HAMMERTIME: Swinging into spring

This week’s Ponoka News Hammertime celebrates the fun of spring

Mike Rainone


At this great and refreshing time of the year many of us will fondly look back at those boring late winter blahs when we couldn’t wait for the snow to melt away, the days to get longer, and the sun to get hotter so that we could dash outside and get our hectic and anticipated spring schedules into full swing.

But then again, many of us who are now still saucy but slightly mellowed seniors will now take the arrival of yet another wet and wonderful season in stride, while looking forward to getting outside and enjoying the fresh air and the invigorating resurgence of nature’s splendour and a bright new outlook on life at maybe just a slightly slower pace?

I guess it wasn’t that long ago that as soon as the icy grip of winter finally let go and late March and April came bursting forth with those wet and glorious days of slush and splashes and spring showers we realized that there was so much to be done in and around our backyard kingdoms, farms, rolling fields, and revitalized communities. Now we can all sit back and look forward to the ‘rush of spring 2019’ and whether it be work or play, we can all casually get busy making our exciting family plans for the next six months or so of sunshine and sand, warm winds, cool rains, and only a few rumbles, all set in the perfect and pristine atmosphere of green grass, amazing flowers and foliage spread throughout the magnificent landscapes and fun-spots of our great province of Alberta. This week I will have some fun sharing some special spring fling memories of days gone by, as well as warm weather perks and plans that we can all look forward to, starting now!

• As each and every community ‘cleans up’ in the aftermath of a rather strange winter, we will be sure to see lots of pot holes, junk that wasn’t there in the fall, and scads of sand and grit that will have to be swept up and hauled away by the street sweepers and crews that are now out and about sprucing up our communities and preparing for all sorts of roadwork, maintenance, and exciting new projects. Please watch for signage, slow down, and respect their safety and efforts.

• Once all of us have stored away the fishing shack, skidoos, snow shovels, and winter play toys in the garage and shed, it will then be time to dig out the trusty yard tools and equipment, and head out into our now brown, but soon to be ‘busting into green’ back yards. My wife and I really loved doing that for quite a few years in our big back yards, but now that we are retired and living in a condo, we pamper a few plants and flowers on our back deck, and then venture out into the neighbourhood to enjoy the parks and playgrounds, while admiring the fabulous efforts and creations of all the still very active and younger ‘green thumb’ fanatics.

• Spring and summer also presents so many great opportunities for young and old alike to take part in countless indoor and outdoor recreational activities and events, and don’t forget to service the fishing boat and buy some new flashy lures. Right up until the age of over 50 I couldn’t wait to get out and join my buddies and team on the ball diamonds, the soccer pitch, the golf course, and all the rest for a full fun season of games, keen camaraderie, late night socializing, and new friends. Please make sure to check the newspapers, bulletin boards, and communication outlets to see what activities and events are available, and then register early and start practising, but watch for puddles and splashes.

• It won’t be long before the spring blue birds and other winged species and assorted bugs and beasties will begin arriving in our neighbourhoods in search of food and lodging. They would really appreciate it if we get our bird houses and feeders ready, as well as leaving out a few tidbits as a welcome gift, but please beware of those roving black critters with the white stripe.

• One of the favourite leisure pastimes for so many at this time of the year is attending the bountiful and friendly farmer’s markets as well as heading out onto the garage sale circuit. After all of our spring cleaning is done we can host own neighbourhood sale, which just might give us enough spare cash to go out and find some new treasures, which we must convince our wives that we can keep.

Spring bits

It will soon be time for a new spring wardrobe and there are always lots of big sales. The roar of the motorcycles and the first convertible with the top down really means that spring is just around the corner, and what can we say about the sweet aromas of the back yard barbecues? Time to book your camping spots in advance, and when we are out on the trails amongst the walkers, joggers bikers, rollers, and hot mamas and papas with their strollers, please be safe and courteous.

As ‘spring fever’ invades we will still manage as always to get all the chores done between tee times and playoff games, but just go ahead and pick your spring/summer activity, invite many others to join in, and then go ahead and have a great week, all of you.

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