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Wishing winter away and pining for spring

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring!

The weather this past week gave us a glimpse of things to come. For at least a portion of five or six days, the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky. The temperature outdoors wasn’t necessarily warm, but it was warm enough to provide some relief from the bone-chilling cold experienced earlier this month.

It also was warm enough to melt away some of the snow and ice that had blanketed our region.

I try not to let the weather get me down, but when days are gray for weeks on end it can become difficult to ignore. It probably doesn’t help that Market Street in Belmont may be one of the last placed in Belmont County where snow still stands several inches deep.

The large old buildings and homes on the street are situated in a way that blocks the sun’s rays, making snow and ice slower to melt than it is in many other places each year.

Instead of dwelling on weather patterns I don’t like, I’m trying to focus on looking forward to warmer, brighter days and starry nights. There are so many things I love about spring and summer — open windows, bare feet, the smells of fresh-cut grass and newly overturned soil.

I really enjoyed last week’s little preview of things to come. I took advantage of the nicer weather to get out and about for a little while. I shed my winter coat and drove around in my slacks and sweater, stopping often to take photos of the changing scenery.

I visited places such as Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville, where I saw many local residents running errands and getting their vehicles washed. I also made my way through smaller communities such as Warnock and Loomis, checking out how high the water in creeks and streams had gotten and taking pictures of the rushing water.

I also encountered some friendly folks along the way. A truck driver who was delivery field to a church where I had parked in the lot gave me an enthusiastic greeting and commented on the nice day.

I had a brief chat with two Ohio Department of Highways workers who were out collecting branches from the sides of local roads. It seems the heavy coating of ice that everything in the area received a couple of weeks ago caused limbs and even entire trees to fall.

It’s so much easier to keep a safe social distance from others while outdoors. Standing 15 or 20 feet apart while feeling the passing breeze, one can be fairly confident that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is minimal.

That is another reason I am looking forward to spring. I am eager to stand in my yard or driveway and be able to talk with neighbors and relatives without fear. In that environment, I won’t have the nagging worry over whether I may have been exposed to the coronavirus and could be passing it on to someone else.

What sorts of things do you hope to do once spring arrives?

I am looking forward to taking walks, painting my porch steps and floor, cleaning all the autumn leaves from my lawn, tending to my flower beds and planting my vegetable garden.

I have some special projects in mind as well. Last year I had the gutters on our house thoroughly cleaned. This year, I hope to rehabilitate and reconfigure some downspouts, making sure they are securely attached so that I don’t have to make minor repairs to them so frequently.

I’m also looking forward to washing our siding, removing the dirt and grime of the past year or so and even some moss on eth north side. And I can’t wait to wash the windows inside and out — making them sparkle and improving our view of the great outdoors.

I know none of these tasks is glamorous or exciting. Many people might consider them to be arduous chores.

For me, though, completing work to improve my home while also getting some sunshine and fresh air is one of the best parts of life.

Your vision of spring and summer may be very different from mine. Perhaps you are planning a trip or aiming to take a daily swim. Whatever your hopes mayA

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