I was talking with a friend this morning. “What’s up?” she asked. “Not much,” I replied. “It is, after all, February.” And it is true. After the holidays of November and December, the winterness of January, February is a very daily sort of month. Things happen, every day, but they are not earth-shatteringly interesting to the outside world.
· There is bread in the oven, beans in the crockpot, huge mustard leaves in the greenhouse. Hot tea in the morning.
· Rain, followed by drizzle, followed by a downpour, and then hail.
· There is knitting on the chair. There is a cat sleeping on the knitting.
· Early seeds are planted. Trees are pruned. Beds are being built and repaired. There are elaborate garden plans, but none are executed yet.
· Snowdrops and daffodils bloom outside. Forsythia blooms inside.
· There are meetings: teacher’s union, city council, small groups planning to rewrite the comprehensive plan…..Democracy in action.
· We wash floors, and socks, and sheets on rare sunny days.
· There is good focus in the classroom—even with colds and snuffles.
· There are evenings by the fire, long nights of sleep, and quiet walks in the evening.
· The solar panels are producing more electricity.
There is, truly, a lot of February in our lives. We need to embrace the month with open arms.
Nova Scotia Vichyssoise: February dinner
Chop a large pile of mealy potatoes and about half the volume of onions. Place in a pot, cover with water, and simmer for a long time. Hours. The longer they cook, the better. Mash the potatoes and onions. Add eight ounces of sour cream, salt, pepper, red pepper, and dill. Warm slowly.
Eat with fresh bread and hearty salad.