I've finally figured out why February only has 28 days (or the occasional 29)...no one would survive north of I-80 if there wasn't the promise of Spring when we flip the calendar to March.
Although "spring" in March is kind of an oxymoron. In Chicago, it's usually "in like a lion, out like a lion." When Easter is early, which it usually is, we all gaze at sleeveless dresses and short sleeve dress shirts in the Sunday ads and then wear our parkas to church on Sunday. I remember a couple of years ago we had a snow storm on Good Friday and we built a huge snow bunny in the front yard.
I know February is going to drag on every year - I've lived here my whole life. I know it's going to feel like two or three months in one and so I shouldn't be surprised. But this year it seemed longer than others. I guess no matter how much you know what's coming you're still hoping for that reprieve. The calls come early and often from my sister in Denver to report temperatures in the 50's and 60's with a bright sun in a cloudless sky. You remember that movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray? It's starting to feel like that. We actually broke the record in Chicago for the most snowfall in February...ever. Seriously. The old record was from the late 1800's.
I don't know how many times the sun was shining this month but it feels like I can count them while making the peace sign. Every color is white or gray or dull brown.
Last night there was a thundersnow shower. No, I'm not making it up. It's the second time this winter. This morning everything on our property; grass, driveway, sidewalk, stoop, was one giant sheet of ice. We didn't so much walk to the bus stop as glide there.
My husband is in Florida. It's 75 degrees. He had dinner on the waterfront outside. I'm happy for him. I really am. I'm thrilled he's getting a little break after driving his parents down there (which took three days) and visiting with his brother. And I totally get why his parents were chomping at the bit to go as well as why his brother moved there over twenty years ago.
Fortunately the sermon series at church this month has been "Staying the Course When You're Tired of the Battle" and it's all about perseverance. That's God's grace in action - providing a little warmth in the long, short month.