Archive for Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring brings renewed optimism

April 2, 2008

What words best sum up spring? Well, in my opinion it would have to be optimism and anticipation. Spring is the time of year when we breathe a sigh of relief that winter - with its cold, ice and snow - are long gone and balmy days are ahead.

I enjoy being able to get up early in the morning and go out to get the newspaper without being smacked with a blast from the cold wind or having to find my winter boots to make it through the snow in the vain hope that I can find the newspaper. Then, since I have a steep driveway, I hope to make it back to the house without taking a fall. A warm walk to the newspaper starts my day off on a good note.

On the other hand, spring can be frustrating and angering, too. If you remember last year, a mild March gave way to an extremely cold April. Plants and trees were about to burst into boom when the thermometer went bust. We had several days of temperatures well below freezing and some other unpleasantness. Jokingly, I've said that spring doesn't arrive until I haul my first wheelbarrow of dirt to the planting area.

Certainly, we anticipate a good year. We all hope that the spring and summer will be one with perfect temperatures and rainfall. Many of us hope that this is the year that the grass in those pesky bare spots will take hold once and for all. We believe that this will be the year that lawns will look like the outfield grass at Kauffman Stadium. Some of us believe that this will be the year that we finally find a way to keep the deer from devastating our flower gardens.

Of course, that never happens. We never get just the right amount of rain coupled with perfect temperatures. In the real world, it is always bone dry and desert hot in August and the green grass of spring withers into the brown wasteland of late summer.

I even believe that the deer anticipate spring, too. I'm sure they can't wait to feast on a salad of newly blooming flowers. They know that dessert will be served in our yard.

Of course, spring and summer bring some problems, too. Unfortunately, spring and summer are a time of anticipation for mosquitoes, chiggers and other such pests. They can't wait to get a chance to nibble on people like me. Spring can be a time of extreme itching after a couple of hours in the yard.

Kids, too, are filled with anticipation in the spring. Spring is the one time of year when students and teachers both are overcome with anticipation. Both students and teachers can't wait for the end of school and the freedom of summer. For many, summer brings time to enjoy playing ball, swimming or participating in other recreational activities. On the other hand, parents look toward spring with dread. Parents know they have to come up with babysitting and things to keep kids both safe and entertained. Meanwhile, many high school-age young people hope to get a good job and save some money for coming years.

For many, spring brings the anticipation of a great vacation. Others are excited about the opening of the aquatic center or the first city band concert. Again this year, there will be concerts at Sandstone and local celebrations on the Fourth of July, Tiblow Days and county fairs. Yes, there are many events in our area.

Many families anticipate graduation, which is an exciting time. While young people anticipate ending school, they have concerns about their future. If your child is graduating from college, it is a time for joy since your expenses will go down. If they are starting school, it is a time to worry about the future and ever rising tuition costs.

Spring is a time when hope rises in Kansas City Royals fans. Many of us believe that a contender is just around the corner. Sadly, for the past 22 years, the Royals' performance has mirrored many lawns in August. The hope and anticipation of spring has withered into the dog days of defeat. Yet I remain optimistic that this will be a year of success for both, even though both dreams have been crushed many times in the past.

I have always been an incurable optimist and I always believe that this will be the best spring and summer ever. I honestly believe that this will be the year that the Royals win and my yard is perfect. Temperatures will be pleasant and air conditioning use will be at a minimum. But, if things don't work out, there will always be next year.

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