The Way I See It: April, the Cruelest Month???


A poet, T.S. Eliot I think, once said “April is the cruelest month.” Anyone who has had to shell out his or her hard-earned money to the IRS would agree with that.

Nothing can be a bigger downer than to anticipate a tax refund only to find that your income and deductions are not compatible and Uncle Sam wants more.

But I don’t think that Eliot, or whoever said it, was referring to income tax when lamenting on the cruelty of April.

I think it has a lot more to do with the teasing warmth of the spring sun and the remaining chill of winter’s grip. It is that time of the year when a 60-degree day can plummet to a 20-degree night and an April shower can turn into a late-season snowstorm.

Poor man’s fertilizer or not, snow in April is darn right cruel. So don’t put your snow shovel and winter boots away just yet because if you do it is bound to snow.

Another thing you shouldn’t do in April is to say, ‘We made it through the winter and the furnace didn’t break down.’

I know this from personal experience. The ‘We made it’ was no sooner out of my mouth when I realized how cold it was in the house. An adjustment to the thermostat was useless, the reset button failed to yield results too. Only the expensive surgical skills of my furnace repairman could bring that monster back to life.

On top of that, I think that oil-addicted drunk in my cellar communicated with the washing machine that it was time to play an April Fools’ joke on me. With several loads of laundry in waiting, the agitator stopped agitating, which truly agitated me.

It did seem pretty cruel to me to have two household necessities fall apart at the same time and even crueler to spend money that wasn’t budgeted. However, the furnace and washing machine are just things of convenience and they were fixable.

I might have been a little more depressed over my misfortune and dwindling bank account, but I discovered one of the brighter things about April. My favorite ice cream stand is now open for the season! The first hot fudge sundae of spring can go a long way in helping you forget the hardships of winter.

Ice cream stands are like crocuses, they open up no matter what Mother Nature might be doing, and they give you hope of the warmer days to come.

Though I don’t have any crocuses or ice cream in my flower garden it is no longer covered with snow and the bleeding hearts are trying to work their way up through the cold soil. Those early rustlings in the garden are another bright side of April.

So, too, is the return of the Red Sox to Fenway Park. When the boys of summer take to the field our hopes for another pennant win will soar, at least for a while.

Broken appliances, temperamental furnaces and the potential for a late-season snowstorm aside, I really don’t think April is the cruelest month. And, even if it is, the way I see it, April is only 30 days long and then comes May … my absolute favorite month of the year.