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Monday, February 14, 2005

Misplaced holiday

The middle of February in Northeastern Pennsylvania is one of the most miserable, least romantic times of the year. The fluffy white snow that covered the landscape in December and January has been reduced to a few isolated piles of pea-sized ice crystals with all the charm of heaps of broken glass. Where the ground is not still frozen solid, it has turned to mud. Crusts of salt residue have formed everywhere, reminding us of the poisonous extremes to which we were willing to resort in our battle against ice a few weeks ago.

Temperatures hover just on the edge of freezing, allowing a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and plain old rain to fall within minutes of each other. And the wind. The wind! I had to struggle with my steering wheel both going to and coming back from work today. Several times a simple lane change nearly became a wind-assisted trip down an embankment, while normally terrifying maneuvers involving tractor-trailers nearly caused me to re-enact the opening scene of The Fast And The Furious as the wind tried to push my tiny Tercel into - and then under - the trailer part.

All this on what is supposed to be a day to celebrate love and romance. Bah, humbug. There are lots of good reasons why Valentine's Day is a crock. Every day should be a celebration of the things expressed on this day. And each of us, if we are lucky enough, carry with us our own personal holidays to celebrate love - birthdays and anniversaries of weddings, first dates, first kisses, first loves.

For me, the most important of these holidays is April 5th, much more appropriately placed at the very start of Spring. Maybe someday I'll tell you why.

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