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A new kind of spring is in the air

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Apr 18, 2021

Spring is in the air.

Can you feel it? I can.

Oh sure, the spring plants are poking their heads out of the ground and starting to grow like they do every year. The tulips, the hostas and other plants are coming along.

The grass is actually turning green and is going to have to be mowed soon. The trees are budding out and my vehicle and driveway are covered in the bud droppings. And the birds are chirping like crazy, especially the cardinals.

However, that is not the signs of spring I am talking about here.

Farmers are starting to scratch in the dirt a bit, gearing up for planting. High school spring sports are getting underway outdoors at our local high schools – and even the Minnesota Twins are getting their season going, although it is not looking so pretty yet. Campers, boaters, golfers, fishermen (and women), bikers and many other folks are dusting off the equipment and getting ready to go outside.

All signs of spring in Minnesota. Yet, that is still not what I am referring to this week in this space.

I feel a different type of spring is here. One that is emerging after a long, hard winter which lasted over a year. A long, hard winter of a pandemic freezing our lives in place.

However, now finally, just maybe, some type of pandemic spring is here. A type of thaw from the way we have had to live since March of 2020.

I guess you could key the music from the movie Frozen about now.

I feel it here in Faribault County. Things are happening around the county. Despite the pandemic rules and regulations, there is a burst of activity going on here.

New housing is being built, older homes are being sold and fixed up. The real estate market is taking off locally.

Businesses are being created, or sold and recreated, or are making some big changes in their operations. We are covering ground breakings and ribbon cuttings again. In fact, there is a long list of business change stories we will be bringing you in the pages of the Register in the next few weeks.

And, most encouraging, it is often local young people who are taking the opportunity to create a business in their hometown. We have noticed a number of buildings being put to new uses, too.

It is a burst of enthusiasm that is sure exciting to witness.

Communities are planning events. Giant Days, for instance, is being planned to be bigger and better than ever. In fact, way bigger and way better. That is exciting news. The county fair and other summer events in various county towns also look like they will not only happen this summer, but be improved upon. And, many folks are ready for that to happen.

Schools, churches, clubs and others are trying hard to get back to some semblance of normal, albeit with changes. At Blue Earth Area, for instance, there will be a combination awards program for seniors, that combines the athletic, academic and scholarships awards into one.

The schools have been working hard to get back to normal, but with all kinds of new normal ways to do things. While we can’t say it is back to the way it was, it certainly looks like they are headed in the right direction.

Perhaps all this pandemic spring thaw is because so many people are getting the COVID vaccine. Over 5,000 people in Faribault County have received at least the first dose.

Maybe it is because folks are just plain ready to get out and do some activities they have always loved doing. Maybe they are sick of being cooped up at home, watching TV, and having accomplished every household project they had been putting off for years.

You know, it is just like what happens every winter in Minnesota. But this particular pandemic winter seems to have lasted a whole year. And now maybe, just maybe, it is springtime.

I know, you might be thinking I am jumping the gun here. This pandemic thing is not over and it is still with us. People are still getting sick and some are still dying.

I still feel my so-called pandemic spring is here. There is hope that we will get over this winter of being hunkered down at home. Of course, this is Minnesota, and in Minnesota it sometimes snows right in the middle of spring. So, there could be a pandemic spring snowstorm on the horizon, but I think, like most spring snows, it will melt away fast.

Do you feel it? This sense of spring being in the air?

A spring like no other?

I sure hope you can.