By Angie Georgeff
Ah, January! As I write this column, I am watching snowflakes swirl through the distortion of glass panes nearly 100 years old. How many ice storms and snowfalls have those panes seen? This month is called the dead of winter, but we all know that it does no more than mask the promise of life renewed. Until spring, let’s focus on the beauty of this season and the peculiar joys it holds for us rather than the inevitable snow shovels, ice melt and scary utility bills!
The XXIII Olympic Winter Games will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea next month. I have experienced the ice and snow of two Olympic venues during my lifetime, but the results were not impressive. During my first month living in Europe, I slipped on the snow of Innsbruck, Austria and fell on the ice of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. I never did learn to ski or skate, but I quickly resolved to buy proper boots and clothing. I had discovered that a warm winter coat for the Mississippi Gulf Coast is simply not the same thing as a warm winter coat for the Bavarian Alps!
I prefer to experience winter sports from the warmth and comfort of my sofa, so I plan to enjoy the Games vicariously. Other than cheering on Team USA, I want to learn to recognize as many of the flags of the participating countries as I can. I finally mastered the similar flags of the Scandinavian countries, but that still leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Another way to escape the gloomier aspects of winter is Carnival, the festive season that precedes the contemplation of Lent. I have lived in Germany, where it is called Fasching, and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where it is called Mardi Gras. Nothing dispels the dreariness of February better than parties, parades, costumes, crowns and multitudinous ropes of colorful plastic beads.
This year Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras in French – is Feb. 13. Be sure to come by the library sometime that day. Since January has been such a cold month, we’re planning to warm things up a bit with a celebratory surprise! Laissez les bons temps rouler!
And speaking of celebrations, local poet Stephen Bevins will visit the library from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, to sign copies of his latest book, “Smiling and Writing.”
This is the author’s second opus, following the aptly named “Positive Poetry.” The titles of Stephen’s two books reflect the joy in everyday life that motivates his poems.
Come meet the author and celebrate the power of words.