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Donna Barker

Determined to think spring

Regardless of what it looks like outside my front window, it’s spring.

Five days into the first meteorological spring month of March, my yard is still snow-covered, and there’s still 6-foot high piles of snow up and down my street. And, to make matters worse, it’s snowing again.

But that’s OK … spring is officially here, and we have made it through a very tough winter. There’s even a few signs of spring.

A friend told me she saw three robins in her yard a couple weeks ago. As far as I know, this friend isn’t given much to hallucinations or fibbing. I choose to believe her.

Another friend told me she has already bought her garden seeds and is plotting out her garden, at least in her mind.

And though I still haven’t plowed my way through the snow to my backyard garden spot, I can look out my kitchen window and envision the green which will appear before long. After all the whiteness of this winter, I think springtime green has become my new favorite color.

I can even visualize there will come a day when I will sit outside on our patio, read a book and feel the warmth of the sun.

But there’s no denying this has been a tough winter, the kind of winter which will almost become like folklore to us. Years from now, but probably not too soon, we will no doubt look back with a certain sense of fondness on the mighty winter of 2013-14.

Some of us more “fortunate” ones have lived through at least two mighty winters in our lifetimes. For some of us, it’s a bit hard to forget the mighty winter of 1978-79. Just as the “old timers” would say, now that’s a winter with which to be reckoned.

I was working at the Bureau County Republican that winter, expecting our first baby. The snow came not so much in inches, but in feet. I remember the Wyanet/Walnut blacktop being blocked just outside of town by the snow drifts. I remember people driving snowmobiles over fences. I remember neighbors helping out neighbors who couldn’t make it to their homes and farms.

In December 1978, the Bureau County area received about 31 inches of snow. The blizzard of Jan. 11-14, 1979, brought another 20 inches of snow and closed down about everything. The Quad Cities area ended that mighty winter with 64 inches of snow.

According to WQAD meteorologist James Zahara, the 2013-14 winter season for the Quad Cities area has brought 58.5 inches of snow, so far. This winter hasn’t been so much about amount the snow received, but its repeated hits of snowfall and the extent of the cold that it brought, he said.

Whatever their claims to infamy, both winters have been memorable.

But as for me, it will be nice to forget about winter for a while and think spring.

BCR Senior Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.