Oh, spring! The signs are everywhere

Signs of spring abound in Forest Park – most of them are encouraging:

  • Pink vehicle stickers grow on windshields.
  • Yellow and blue signs grow on the lawns. They say “We stand with Ukraine”. O’Sullivan’s distributes them in exchange for a $10 donation. The money goes to YUCO, which stands for Youth Ukraine Camp Organization.
  • New bar-restaurants are popping up along Madison Street.
  • Thanks to the return of the sun, some of us embellish our ghostly appearance with a little third-degree sunburn.
  • Grills are on, bike tires are inflated, and televisions are off.
  • Branches are budding, puddles are forming puddles, and bird feeders are busy.
  • Homeowners make the difficult choice of planting grass seed or laying sod to cover the mud with a toupee.
  • Empty plastic water bottles appear on sidewalks and lawns. Plastic has contaminated the planet from the bottom of the ocean to the top of Mount Everest. Microplastics appear in human blood streams. Isn’t it time to switch to reusable containers?
  • Restaurants are reopening their terraces, park benches are being used. Soon, lounging on lawn chairs will replace collapsing on sofas.
  • Sports activity has returned to the park. Some suffer from playing sports. But it’s that good kind of pain that reminds us, hey, limbs still work.
  • Garden hoses are reconnected, cars are clean again, and some extremists are even washing windows.
  • Face masks disappear. We no longer have to smile with our eyes alone.
  • After the blazing speed of hockey and the speed of basketball, we must once again adapt to the snail’s pace of baseball.
  • The name might not be trendy, but many of us are eagerly awaiting the return of Groovin’ in the Grove.
  • Shorts are worn again, exposing pale skin that can be blinding.
  • Thermal underwear is going out of fashion. Parkas are retired. Boots are no longer required.
  • Forest Parkers returning from spring break have only one question in mind: “Why?”
  • Teachers, students and school bus drivers are counting the days.
  • The windows open, the fresh air circulates. Can the placement of porch furniture be far behind?
  • Outdoor tours are coming, while indoor concerts and plays and audiences are finally back.
  • Neighbors who haven’t seen each other for months will reconnect.
  • Summer blockbusters are coming. Will they ever stop making superhero movies?
  • It is no longer dark at 5:30 a.m.
  • Backyard parties are returning but may require a fire.
  • Sox fans are right to be excited, while some Cub fans continue to be raving.
  • The primaries are approaching and it’s exciting to receive campaign flyers in the mail.
  • Cardinals sing, but I’ll settle for a sparrow.
  • Bees and butterflies will make a comeback. I can’t wait for the mosquitoes.
  • Deer sightings will increase and skunks will make their presence known.
  • Going for walks will be a pleasure instead of a painful one.

Oh, spring!

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who saw his family prosper in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Phantom of Cleopatra and The Doll with a Sad Face. More John Rice

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