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Not Another Auld Lang Syne…Because “In -Flew -Enza”

January 29, 2018

“I had a bird. Her name was Enza. I opened the window and in-flew-enza”

This was a popular children’s rhyme during the 1918 flu epidemic according to a PBS documentary. Anne and I watched this fittingly during my lengthy bout with the flu during the first two weeks of January. (The logic of doing so was questionable. Was I trying to make myself feel better by knowing that millions had died in 1918, and though I felt like it, I wasn’t going to die from my case of the flu?)

But I digress, I had planned to write my annual review of resolutions, and then got sick at the end of December and felt pretty awful until about a week ago. So New Years resolutions will have to wait until next year. Lets face it January can be a pretty lousy month, often a letdown from Christmas vacation (and visitors) and this year had the added bonus of record cold weather for the first couple of weeks in much of the East and Midwest along with the explosion of numerous cases of a nasty flu. (And I even got my flu shot!).

However, I like to think of my blog as an uplifting read for those looking for solace from a bitterly cold, sniffling, hacking and feverish January. So even as it is snowing here today (again!) and Anne is hacking away with her nasty cold, herewith my top 10 good things about January:

#10 – There are only 9 things I can think of, so there is no #10.

#9 – The days actually start getting longer again in January. In fact, the days in Columbus are about 48 minutes longer at the end of January than on January 1. To be sure, it is usually difficult to tell given that most of our days look like night, with a shroud of thick clouds usually overhead.

#8 – If you get thru January, you are really only one short month away from meteorological Spring (which is generally considered to begin March 1). Since I like meteorologists (and sometimes wished I had become one, given my fearless weather prediction abilities), I will go with their definition rather than the calendar date of March 21 or some groundhog’s prediction.

#7 – When the high temperature refused to get much above 20 degrees for 2 weeks straight with lows of about zero every night, I thought  “it really can’t get much worse?” (Or can it?)

#6 – The cold and snowy weather gives you an ideal opportunity to binge watch various new series on Netflix and Amazon such as “The Incredible Mrs. Maisel” and “The Crown” (both excellent by the way).

#5 – January is the month when the best movies are out in the theaters. This is because films must be “released” before January 1 to qualify for the Oscars. Because filmmakers are notorious procrastinators, it seems that every Oscar-worthy filmmaker got their 2017 release out at 1159 pm on Dec. 31st. (Even if it was only “showing” in Steven Spielberg’s basement)

#4 – When the sun does come out, our snow-covered yard and our neighborhood actually looks pretty beautiful. Further, you get to see some very fat robins and cardinals happily looking for seeds in the snow and all sorts of animal tracks from our panoply of animals here in Upper Arlington. So at least the animals and birds seem to be enjoying themselves.

#3 – Thankfully there are NO famous songs about January. This spares us from such crazy/masochistic December/Christmas songs like “Let it Snow, Let it Snow”.

#2 – January is named after the Roman god Janus.  February  is named after a purification ritual “Februa”. December is from the latin word for ten (‘Dec’), when it was the 10th month, a couple of thousand years ago. I’ll take a God over a purification ritual or an incorrectly numbered month any day.

#1 – Because January is miserable (despite #9-#2), just think how happy you are going to be when Spring finally arrives!


The New Yorker did a very funny cover of the month  of January for this week’s edition. (Perhaps they were aware that I was going to be blogging about this!). For those that haven’t seen it, it is a drawing of a January calendar over a snowy backdrop of NYC including a miserable woman waiting at the Bus Stop. The dates on the calendar say as follows:

  1. Hang-Over
  2. Lose Keys in Snow
  3. Still January
  4. Bombo-Genesis?!?!?
  5. Slip on Ice
  6. Knit Self Scarf
  7. Sunset at 11 A.M.
  8. Cold
  9. Gray
  10. Wet
  11. Cold, Gray, and Wet
  12. Frost-Bite
  13. Leave Scarf on Train
  14. Heat Wave
  15. Quarterly Taxes Due
  16. Arctic Blast
  17. Ice Storm
  18. Ugh
  19. Flu
  20. Flu
  21. Flu
  22. Still January
  23. Slip on Ice
  24. Why Me Lord?
  25. Cabin Fever
  26. Cross-Town Bus Never Comes
  27. Sleet
  28. Weird Frozen Pellets
  29. Slip on Ice
  30. Dentist
  31. Last Day of January! (IN LARGE LETTERS covering the 31 on the calendar)


Happy Belated New Year and enjoy February!


From → Humor

  1. Joyce permalink

    Good January Blog! It is cold in California with a flu topper! For those who only know the palm tree California, it’s cold in the high Sierra California

  2. Thanks Joyce. I was hoping that a little humor would help make January more tolerable!

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