For the optimist, this short month of February could break the back of winter and lead us into the next season. For the more pragmatic Canadian, it most often heralds bleak midwinter and two or more months of cold and snow before spring appears on the horizon. According to the British Oxford Dictionary, the second month of the new year and third of meteorological winter in our hemisphere was named after Februalia, the Roman festival of purification. Anyone who has experienced the bracing effects of spending time outdoors on a frigid February day in our province can readily attest to its appropriateness.

As I pen this, I’m still on vacation in Costa Rica. Whether it is the scorching heat or my current state of relaxation, I’m struggling to find words, a quandary my editor would scarcely believe. I recall one of my former tennis opponents, a snowbird who sojourns in Mesa for six months of the year, once expressing that “Weather is everything!” There may be merit in his assessment as I realize that I am so much more focused on being rather than on doing practically anything in this beautiful country that comes close to paradise. Still, we all need to take time to smell the hibiscuses, and, as I had the wonderful fortune during one late afternoon beach walk, to experience the joy of observing a Pacific Green Sea Turtle lay 50 to 60 eggs in the sand.

Just for the record, at least when it comes to Alberta’s Februarys I am a realist, and once again am planning an escape mid-month to the warmth and sunshine of Arizona. Although we will forego spending Valentine’s day with family and friends, my husband and I shall return in time to celebrate his and our grandson’s birthdays. My husband has always taken great pride that Aidan was born on his birthday, and I suspect he will never forget how Aidan had celebrated with us at Jack’s favourite restaurant, Normand’s, before he was one week old. If we are fortunate, I will be back home as spring comes in like a lamb.

During my two weeks back in Canada, I have a number of appearances scheduled. I anticipate meeting new readers and conversing with those of you who have read one or more of my books.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May it be filled with roses and chocolate hearts!


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