I read in a weather blog recently that “February is not Houston’s prettiest month” and I have to say, how true.

February in Texas is the March of mountain states. Both are the months when Mother Nature is trying to transition to Spring. Skies are gray and the ground is yucky.

In the higher altitudes that means mud and slush as snow melts. You can’t ski, you can’t ATV, you can’t hike without getting dirty. Best thing to do is stay inside and read or do jigsaw puzzles.

Now that we’re back in the Houston area, February is our March. There’s no snow to melt or icy slush on the sidewalks. Nope. We have dreary, overcast days and endless misty, rainy days.

The temperature is like the wildest roller coaster you can imagine. One day will be cold and damp, the next a warm eighty degrees.  Or, that can happen all in one day.

It’s not pretty.

What I do when I can’t be outside is the same thing I did in Colorado. I work puzzles.

And, write, of course.

Working on puzzles actually helps me solve stubborn plot problems and characterization issues. A different part of my brain begins to work in the background.

Then, as the pieces of the puzzle come together, that other part of my brain sorts out the plot and characterization issues until everything comes together. By the time the puzzle’s complete, I usually have a solution for my writing dilemma.

On a recent cloudy day that kept spitting rain, which often makes me colder than those sub-zero days in Colorado, I pulled out one of the dozen or so puzzles I’d packed nineteen months ago.

It’s not a new puzzle. I’d worked it before. It’s a winter scene with snow and snowflakes to help me remember how winter was before.

I didn’t get to spread it out on the large puzzle table by a roaring fire like I did in our mountain home. That puzzle table stayed behind because it wouldn’t fit in the smaller space here.

I used a card table and discovered it works just fine for puzzles with a smaller number of pieces, which I really prefer. Those 1,000 piece puzzles, beside being so large, take forever to complete. I get impatient.

How about you? What do you do when the unpretty months between winter and spring arrive in your locale?