“Thick February mists cling heavily to the dead earth and to each leafless tree.” 

The morning is lovely. It is winter warm with a bright sun and a clear blue sky. A slight breeze moves only the thinest branches of the pine trees. Earlier, the dogs were out in the yard chasing each other. Tongues were hanging out when they came back inside the house. Henry is having his morning nap. He is exhausted from running in the backyard and barking from the front door at anything moving on our street. He doesn’t discriminate.

When I was a kid, we celebrated Washington’s birthday, his actual birthday. Later, Lincoln’s birthday got in on the action. Now it is Presidents’ Day honoring all of them. My flag is waving.

This week was February vacation when I was a kid. We never went anywhere. Family vacations were summer affairs so I had to find ways to fill the week and amuse myself. If it was cold enough, I’d go ice skating. If it was warm enough, I’d ride my bike. If I was bored, I’d watch television or read in the quiet of my bedroom. This week always seemed to move quickly. School weeks never did.

Most things are out of Nala’s reach now so she is getting desperate and extending her territory. Last night, TP was all over the hall. Nala had trashed picked from the bathroom basket. This morning she chewed a pencil into tiny pieces on the door mat. She stole that from the table here in the den. Now I have to hide my pens and pencils.

My school in Ghana had a night watchman. He used to sleep with his dog beside him under a tree. He had a lit lantern and sometimes lit a small fire to keep himself warm during the harmattan. He closed the front gate when it got dark. I sometimes was in town with friends so the gate was closed when I got back to school. From outside the gate I could see the watchman sleeping, and I could hear his dog barking at me. I yelled, “Watchman, Watchman,” over and over. He never moved. Most times I ended up climbing the gate into the school. My students told me I was being ignored on purpose because he didn’t want get up. I never solved that problem. I did wonder if he let thieves in as easily especially after my house was robbed.

My dance card has a few entries this week. I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. On Tuesday night is uke practice, and Wednesday morning is my lesson. We’re practicing Irish as we have a concert and a parade celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in March. The rest of my week is wide open. I’m thinking I’ll do a few odd house chores like cleaning my bedroom closet floor and polishing the silver. Notice I haven’t mentioned the laundry.

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4 Comments on ““Thick February mists cling heavily to the dead earth and to each leafless tree.” ”

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today was partly cloudy and windy with a high temperature of 83°. However, Wednesday we are expecting rain and a cold front. By midnight the rain should turn into freezing rain, sleet and ice. 🙂 this week is a roller coaster of temperature. My spouse had the air conditioning on upstairs and by Wednesday we will have the gas heaters going.

    In my school in New York we got off for Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th, and then George Washington’s on the 22nd. That was it from News Year Day until spring break. In the Dallas schools in the 1950s Lincoln’s birthday wasn’t even mentioned and the 22nd. was a school day. We would get Good Friday off and that was considered spring break. Of course, the school year ended on Memorial Day because of the heat and lack of air conditioning in the schools. In New York we had the entire week of Passover off. The NYC public school system in the early 1960s had a huge percentage of Jewish teachers and administrators. In the New York school system summer vacation started at the end of June.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      We stayed in the 40’s today, and it will bedwarmer tomorrow. Snow is coming later in the week, but here on the cape we’ll get snow turning to rain. My heat has been on for months.

      We had a February vacation all through school and when I was teaching. We also had an April vacation. School didn’t start until after Labor Day so it wasn’t until mid-June or later depending on snow days that we got out of school. We were required to have 180 school days so snow days had to be made up. . No schools that I know of have air-conditioning. I know a new tech was built, but I don’t about air there.

      • Bob Says:

        The school year is 180 days almost everywhere in this country. A line of thunderstorms is headed our way tonight hopefully bringing us needed rain. You have to remember that we are on the same latitude as the Sahara desert. 🙂 By May 15th. we can have temperatures in the nineties. Here air conditioning is not optional here in August during the dog days of 100° plus temperatures that people without AC die annually.

      • katry Says:

        Actually, the state changed from 180 days to hours of instruction, but I don’t remember the number of hours so I stuck with the 180.

        Boston tends to get hot early in June, but here on the cape it is late June before it gets hot. By hot we’re talking 70’s. They do have summer school here, but it is in the mornings. Usually there are 2 sessions ending by noon before the real heat comes.

        August is our hottest month, but it is hardly in the 90’s, and I can’t even Remember if we ever hit 100˚, but I don’t think so.

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