February can be a difficult month in Snowstorm Region. By mid-February, I’m tired of taking pictures of snow, I’m tense from driving on icy roads, and I’m beginning to think that my feet will never get warm again. Winter driving keeps most people close to home during February, which is tough for an extrovert like me. And it seems like every year, we have at least one funeral to go to in January or February: a dying person will rally to spend one more holiday season with family and friends, but then he or she does not survive the winter. February is a sad month, filled with loss and re-opening emotional scars.
But one group of my women friends have an antidote to the February blues. It’s our annual pajama party. It’s an event that helps us survive the longest month of the year.
We gathered last night, with sleeping bags and pillows and games. We brought food: hot soup, and pasta dishes, and cookies, and chocolate. We drank gallons of tea. We sat by the fire and talked, and played a silly game, and got caught up on each other’s lives. Quilt Artist couldn’t come this year: her father died last week and she was in Southern State for the memorial service, but she called in the early evening so that we could pass the phone from woman to woman and talk to her about her last moments with her Dad. Signing Woman passed around photos about a happier occasion that also happened last week: the birth of her grandson. It was nice to have that reminder that February brings its share of happy events as well as sad.
After everyone else had gone to sleep, Beautiful Hair and I stayed up late by the fire talking. We were both tired, but it felt luxurious just to watch the flames, listen to the logs crackle, and talk lazily without worrying about the time. “The older I get, the more important friendship is to me,” she said.
“Yep,” I agreed. Then we ate some more chocolate and kept on talking.