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  Saturday January 31st, 2015    

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Countdown to Spring (03/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom

As I walked out of the WSU men’s basketball game last Saturday (heartbreaker!) it was dusting snow. A woman next to me said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I thought, “Wow. There’s a person who looks at the glass half-full.” My thinking had been tending toward, “Oh, no! More snow?”

So I decided to make a list for myself of the signs of Spring that I’ve seen lately.

Number one is Reading on the Mall, WSU professor Donna Helble’s brainchild to bring together her students with people in the community of all ages, but mostly kids, who love books. The event this year employed the services of 90 WSU education students, who treated the hundreds of kids who came to various craft-making projects, puppet shows, face painting, and other book-related fun.

I was pleased to be among the community people asked to read books for fifteen minutes. This year, my grandchildren came, making it even more fun than usual for me. But the four-year-old wasn’t about to sit down and share me with other kids. She treated it just like a book reading at home and stuck to me like glue so no one else could see the pictures. The list of readers included teachers, principals, foundation leaders, business people, and even a state senator. Most of us were overshadowed by Patrick and Maureen Marek, whose reading (it’s more than a reading, really, complete with props) of Green Eggs and Ham, coupled with Patrick’s voice — which needs no microphone to reverberate throughout the entire mall — drew a huge crowd. One of my favorites? Rhonda Norton’s Redeemer Lutheran Preschool kids’ performance. We are very fortunate to have three higher ed facilities in Winona who bring us such events to enrich our and our children’s lives. Thanks Donna Helble and her students!

Second, Penguin Zesto is open.

Third, Lakeview Drive In opens next week.

Fourth, catalogs of lawn furniture are coming to the house. Seed catalogs are old news by this time.

Fifth, the dog will stay out longer and longer, and there’s daylight when I come home from work. Daylight Savings begins March 13.

Sixth, if you are looking at your wardrobe and wondering if you can afford a new sweater, because all your old ones are getting worn, you’re too late. Now you have to buy a two-piece bathing suit (at least that’s what I think those little matching handkerchiefs are for).

Seventh, next week is Spring Break at area schools.

Eighth, Twins Spring Training!

Ninth, the celebrations have begun leading up to Mardi Gras — Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins, March 8.

Tenth, I don’t need the space heater in my office any more! (Pretty soon I’ll be calling for a fan!)

Let it snow! I say, it won’t last. Let the ice fishermen work on their boat motors! Let the skiers get out their water skis! Let the gardeners see dirt! Let the farmers spread manure! Let the cows into the meadow and get ready for their calves! Let the birds find their own seeds so I can sweep the leavings from my deck!

Spring! Soon!



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