Actually February became the last month of the year after Emperor Nona Pompilius reworked the calendar in 713 BC. It became the second month of the year when the modern calendar was adopted.

I’ve decided there are actually many reasons why I like the month and as is often the case, it has to do with sports. Even if it is a cold night outside, you can enjoy a basketball game on TV seated in front of the fire. There are a lot of great games on TV now. If you want to venture out you can attend a high school boys or girls game, a wrestling match or swim meet. This is a particularly exciting and tense time as competitors’ battle for post-season play.

Maybe the biggest sports reason is that spring training starts for major league baseball teams which is a sure sign that spring can’t be far behind.

There are many more highlights in the month, too. We celebrate Presidents’ Day which honors, in my opinion, the two greatest American Presidents – George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Of course, there is Valentine’s Day when everyone celebrates love. There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is a huge economic boost for florists, restaurants, greeting cards and the post office. It can be a bad day for the forgetful husband who accidentally forgets it. We can’t forget Ground Hog Day with its usually inaccurate weather forecast. Maybe that was why the National Weather Service was founded on Feb. 9, 1870.

February is also observed as Black History Month. The Boy Scouts of America were founded on February 10, 1910. National PTA Founders Day is Feb. 17. A number of famous Americans were born in February including Rosa Parks, civil rights pioneer and famous flyer Charles Lindbergh who were both born on Feb. 4. Women’s rights champion Susan B. Anthony was born on Feb. 15.

The month also includes a lot of other special observances including Cherry Month, American Heart Month, International Friendship Month, Dental Health Month, Embroidery Month, Grapefruit Month, Wild Bird Feeding Month and Responsible Pet Owner Month. However, my favorite February observance is National Snack Food Month. As you can see, February is a very busy month.

One of the most overlooked observances probably is that the first public school was established on Feb. 13, 1635. If you are really bored you could observe National Gumdrop Day, Get a Different Name Day or National Ferris Wheel Day.

With its promise of spring, February can be a cruel and fickle weather month. Some of the biggest blizzards I remember were in February, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of unpleasant weather this month. About all I can add is have a great month and, oh, yes, don’t forget National Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17.

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