Even with slowly lengthening daylight, what little sun we have has been eclipsed this year by pandemic hair, ice and snow. I’m willing to forego a haircut if this story reaches the distinguished secret order of The Sons of Lee Marvin. My hair is gray and growing longer. I’ve got credentials in the plant world. I am worthy. Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and John Lurie: Are you paying attention?

Okay, I am no “Kid Shelleen” but I should be considered as a Son of Lee Marvin.

There’s not much to commend February in central Kentucky.

You know it’s a long day when daily amusement comes down to watching your dog dig for moles. Our groundhog saw his shadow on Groundhog Day. Spring is still weeks away. Rufus has never once caught a mole.

Plants got glazed by ice a week later. We weathered the storm and were grateful this “event” was nothing  like the January storm of 2009 when we went to bed one night and listened to tree limbs crack and fall all night. No power for a week. I volunteered to be the steadfast caveman and protect our freezing cold home. Rose said to hell with that fool idea. We soon decamped to her ninety-year-old Aunt Stannye’s. She kept the thermostat locked down at 90 F (32 C). We had to crack open the window at night.

“Chilly” pepper. Mary Vaananen photo.

Rose breezes through the New York Times crossword puzzles every morning and, during the pandemic, has plowed through 20 years of Acrostics. Now with nowhere else to go, she has fallen prey to jigsaw puzzles. Could this be a trap? Some sort of résumé builder for old-age home admission. I fear we both will have reached the end of the line when our closets have become stuffed full of jigsaw puzzles, each of them with a dozen or more missing pieces.

At least it’s a seed-packet jigsaw puzzle

Ice and snow are in the picture all week.

I’m waiting for infinite blue sky.

I’m desperate for blooms.

They’re coming.