On a Month Without

For us, January 2017 started with change questions. What would a month be like without ballroom dance, without handbells, without volunteering, without our friends, and without our normal routine?

Jan 1: We left Cincinnati on a cool, foggy morning for a day of driving, which included a light rain that occasionally became more – but not a constant rain. We noted the slow increase in the temperature.

Jan 2: The final 4.5 hour drive, again with intermittent rains of varying strength. Dry at the time of arrival, but the view of the surf while unpacking told a different story – the dangers of a nearby tornado – so down to the lower lobby we went. The evening storms off the coast provided an extraordinary light show that was worth watching – but the next morning would be a positive omen.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jan 3-5: Cool but comfortable days. Sometimes shorts, sometimes jeans, but always long sleeves and usually a jacket. Good enough to find our routine of breakfast, lounge, walk, lounge, lunch, lounge, walk, lounge, shower, dinner, cards/television, and sleep.

Jan 6: A stormy day that also brought falling temperatures – a good day for a movie (La La Land).

Jan 7-9: The northerly winds delivered quite the chill, yet no matter how cold, it was warmer than home. Walkable days, but shorter distances.

Jan 10-19: After the initial transition day, a string of days of sunshine and 15-20 degrees F (13-24 C) above normal. Perfect days to continue the routine. Days that would treat us to glorious sunrises, colorful sunsets, and brilliant nightly moons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jan 20-21: Although temperatures remained above normal, unstable air delivered an angry sea and occasional storms – even tornado watches and warning severe enough to interrupt normal television. Good days for movies (Hidden Figures and The Founder).

Jan 22-25: The normal routine returns as storms are gone, but the above normal temperatures remain. It’s been quite a streak of warmth.

Jan 26-27: Normal temperatures finally arrive – 60 F (15 C) by day – 40 (4 C) at night. The breezes are cool. Sweatshirts and jackets are the order of the day. Some people in shorts, others not.

Jan 28-29: Noticing the temperature decrease during our return drive home – a home not along the sand and waves, but one of wonderful sunsets when the sky is right. Home – the permanent one, not the temporary. A home with colder temperatures and light snow in the air. Home – the place (while we were gone) that had 1 sunny day, 6 partly sunny/party cloudy days, and only 7 precipitation-free days in January (although overall temperatures were above normal). Home – the place for ballroom dance, handbells, volunteering, friends, and normal routines – just not the routine of January 2017.

That was our January in Orange Beach, Alabama. A time when we had a different routine – one of first-time snowbirds. A time when I drafted over 20 posts the old-fashioned way – on paper – so I now face the daunting task of getting them ready.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On January 2015

Embed from Getty Images

January, named after Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions

January wasn’t always the first month because March was in the old Roman calendar

January Symbols

  • Flowers: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstone: Garnet
  • Zodiac: Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19) and Aquarius (January 20th into February)

January has also been referred to as Ianuarius (Romans), Wulf-monath (Saxons wolf month), Wintarmanoth (Charlemagne’s winter/cold month), Tammikuu (Finnish, month of the oak moon), Leden (Czech ice month), Prosinec (Slovene)

The names for January’s moon are Old Moon, Moon after Yule, and Storm Moon

Depending on your location, the moon will be full on January 4th/5th, and the new moon will be January 20th

January starts on the same day of the week as October in common years, and starts on the same day of the week as April and July in leap years

January ends on the same day of the week as February and October in a common year, and ends on the same day of the week as July in a leap year

On average, January is the coldest month of the year for most of the Northern Hemisphere, but the warmest month of the year for most of the Southern Hemisphere … thus January and July are seasonal equivalents

Movie titles include movies Captain January (1936), The January Man (1989), and The Two Faces of January (2014)

January promotes teen driving awareness, unchaining a dog, bath safety, books, getting organized, wealth mentality, hobbies, learning to ski & snowboard, mail order gardening, letter writing, thank you, radon action, mentoring, slavery & human trafficking prevention, fat-free living, staying healthy, slow cooking, and getting over it

January celebrates walking a dog, worldwide rising star, creativity, quality of life, polka music, self-love, OK to be different, blended families, printing, high-tech, stamp collectors, crime stoppers, and yours mine & ours

January is the month to enjoy oatmeal, prunes, candy, gourmet coffee, hot tea, soup, wheat bread, swapping soup, bread machine making, brain teasers, and making bread in a bread machine

January is the time to embrace training your dog, adopting a rescued bird, celebrating life, dried prune digestion, balancing life, changing your stars, skating, being on purpose, finding your way, shaping up, reaching your potential, voluntarily donating blood, and watching bald eagles

January is the month to increase awareness about stalking, the thyroid gland, personal trainers, birth defects, cervical health, financial wellness, Braille literacy, child-centered divorce, glaucoma, birth defect prevention, poverty, eye health, clinical trials, autism, and self-help groups

Have a great January. Which songs did you enjoy?