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Hope spring eternal

COLUMN -

March 29, 2002|BY BILL KOHLER

Ahhh, spring.

It's in the air. You can see it, feel it and even smell it when you pass a bunch of blooming Easter flowers in a neighbor's yard.

It's the time for people as well as bears to get out of hibernation and return to the real world.

Many of us will attempt to reconnect with the planet by getting outside in the next few weeks and taking walks or going for a bike ride, weeding the garden, cleaning out the shed or anything else that you meant to do in the fall before winter.

Others will just come to the front of their caves, look around, scratch their bellies, yawn and return to their dens.

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That's all fine and good, but isn't life too short for that?

Ain't there (sorry, Mrs. Hawkins and Mrs. Bucy) too many things to see and do in this short life span to not enjoy the beauty and opportunity that spring affords us every year?

I think so.

They say hope springs eternal this time of year. And, the upcoming Christian holiday, Easter, celebrates rebirth, renewal and redemption. In other words, it's a perfect time to get out and do something.

Although fall has always held a special place for me (the return to school, Saturday afternoon football games at Waynesboro High School, soccer, leaf peeping, etc.), spring has always served as an invigorating time, especially during the past six winters in the upper Midwest.

When spring comes in Wisconsin (and there were a few years when I think it went straight to summer), people grab their Miller High Lifes and head for the streets and parks. They value the chance to go outside and smell the flowers, take care of their yards, cook their brats on the grill and curse about the Brewers while counting down the days to the start of Packer training camp.

You know how intoxicating spring is? Lots of Oriole and Pirate fans are actually thinking their teams may finish .500 this summer.

Ahhh, spring.

Here's a few more things we can hope for in the Tri-State area this spring:

- That West Virginia Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, will shed more light on what he knows about this NASCAR track proposal when he goes before the West Virginia Motorsports Council on April 17 in Flatwoods, W.Va. We all deserve to know a little (or even a lot) more about this plan to possibly build a NASCAR track in the Eastern Panhandle.

- That the well-intended efforts of downtown revitalization efforts are supported by residents and council members in the Franklin County boroughs of Waynesboro and Chambersburg. In Waynesboro especially, a fresh breath of energy is needed to improve the climate there. Let's hope that current businesses hold on and shoppers continue to support them. Let's also hope new niche businesses and retail shops take a chance on these downtown areas.

- That someone with ice rink experience buys the Doris Billow Ice Center in Zullinger, Pa., and does it right this time. Let's also hope that the bank that holds the cards in this deal is more interested in the community than money. What a shame that the facility is sitting there empty, hollow and unused by anyone.

- That a resolution is reached in the W.Va. 9 and U.S. 340 expansion controversies. For safety and growth reasons alone, those roads must be improved. For the sake of all who drive there, let's hope plans can move forward.

- That we get so much rain that we actually start to complain about it again. Remember when it used to rain three days a week in the spring? We need more rain badly or the summer could see desperate times in these parts.

- Leaving the Tri-State for a moment, let's hope that - sorry about the clich - there truly can be peace on earth this spring and especially at Eastertime, the most important religious holiday of the year. Let's hope that the leaders in the Middle East - an area torn to shreds by centuries of hatred, misunderstanding, murder and mistrust - can find a way to end the violence and begin the healing process.

- And finally, let's hope that we can all be nicer to one another: brother to brother, neighbor to neighbor, father to son, friend to friend, husband to wife. If you got an old rusty, dirty hatchet, what better time than spring - the time for forgiveness and resurrection - to bury that sucker so deep in the ground that by summer you'll have forgotten all about it.

Too much to hope for? Let's hope not.

Bill Kohler is Tri-State editor of the Morning Herald. He can be reached at 1-800-626-6397, extension 2023, or by e-mail at billk@herald-mail.com.

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