This winter has been hard on everyone.
Some businesses report lower sales, unless they happen to be selling shovels, ice scrapers or salt. Homeowners and businesses have seen higher utility bills due to colder temperatures. The ice and snow have caused school delays and closings to the point all “snow days” have been used up and one additional make-up day added to the school calendar.
However, a mild Saturday last weekend led to an inundation of cabin-fever residents, eager to get off the couch, stretch their legs and breathe some fresh air.
It's safe to say the countdown to spring is officially on.
Saturday was spectacular with air temperatures in the low to mid-20s with a beautiful high sun and plenty of blue skies.
Some saw the opportunity and embraced it.
“We’ve been out maybe one other time this year,” said Al Lahr who was out cross country skiing with his wife Tammy. “It’s just been too cold this year to do just about anything outside.”
The Lahrs rented skiis from the Becker Community Center and were making their trek around the Pebble Creek Blue 9 and heading for the trails on the championship course.
Just up the road the Becker City Park, families were climbing the sledding hill and frolicking down the slick snow that was just cold enough to stay slick, but warm enough to give the sleds some bounce.
Adam Vee and his two kids, Mason and Morgan of Becker got their kicks trudging up the gradually-sloped hill and barreling down at fast speeds amidst laughter and screams.
Driving through the neighborhoods of Becker, one could see dozens of people going for walks or short runs including the 60+ or so athletes running the laid-out course as part of the Chase the Leprechaun race put on by the Becker Community Center. There were plenty of slick spots, but the majority of runners had to navigate puddles unless they weren’t shy about getting their feet wet.
Further to the east, Zak Longstrom and his son Kyle were out cruising the ditches and fields on their red hot snowmobile along Co. Rd. 4 in Becker Township.
Others were seen outside their homes chiseling ice on their sidewalks and shoveling the ends of their driveways to secure better placement of their garbage canisters. Still others were busy chopping up wood from trees that suffered damage from the heavy snows while some threw salt pellets on staircases and walkways.
Looking to the upcoming weather forecasts, it appears the really harsh stuff is behind us, though Mother Nature could throw in a couple quick, depressing snowstorms before the month goes out. However, now is a good time for everyone to do start thinking about their spring cleaning projects including tackling that bulging garage.
With all the ebbing snow piles, trash on the roads and sidewalks start appearing from people who have lost or tossed bottles, wrappers and cans along the roadside.
Going out for a walk? Take a trash bag along.
Otherwise, find some way to get out and start enjoying the beautiful pre-Spring weather we’re having.
Remember, last year we didn’t really have a Spring, so get out and enjoy it while you can!