February: The Coldest Month

Let me tell you something: Dallas/Fort Worth weather is really screwed up lately. It’s rained 18 out of the last 30 days; usually, we get maybe two days of rain in June. It’s good for the lakes and lawns, I guess, but it’s not so good when people start drowning in floods, something we haven’t really seen in years. Our summer has turned hot and soggy, although I suppose all the clouds have kept the heat down a little.


This entry is meant to be about February. However, given the weather uncertainty lately, I wanted to give you a heads-up that, well, you just never know what’s gonna happen anymore. That said, here’s the typical February weather forecast for D/FW: friggin’ cold. Early February is the coldest time of the year for North Texas, and it’s not unusual for us to endure very low temperatures, laced with snow, sleet, and ice, for weeks at a time. Oh sure, sometimes the weather gets better, and we’ll get a day that’s almost like spring in late February; but then there will be a late freeze, dashing our hopes of an early spring. I planted a plum tree years ago at the house I recently vacated, and it always got all excited on warm late-February days and put out its buds early — and almost every time, they were killed off by a frost in early March. The peach tree I planted at the same time always waited a while, so it was able to make hundreds of little peaches every year, which were promptly eaten by squirrels and bugs, as nature intended.  Only this year — the year I moved out, of course — did the plum tree produce enough plums for them to be ravaged by Mother Nature’s little helpers. Dammit, if it wasn’t ten inches across the trunk now, I would’ve dug it up and taken it with me.


But that’s neither here nor there. I always expect an easy February, and I’m always wrong. I blame it on Punxutawney Phil. I always get my hopes up that the stupid groundhog is right about spring being right around the corner, but oh no! My pipes still freeze up or my plum blooms die a hideous frozen death. Stupid lying groundhog.  


Which reminds me of the one and only time that I have EVER bought real theater tickets*, which were for a showing of Cats! at Casa Mañana Theatre (about which more, eventually) in Fort Worth on Groundhog’s Day. Well, guess what? Ice storm. I tried to drive over there, but it was like playing bumper cars with the curbs, and I didn’t even get as far as Highway 75 before I turned around and went home. Well, the show must go on, and it did, and Casa Mañana wouldn’t refund our money for the tickets — so $100 down the drain there.


I’ve never forgiven February for making me miss Andrew Lloyd Webber.


*I went to a kabuki opera once, but I don’t think it quite counts. In any case, it was one of those “I’m-glad-I-did-it-but-I’ll-never-do-it-again” things. I’ll tell you about it one of these days.

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