Happy February — the month of love.
The first Valentine card on record was sent by Charles the Duke of Orleans in 1415 to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Hopefully, your Valentines to loved ones will be sent from a more pleasant location. If you really want to make an impression, have your cards re-mailed from Loveland, Colo. Loveland began this tradition 57 years ago, and expects to re-mail some 300,000 letters this month to all 50 states and more than 140 foreign countries.
Aside from Valentine’s Day, February also celebrates Working Naked Day today in honor of the 37 million people who work from home — in light of our current cold spell, I don’t recommend observing (pun intended) this holiday. Ground Hog Day is tomorrow, the 2nd, and once again Punxsutawney Phil will predict the coming of spring. According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, the groundhog has been right only 28 percent of the time in one 60-year period. Hm-m-m — that’s about as good as our TV weather persons, isn’t it? Feb. 3 is Chinese New Year. Legend has it that for good luck, you should eat a whole fish on that date. Well now, that would depend on whether we’re talking bluegills or swordfish, wouldn’t it?
February also is Library Lovers’ Month. Our own Payson Public Library is seeking volunteers to help with the upcoming March 5 Taste of the Rim fund-raiser. Beverage servers, runners, auction folks and help in taking down and storing tables and chairs at the end of the evening are needed. Donations for the silent auction also are appreciated. For information, call Alice Natale, president of the Library Friends, at (928) 474-2838.
Tickets for the library event are $30 per person and available only at the library.
Feb. 18 is the Full Snow Moon, also known as the Hunger, Chaste or Wolf Full Moon. Did you know that February is the only month that possibly can have no full moon?
Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store
Men’s shirts will be on sale for half off the marked prices and shoes will be 50 cents a pair Feb. 2 through Feb. 5 at the Pine/Strawberry Thrift Store, 3916 N. Highway 87 in downtown Pine. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Payson Senior Center and Thrift Store
Enjoy old-time country and gospel music by the Country Gospel Misfits from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 2, 9 and 16 in the Center Dining Room, 514 W. Main St. There is no charge and the performance is open to the public. If you wish to stay for lunch, reservations must be made in advance. Cost of the meal is $3 for those over 60, $5 for younger, no tax or tip. Call (928) 474-4876 for reservations 24 hours in advance.
The Old Time Music Makers will be playing in the Dining Room at 9 a.m. Mondays. Come join in the music making or just listen to the old favorites.
Free art classes are offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays at the Center. For information, call the above number.
Vision and Home Safety will be discussed at 11:15 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 10 in the Center Dining Room. The program is free and open to the public.
Free blood pressure checks will be done Thursday, Feb. 17 starting at 11:15 a.m. at the Center. No appointments are necessary.
The Senior Center Pinochle Club plays cards from noon to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday upstairs at the Center. New members are welcome. For information, call Len at (928) 472-9302.
Free tai chi and qigong classes geared to seniors 50 and older are offered at 9 a.m. Saturdays at the Rim Country Health and Retirement Community, 807 W. Longhorn Road. For information, call Paul Hanley at (928) 978-1811.
Payson singer and performer Anne James will present a free musical performance from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3 at East West Exchange, 100 N. Tonto St. Her new CD, “Shades of Green” will soon be released.
The East West Exchange Book Club free monthly meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 16. “Half Broke Horses” is the book to be discussed. For information, call (928) 468-2435.
Think about it: A penny saved is a government oversight.