A Stone's throw: Marchers

March 29, 2014 10:32:05 PM

Betty Stone -


March is that month that is supposed to come in like a lion, but go out like a lamb. Yet as I sit writing this while the end of the month approaches, I imagine what I am seeing is more like a disgruntled, soggy lion, slogging around in the rain puddles, head hanging low, mane dripping. So far he has not morphed into that bounding little lamb. (My own yard is more than a little retarded, so I confess that may impact my view.) 


Spring, officially here, may really burst forth by the time we go to press, but we in Columbus have had a wet, old winter, haven't we? When I watch the weather channel, I see we at least so far have been a little pocket of benign weather in the midst of a national uproar. I cannot recall another year when we have progressed so far down the alphabet with named storms. We do not have a very long history to make comparisons, however; naming winter storms, a procedure that generated some controversy in the first place, has been going on only since November 2011. 


I believe that, as I write, we have only three more letters in the alphabet to name winter storms for this season. We are already down to X, Y and Z. Then we would have to start the alphabet all over. What a winter! Even the southern cities of Dallas and Atlanta have experienced record-breakers. 


I sometimes wonder if those of us who were born in this month of volatility are affected by it. My mother told me that on the day I was born in West Point, it snowed. I have always loved snow. I realize that there is certainly no cause and effect at work here, however. February is just definitely winter, and April is surely spring, but March does seem to bounce back and forth.  


There are a bunch of us "Marchers." We try to celebrate our various birthdays during this bumpy ride. We are not a tightly organized group. We just try to pick a day when most of us -- at least the ones we know about -- can get together and create an Occasion. 


Years ago I used to feel sorry for people born in December, because Christmas eclipsed their birthdays. Then I married one and learned they just party all the more. Doug always had several birthday parties -- the family party, the office party, the party for others born at the same time of year. They celebrated all month. It was, after all, a festive season. 


I once complained about that to a friend, Terri Rogers, saying no one ever paid any attention to March birthdays. Ever since, Terri has been a one-woman committee to rectify that injustice, though her own birthday is in September. Now, however, it seems the movement has spread, and we have about a dozen "Marchers," some of whom try to do something like go out for lunch. Looks to me like we March lions and lambs are giving those December reindeer a run for their money. 


We congregated March 18, barely missing those infamous Ides of March that were so disastrous for Caesar. We had just celebrated St. Patrick's Day, so we tried to keep the fun going. 


You know, I have come to be a real proponent of celebrating one's own birthday. The older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that life itself is a gift. I want to be grateful for it and enjoy it. 


Betty Boyls Stone is a freelance writer, who grew up in Columbus.