By JOSHUA S. FLESHER
It's over ... It's finally over!
As I sit at my desk here on Franklin Street, I'm looking out the window at something we in the Mahoning Valley haven't seen in four months - blue sky!
Now, I'm sure at some point during the winter there was a day or two that the sun was out, but I really don't count it until the temperature goes above 40 degrees.
I have been putting this off because every time the weather looks like it's about to break, we are hit in the face with a day of freezing rain and snow.
However, I now officially will announce that spring is here.
Am I a meteorologist? No, but I have read a book about it. So that makes me a bit of an expert, if you ask me. Well, I didn't so much read it as look at the pictures, but you get the idea.
With the arrival of spring, which is like your favorite family member - always late but worth the wait - we can stop our hibernation and return to the outdoors.
As the winter drags into month four, I begin to feel stir-crazy - and not the good Richard Pryor/Gene Wilder kind. I am a homebody, but just the simplicity of having a cup of coffee on my back porch can make such a difference in my day.
With spring comes so many things to do that don't involve renting the last three movies in the Red Box that you haven't seen. My favorite, although it doesn't begin for a couple more months, is going up to Eastwood Field for a Scrappers game. Being a massive baseball fan, I enjoy anytime I can get to the ballpark and watch a game.
If you are feeling like a short drive, the Cleveland Indians have kicked off another season, and any trip to Jacobs Field (I'll never call it Progressive Field) is a great time for you or your family - especially during promotional games that offer discount tickets and package offers.
Also, Fellows Riverside Gardens on Youngstown's West Side is a great spot for people who want to get out and see some of the area's most beautiful scenery. Along with the gardens is Mill Creek Park, which is enough nature and scenery to get a person lost for several hours. (So I've heard).
One of the best parts about spring is the chance to get back into your own yard for some much needed cleanup.
Like me, for instance. There has been an unidentified white bag sitting in the same spot in my backyard now for about two months. Yes, I could have gone and got it when it was cold, but I didn't. Now, I can go pick it up and give the grass a good mow while I'm at it. Maybe even plant a flower or two.
The spring is a rebirth, and after a long winter, it can be seen as a starting over. The snow has come and gone, and now we can enjoy the colors and beauty of the world around us.
And if nothing else, we can finally open some windows and say goodbye to that horrible chest cold that has been causing us daily grief for the past two months - at least that's what I think, anyway.
Joshua officially has retired his snow shovel and can be reached at jflesher@tribtoday.