Take heart: spring is on the horizon

When the U.S. government decided two years ago to advance daylight savings time to the second Sunday in March, there were lots of complaints.
But after this weekend, with its bright sunny days, I doubt anyone is complaining about the longer days.
I still may grumble that I wake up in the dark, but having daylight well into the evening is a bonus.
I found myself surprised late Sunday as the day remained bright past 7 p.m. Spring really is on its way.
Walking through several stores over the weekend, I spotted seeds out on display teasing every gardener. Peat, potting soil, and fibre containers were close by. It may be a bit early to start those seedlings, but the idea of eating newly-grown green peas, radishes, and leaf lettuce already is on the minds of local gardeners.
In the same aisles, barbecues were prominently displayed. They now have gone from the popular any colour as long as it is black to burnished stainless steel and bright red.
Barbecues also now come with ovens, refrigerators, and extra burners. The simple barbecue is disappearing.
The new barbecue season already is here. In our household, the barbecue was never put away last fall and we barbecued through the winter. It still seems to be functional, but it is beginning to show its age.
The electronic ignition stopped working years ago and the burner has been replaced several times. The gas hoses were replaced a few years ago, but now the deflecting heating grills have rusted through.
Maybe this is the year it will be replaced. My wife wonders where the small compact gas barbecues have gone.
I enjoy fishing and Cabela’s, Bass Pro, and Gander Mountain already are trolling in my wallet with new lures, rods, and reels. And the catalogues that seem to arrive every other week contain new electronics for my boat.
They all are must-have necessities for catching fish. Bigger screens, more pixels, 3-D imaging, more colour just won’t give the fish a chance. All are guaranteed to make me a better fisherman. Time and practice just don’t seem to count.
And along with those new electronic gadgets are new softer plastics, more realistic minnows, lighter rods, better braided line, and more invisible line. Who can resist?
Spring is on the horizon. Snow may make an appearance or two in the next several weeks, but the pent-up energy of spring can be felt. Snow is melting away from the base of trees encouraging them to prepare for budding and getting the sap running.
The slush on the lake has frozen and the snow has settled. Trucks have begun delivering building supplies to cottages in anticipation of the building season.
I check the calendar and see that only seven weeks remain until the boating season begins.
Before then, the snow must melt. The spring yard clean-up has to take place. The lawn must be raked, all the branches that blew down in January picked up, and the hedges cleaned and trimmed.
The energy and vigour of spring is in the air.

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