February 21, 2002


April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Those are the words of T.S. Eliot, another Big Fat Liar. I know that he is a liar because you cannot get any crueler than February. And anyway, he cannot even spell “cruelest” correctly.

February is sooo cold! Yes, it is fifty degrees today. But I am sure that it will be freezing cold tomorrow. February is the month when the thermometer, unless it is digital, dips down to below zero! A digital cannot dip. No, it has not done that this year, but it used to do it all the time. I remember clearly from my childhood that it was always below zero for the entire month of February.

By the way, I now have a wireless digital thermometer which can track these things. It keeps a record of the prior low temperature, so you cannot sneak these things by me any more. It sends secret radio waves from just outside my front door to the warmth of my kitchen. It has the capability of receiving these mysterious waves from two more places on my vast estate. But I do not think that I live in a variable temperature zone, so I have not yet sprung for the additional monitors. But it does not take anything digital to know how bad February is.

If February is the cruelest month, then March is the crueler month – sort of like “second worst.” In March, you think it will be spring-like, but it never is. It is just rainy and muddy.

I solve the March problem by heading to Florida to watch my beloved Red Sox. That is not “my beloved” like we talk about at Shalom Mountain. No, it is much bigger than that.

I do have a problem though. I also have a new digital answering machine, which sits right beside my digital thermometer. Theoretically, I can call the answering machine from Florida and check on my messages. In the past, I have never figured out how to do this. But if it works, maybe I could also find out the temperature when I call in. I am not sure what the link should be. Is it Ethernet, USB cable or some other connection? I do not know anything about any of those.

Since I will be in Florida for part of March, you will not receive a March newsletter. This issue automatically becomes a double issue – perhaps twice as good, if not twice as long. So I will tell you all you need to know about April. April is the “pretend Spring” month. Try to convince yourself that it is Spring because New England does not have a Spring. If you want Spring, head south.

All of this “month” nonsense can be avoided by attending the Gatherings in March and April. We do much more than talk about the weather. Come prove to the Big Fat Liar T. S. Eliot that we do not live in a wasteland. Come and join in.