By Patrick Murphy

January and February, who needs them

The presents are unwrapped, we’re sick of leftovers, and the decorations don’t seem quite as festive.

It’s the days after Christmas.

Now there is a void, with nothing to look forward to until spring.

The next biggest holiday is Valentine’s Day, which is really just an excuse to eat chocolate.

It’s that time of the year when I cannot wait for time to fly by.

I  know we should appreciate every day, but that cannot apply to January and February.

Those two months seem like endless days of bitter cold, shoveling snow and darkness.

My wife always laments the fact that in the winter she leaves for work in the dark and comes home in the dark. 

January and February, who needs them.

For the first week of January I walk around the house looking at all the Christmas decorations, and the only thing I think about is all that stuff has to be taken down, put back in their crates and taken back downstairs to store away for another year.

The house will return to its pre-Christmas look after we sadly take down the three Christmas trees - including one real tree - and the rest of the decorations that filled almost every room in the house.

I still check every day to see if the live tree needs water, and now I am down to watering it every other day, down from three times a day. 

I know Christmas season is over when the Christmas tree starts dying.

Then there is February, the worst month of the year.

It seems longer than it is, it’s cold and bleak, and makes me depressed.

The only good thing in February that brings me any warm feelings is the words: “Pitchers and catchers report for spring training,” but who knows if that will happen this year.

The spread of COVID-19 puts everything in doubt, and without the start of spring training, February offers nothing. Valentine’s Day does not count. I can eat chocolate any time.

Maybe it’s just me getting older, but I hate being cold. I don’t like going out in it, and only venture outside when I absolutely have to.

The dream is to spend my winters in a warmer climate.

I imagine waking up in January and February and seeing sun and grass and never having to wear a winter coat, gloves and boats again.

That is my dream, to only experience winter through what I see on my television; to watch other people deal with blizzards while I look out my window at a bright, sunny day.

Right now I look outside and see snow and people bundled up, and I know that will be me the next time I have to venture out.

It’s depressing. I need some chocolate.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.