From the Back Nine: The age of Aquarius

As a Michigan farm kid, I knew February took the dedication of a Shackleton to make it through daily blizzards to get to the barn. As an office worker in Chicago, I understood you shoveled six feet of new snow every morning. There was no equivocating. It was winter.

Here in the Rainshadow and surrounds, it’s anybody’s guess. February is the birth month of Aquarians who don’t like to be told what to do or how to do it. They take their attitude from the weather. Iris reticulatas and February gold daffodils get to bloom in hailstorms.

Sis and I — and we both know better — get antsy for spring now. Since moving here many years ago, we have fooled ourselves into thinking it is a dandy month to travel.

Let me just tell you about our getaway to the West Coast. We booked a couple nights in Quinault. We nearly didn’t make it as my old RAV has never experienced hail fastballs pitched by the likes of Sandy Koufax, aka the left arm of God.

The weather brought the old dowager lodge to her knees. White stuff piled on the trails, mist hid the lake, the restaurant was closed for some arcane reason, and the only thing you can do with cash was smile at Presidents. (No, this last does not have to do with the weather, but it is only one week after I resolved to stop using credit cards, so I felt like an addict forced to reopen bad habits).

The hotel boiler went out so there was no official heat; they handed out portable electric heaters for the rooms. In the charming lobby, guests were so cold they turned rabid.

Old women lined up in front of the massive fireplace to warm their back sides, each hissing at newcomers like ill-natured cats. More muscular guests pushed us aside to build a serious bonfire until hotel employees descended like Valkyries.

Staffers actually lectured guests, telling us that if we could not be trusted to leave the fire alone, they would tamp it out altogether, and we’d be sent to our rooms.

While I am usually on the side of law and order, I must say I resented their tone. I also resented that the hotel has no bath mats.

Since Sis and I both chose to venture outside long enough to unload the car or dash to an open eatery, we were not entirely dry for two days. Especially once we drove to Ocean Shores thinking maybe the actual coastline would be sunnier.

I doubt I’ll change much between now and my final exit from the stage. So February will always be a surprise on the Peninsula, capricious and undependable. I will annually think spring has come only to be slapped by a faceful of winter. The years have not granted me wisdom.

On the other hand, they haven’t extinguished hope either. And for that, I suppose, I am grateful.

Linda B. Myers has authored 10 novels available locally and on Amazon. Maybe one of these days, a book of poetry will join the list. You can reach her at