Traverse City Record-Eagle

Feature Columnists

February 9, 2014

Garret Leiva: April showers, May flowers a long way off

February might be the shortest month, but it makes for a long winter of discontent.

March goes out like a lamb. April showers bring May flowers. February, however, makes me sick.

Each year, usually around Groundhog Day, I’m hit with symptoms of Februaritus. Snowmen make me nauseous. The white bump at the end of our driveway grows with each new bout of flurries and apathy.

I even look longingly at the lawnmower – talk about a real sickness.

It doesn’t take a medical degree to realize this is not the flu, but sick and tired of the coldest season. The diagnosis is simple: a full-blown case of Februaritus.

I am not alone in my suffering. Februaritus is highly contagious. Prolonged exposure to Polar Vortex and Disney Channel TV reruns can cause pandemic outbreaks.

Unlike swine flu or chronic halitosis, there is no medical cure for Februaritus. Unfortunately, the only known treatment is something called spring.

It’s not easy to keep a sunny disposition in the dead of winter. Short days and long winter nights can be a maddening equation. The walls close in tighter this time of year, driven by cabin fever.

I’m surprised Punxsutawney Phil wasn’t turned into a groundhog flank steak after seeing his shadow last week. Six more weeks of winter is bitter food for thought.

Perhaps it’s out of necessity that we celebrate Valentine’s Day in February; especially those stuck in the Snowbelt region.

For at least one day this month, we are blinded by love instead of snow squalls.

Februaritus can make you want to type “All snow and no sun, makes Jack a dull boy” valentines – a “Shinning” example of winter stir-craziness, not Cupid’s handiwork.

April has been called the cruelest month, but plenty of unkind words have been leveled at February.

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