With the help of writing, the sunless, cheerless months of winter slowly pass
"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." My wife loves winter...slate-grey skies, woolen scarves and mittens, red noses, a fire in the fireplace, and hot tea in the afternoon. What could be better?
I, on the other hand, view winter through the eyes of a condemned man. The forced-air heat deals my sinuses fits. When I stay inside, my nose goes haywire and when I go outside, my hands itch and swell. It probably has something to do with cold, damp days and my legion of allergies.
When your hands whelp up and turn red, there's really not much you can do in winter. Can't play golf, can't go fishing, college football is a memory and the Atlanta Braves' season is not even on the horizon.
To get out of the house, I've tried once or twice tagging along with my wife on her shopping rounds. Each time I go, I regret it afterwards. While shopping, my wife has the energy of a Labrador Retriever; rushing here, rushing there, always looking and never buying. With me lagging behind grouching and complaining, she’s happily humming little snippets of songs. "Honey, quit complaining won’t you? You're ruining my day."
It never fails, long about December each year I start getting antsy and out-of-sorts. Worried, I guess, about how in the world I'm going to get through the dark, barren days which seem to stretch into endless tomorrows.
Desperate for something to do, I’ll close the door to my little study, sit down in front of the computer and try to write something. If I’m lucky, long forgotten memories will prompt me to put words on paper. And only when the words start flowing do I forget about the cold weather outside and what we’re having for supper.
Suddenly, there, on paper, is a story. After spending three hours in front of the computer screen, I invariably think it’s both wonderful and witty; heck, maybe even worthy of a Pulitzer. But before I send it in, I’ve got to get permission from my literary critic.
Trying to disguise my enthusiasm for this, my greatest effort ever, I hand it over to her. Being a master of the understatement, I say something like, “Honey, take a look at this, would you? It’s not too good, but…”
It’s crunch time for me when she perches those drug-store spectacles on the end of her nose and begins reading. She grimaces and I get anxious and a little embarrassed. She raises an eyebrow and I wince. She chuckles and I relax again.
Finally, the verdict, “Well it’s pretty good, but certainly not one of your best efforts. If you work on it a couple more days, I’m sure you’ll come up with something a lot better.” Holy Smokes, doesn’t this woman realize that this is great stuff and needs to be sent out to the world immediately? But since she’s usually right, I go back to the drawing board.
With the help of writing, the sunless, cheerless months of winter slowly pass. And, before I know it, the Atlanta Braves are playing spring baseball again and the fairways are beginning to green up.
Oh, I forgot. Spring is when my hay fever starts acting up.