Some scattered thoughts today, strewn across a busy February.
One matter that comes in February is the issue of the day I like to call the Feast of the False Assumption.
That was Monday last — the 19th — celebrated with no school, no mail, no garbage pickup, etc. with the false assumption that it was the birthday of a president or two.
Honda had a radio ad last week featuring a child who wrote a book report on Washington and Lincoln and thought they were twins because they had the same birthday.
I thought that was really funny and I laughed aloud alone in my Honda — until the kid went off on the word “sales” and it disintegrated into same ol’, same ol’.
In spite of the fact that I find such denigration of our heroes odious, I can live with holiday sales. But I will never get used to the combined holiday.
Lincoln was born Feb. 12; Washington Feb. 22. Monday the 19th and all other combined observances are just wrong.
We have spent a lot of time this month talking about the weather, which is all over the place — rain at the seashore, snow up north, not a drop of rain and temperature fluctuations from 80s to 20s almost overnight.
The TV weather folk appear astonished and have begun predicting another drought.
None of this is news to people who have read the history of the region. Our first county historian, Robert Thompson, wrote in the 1870s: “February is a growing month and one of the most pleasant in the year. It is like the month of May in the eastern States.”
But Thompson hadn’t been here quite a decade when he wrote those sunny sentences. Also, he was writing in a promotional manner, trying to convince more easterners to come and settle in this magic kingdom.
He hadn’t been here long enough to know beans about our February. He hadn’t reckoned on the rains, like the Valentine’s Day storm of 1986 that dumped 10 inches of rain an hour on some corners of the county and caused hillsides to slide that hadn’t moved since, well, 1870.
We’ve never been able to predict February. And just wait until you get to March!
Thankfully, the bad news about friends and acquaintances who lost homes in the October fires doesn’t come daily anymore. We’ve pretty much heard it all by now, and are doing what we can to help.
And it has become increasingly clear that for every sad story, there is a happy one, like the account of the Heirloom Boxes and the joy that comes in them.
The story begins with Sonoma County’s Threshold Choir, which itself is a wondrous thing.
Threshold Choirs have one main purpose. They sing to people who are dying.
The founder, Kate Munger, who lives in Marin County, came forward with the idea when she sat with a friend dying of AIDS and, to assuage her own discomfort, sang her favorite song – over and over again. For more than two hours. It not only comforted her, it comforted her dying friend.