Sunday, 19 February 2012

Cat in the Sun

A friend of ours, Terry, mentioned the other day that the 19th of February was supposedly the worst, most depressing day of winter.  Personally, I think he's just not yet adjusted to retirement.  He travels extensively in summer, but the winters drag for him. 

Seems a strange photo to put on the RSPB website, but there you are.

I looked on the internet for any evidence of his statement, but 'Blue Mondays' appear to be in January in the US and all I could find for Britain was some folklore that seems to be the British version of Groundhog Day (a tradition I've never given any attention).

When the cat lies in the sun in February
She will creep behind the stove in March.

Of all the months of the year
Curse a fair February.

If it thunders in February it will frost in April.

If February give much snow,
A fine summer it doth foreshow.

I can't tell what this month is predicting - it's been both confusingly mild and bitterly cold!  Just another example of how perverse British weather can be, as well as a reminder of why I've always ignored Groundhog day.  I suppose the fact that over time people have looked for evidence of the end of winter in February is a universal indication that by now we're ready to be done with it.  I know I am.

As I consider various volunteer opportunities I've been passing ideas on to Terry if they seem suitable. His situation reminds me that if retirement may be challenging for a couple, being retired and single might be a lot worse.   My search for a suitable photo to dress up this post led me to discover Aselin Debison.   Watching this video convinced me that it's easier to be happy in pretty weather.

Are you ready for winter to end?


The Gold Digger said...

I am so ready for winter to be over. And this one hasn't even been so bad! I've shoveled only four times. That's nothing! But I am tired of no leaves and brown grass and slush. I want flowers and basil and tomatoes and open windows. The cat wants to go outside and hunt.

Suburban Princess said...

It has been weird here too - we hardly have any fact it snowed on Friday and yesterday and it's the only snow that hasn't been gone the next morning. Normally I spend a good chunk of Jan/Feb snowed in! It was -20 once, one night...I think. It's normally -20 all the time, at least! Some days it's -30!

Anonymous said...

In this part of Northern California we typically experience a mild period in February, nicknamed Minispring (not very creative, I know). Sometime in the mid-1990's I worked in San Francisco and the temps reached the 90's which was quite unusual. And in August we usually have a Minifall, when the weather grows crisp and sometimes damp - a welcome break from the awful searing heat.

I love the cool weather. I mean, LOVE! Admittedly, it rarely grows positively cold in this area as we are within 40 miles of the ocean. Heat depresses me, as I cannot comfortably spend time outdoors - and, ironically, though we are in a moderately coastal area this particular city regularly sees triple digit summer temps. My closest friend, however, is a complete opposite from me in this respect.

Rick Stone said...

Been a strange summer here also. I spent January in Florida so I missed what little bad weather Oklahoma got. Temps have mostly been above normal this month. Was cool and rainy yesterday but today is beautiful with sunshine and no wind. Of course, that is Oklahoma for you. The great Will Rogers once said "if you don't like the weather in Oklahoma just wait a minute, it will change".

As for being single and retired, it is ver different. After over five years of retirement as a couple the adjustment has been tremendous.

Beryl said...

This is pretty funny timing, Shelley, since I was going to leave this as a comment without waiting for an Winter related post. This afternoon, while we were out, my husband said, "Winer in Oklahoma is like Menopause. First you are too cold, and then two minutes later, you are too hot." Funny! But I know he loves me, since he stuck it out.

Shelley said...

Gold Digger, Welcome! Flowers, tomatoes, basil and open windows! Sounds like heaven. Flowers I will have, the rest relies on a warmer climate. We do get days when we could open the windows, but not very wide as there are many pigeons and seagulls around here. I doubt a seagull is stupid enough to fly in, but pigeons definitely are (and what a mess that would be!). I would so love to be able to grow tomatoes...I need to move to Italy, that's the solution!

SP, Yes,it has been a strange month, February. -30! I hope that's Farenheit!

Ilegirl, I've heard of Indian summers, but never mini-spring or mini-fall. Coastal climates are very strange things, aren't they? I go outside a lot, year round, nearly regardless of the weather (if you waited for nice weather here, you'd be a housebound prisoner!), what I long for is short sleeves, short pants (not shorts, but not slacks either), sandals! To just walk around not being cold. Obviously, I live in the wrong place for that...

Rick, Your adjustment isn't just about retirement so I'm not surprised it's been tremendous. Did you and Joanne retire at the same time? I think that I got used to solitude (not a difficult adjustment for me; it's part of my nature) when Bill was working. He was used to solitude when he worked shifts and I was still at work. Now we seem to bump into each other a lot. But I'm remembering your and Terry's situations and trying to stay grateful!

That thing about Will Rogers and Oklahoma weather? Everyone seems to say that everywhere!

Beryl, You mean that goes away? Yea!!! Funny thing, though, Bill seems to have the same problem... Winter does drag on, doesn't it? Well, we'll just have to appreciate spring and summer all the more... Have you experienced an Oklahoma summer yet? If not, well, let's not talk about that, shall we? I just remember spending all my summers as a child being really really cranky!

Rick Stone said...

Yes, we both retired on the same day, July 1, 2006. Then over the next 16 months we spent about 13 of those on the road in a 36 foot motor home. (That really gives you togetherness.)

As for Bill. Hold him tight and tell how you feel about him daily. AND he needs to do the same.