Before this month is over, I want to pay a final tribute to Nick’s grandmother who always said, “August is the beginning of winter.” (SLS reader Miguel from Coimbra tells me that in his native Portugal they also say primeiro de Agosto, primeiro de inverno -- “first of August, first of winter.”) Believe it or not, this is a full-color photograph that I snapped from my back door just after a winter snowstorm. If you live in New England, as I do, March is an excellent time to plan a vacation, preferably somewhere that is colorful and in full bloom. (I often visit my friends in the Southwest.) By the time March rolls around, everyone I know (even those irritating friends who claim they love winter, love snow) has pretty much had just about enough of icy, slushy, cold grey days. What may have seemed decorative back in December when the snow was novel and new, now is burdensome and a daily nuisance. (I wondered if this past year, as I no longer had to contend with commuting an hour each way to work, I would view things somewhat differently. I didn’t.) By early April, there is some hope in the slant of the sunlight, the slight warming, the quick melting of any lingering snowfall. But March, no. Eliot got it wrong. March is the cruelest month. By a long shot.