Has our spring finally sprung?

Whether the ground hog has emerged or not, there is absolutely no doubt that all of us, even the snow birds, are looking forward to the arrival of spring, and all its wet and wonderful advantages! Although winter is still being rather stubborn about letting go, we are now casting aside our bulky clothes and enjoying the many signs of what has to eventually be the glorious green season.

While hopping around puddles and slush drifts on my daily walk last week I spied a large flock of ducks/geese landing carefully on a half-frozen road side slough, some really dandy pot holes, and the odd motorcycle fanatic trying to manoeuvre through the gravel spots while trying to keep his fancy new leathers dry! Meanwhile, the slow, but promising warm up trend has prompted our beloved government to cut off the gas rebates and up set some more seniors over proposed medical coverage changes. On the other hand in the midst of the economic stress and many job losses, our leaders have still found enough money to pay millions of dollars in bonuses and pamper pay to their own employees.

But I guess as is always the case, all good things must eventually come to and end, and we as hardy and proud Albertans will somehow survive, at least until another election is called. I see the other day the announcement that the world’s longest running soap opera, the ‘Guiding Light’ is coming to an end after 72 years of love-hate and torrid romances on both radio and television. Perhaps they should replace it with another sad and sassy afternoon sitcom called ‘Whatever happened to the Alberta Advantage’? Whatever the case, here are some more glorious signs of spring, which I hope you all enjoy, and take full advantage of.

*Many will now be river watching, as there is lots of snow to create run-off, and hopefully there will be no ice jams or property damage. Those in low areas should always be prepared.

*Spring means trade shows, auctions, and garage sales, where lots of new goodies can be discovered to tinker with! The Ponoka Chamber Of Commerce will be hosting their 2009 Trade Show and Energy Expo on April 24tand 25 at the Arena Complex, and the display booths are already full of family displays and fun.

*All City and town staffs will be out in full force sweeping the gravel and junk off the streets and boulevards, preparing pot holes, and general spring cleaning. Please slow down and yield to their flashing lights and equipment.

*In spring many hockey fans go into seclusion for the playoffs, and if your team is gone like mine, just go out and buy another flag (hopefully Canadian team) to fly on your bandwagon. Of course some coaches will be fired, as always, while their high paid players who didn’t make the final 16 will only fret until the golf courses have opened.

*Alas! Spring break is over, but school is now in the home stretch towards summer holidays, and thank goodness you can now send them outside.

*At this time of the year there is always lots to do outside, like yard work, fresh air, and lazy adventures amongst nature. There is no use looking for excuses, as TV is now all reruns, and you can’t wait to show off your new spring wardrobe, can you?

*Many sharp holiday and weekend planners will be getting their RV’s out of cold storage, while the ‘swingers’ have already found a dry space to test their golf clubs or new baseball bat. Already I have seen the convertibles drop their tops with the proud owners cruising around with their hoodies up, while all other forms of wheeled transportation will soon emerge from your garage, which needs to be cleaned by the way!

*Watch the papers closely for registration of spring and summer activities for all age groups, check for annual summer camp listings, and don’t forget to put up your back yard bird houses, nice and clean, so that those colourful song critters can find a new home.

*Spring-cleaning was never one of my favourite pass-times, but teamwork does get it done early, then everyone can get outside and fire up the barbecue to celebrate.

*The arrival of spring also means nature (and love) in all it’s finest and full bloom, including flowers, showers, buds, gophers, weeds, bugs, and all the rest. It is also great to see the dedicated farmers out on their land early, churning up the moist black soil, and creating a haven of fresh worms for the sea gulls and fishermen.

*As we all enjoy our early spring fling we must always slow down and be very wary of everyone out and about on his or her bikes and whatever other mode of casual transportation. If you have your pooch in tow please remember to take along a plastic baggie. Try to enjoy every magic moment of your spring fling, and have a great week, all of you.

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