These thoughts were floating around in my head as I read Gladys Taber's February entry in The Book of Stillmeadow. I reminded myself of Gladys. She isn't afraid to note her shortcomings either. Gladys and I are rather anachronisms in these times of everyone putting their best face forward on social media. No little foibles show up there!
I never have been adept at focusing opera glasses. Just as I get the right end to my eye, and screw the things up, whatever I am viewing moves away and I only see blurs and table legs.and
I always mean to file my sheets according to size, but they never get filed correctly. The twin size play hide and seek with me every week at Stillmeadow, where we have all sizes of beds and all kinds of sheets. Flushed and unhappy, I am always lugging piles of the wrong size up and down stairs.When her companion Jill says that "this is the time of year to reorganize everything in terms of what is oftenest used." Gladys admits that
She is certainly right, and if I were an organizing person I should instantly wrestle with the jammed-up china cupboards and pack up those dishes never picked up except to dust. ... The trouble is that as I pick up a cracked ironstone plate, I get to admiring the glaze and the way the edge is scalloped, and I think it is nice to look at with the candlelight glimmering on the soft finish - and back goes the plate in the same old spot.Gladys talks about the seed catalogues that overflow the mailbox this time of year. I remember reading that sentiment often in the past ten to twenty years, but now I never hear anyone talking or writing about it. That must be because we can order online now. I'm also lucky that my favorite, local-ish company offers its seeds in my Co-op store. But I do miss the days of a pile of catalogues to look through.
There's never so fair a garden as the one that grows during a blizzard - on the colorful pages of the seed books. ... Nothing ever comes up and looks like any picture.A quote I used once here is from this book, as she writes of the brightness of the February sun. I say frequently during the month that there is no sun in any month that can match it. Is it because we have been starved for the sun from November through January? The sun, even when it comes out in those dark months tends to be rather weak. Welcome, but not startling beautiful. The February sun tells us that spring is coming regardless of the temperature or the snow on the ground.
After Valentine's Day we can really feel that winter is on the downgrade. A few more blizzards, perhaps, but definitely March will arrive. There will be a certain day when the air comes in over the hills with a different feeling. It's an intangible thing, known only to folks who have had hard winters, and it is exciting and wonderful. One morning you poke your nose out and you know all of a sudden that there will be another spring. You smell it in the air, and no matter how deep the snow is, you think nothing of it. You dash out without your arctics and Mackinaw and catch a raging cold, but no matter - spring is coming! Tallyho!And thus, Gladys ends this month's entry.