Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 26, 2013

John Cannon: March on, Father Time: 02/27/13

John Cannon
The Independent

ASHLAND — March 1 is one of my favorite days of the year. It is not because it is a holiday, my birthday or anything really special. It is because it makes me feel like winter is history and spring has arrived.

Think about it: Doesn’t March 1 sound so much better than Feb. 28?

In February, thoughts of walking your dog on cold winter mornings still make you shiver as you get out of bed when your beloved canine comes to inform you that it is time for her morning stroll. On those mornings when the temperature hovers around 15 degrees, you bundle up from head to toe in a futile attempt to stay warm, while your little pooch does not seem to be the least bit cold as she trots through the snow.

The winter of 2012-13 was colder than the winter of 2011-12 which, I dubbed, “The Winter that Wasn’t” and that made me a True Believer in global warming. Nevertheless, this still wasn’t much of a winter, weatherwise.

But it was a good winter for getting sick. One week, it was 17 degrees when I walked my Prissy at 7 a.m. Two days later the high temperature was more than 70 degrees.

This winter made it difficult to decide how to dress for the day. On more than one occasion, I wore sweaters and heavy coats to protect myself from the frigid temperatures in the morning, and then forgot to wear my coat home that afternoon because it was so warm. Of course, when it was frigid again the next morning, I regretted that my coat was hanging in my office at work.

I don’t hate winter. I just think it should last three days instead of three months. My wife and I have a great yard for sledding, and every year I want at least one snow that is heavy enough that I can delight in watching my granddaughters speed down the two slopes in our yard. We had that snow this year. It arrived one day and was all gone by the next morning. That’s the way I like it. The kids got to sled and I didn’t

have to shovel the driveway.

Although it still is February, I am already anticipating spring. One thing I really hate about winter is going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Since I usually eat lunch at the newspaper and seldom go out during the day, I sometimes feel like I missed the whole day in the winter because I never saw daylight.

While it still may be dark when Prissy and I leave the house for our morning walk, it usually is daylight before we return home. Just seeing the light of day somehow lifts my spirits.

Soon, it may again be dark when Prissy and I take our morning walk, but it will be daylight for our evening stroll. That’s because daylight savings time arrives March 10.

 As a teenager on the farm, I hated daylight savings time. That’s because regardless of what the clock on the wall said the time was, we worked in the fields from dawn to dusk. That made it 9 p.m. or later before I could finish my farm work, clean up and hopefully go see my girlfriend, who lived about 15 miles from our farm. There are few things that can do more to kill a budding teen romance than showing up for a date at 9:30 p.m. To make matters even worse, I was usually dead tired from having worked in the fields all day.

But that was then, and this is now. As a full-fledged city resident with no cows to milk and pigs to feed, I am all for daylight savings time. I like being able to mow the yard at 9 p.m.

Friday is March 1 and, as far as I’m concerned, that means spring is here. I know we can still have some nasty winter weather before this season ends. My oldest son was married on a March 13 in which more than a foot of snow fell here in Ashland. We still tell stories about that wedding, even though the marriage sadly did not last.

But even if this winter comes back for an encore, we know the bad weather will not last long, and warm weather will soon return.

And the best thing about spring is the return of baseball, by far my favorite sport. Spring training used to start during the first week of March, but as this is written, my beloved Reds have already played four games. If that doesn’t give you a case of Spring Fever, nothing will.

Every four years I complain about another day being added to February because of leap year. To me, that just makes one of the worst months of the year one day longer. I think the extra day should be added to June. I mean, what would you rather have, another day of February or another day of June? I rest my case.

But this is not a leap year, and the start of March will not be delayed. Can spring be far behind?

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com. or at (606) 326-2649,