OK, I wasn’t too excited about the colder temperatures and snow on Monday, however, it would be difficult to beat the gorgeous weather we had on Saturday. Wow! It was beautiful in Bureau County! Seemingly overnight the grass turned green, and I’ve got daffodils, jonquils, blood root and snowdrops showing their beautiful faces in my yard. Also, the buds on the lilac tree off my backyard deck are tiny, but they’re growing every day. The birds, the rabbits, the squirrels ... well, they seem just as excited as I am about spring this year. I was in Rockford early Saturday morning, and you wouldn’t have believed the hail storm that area got! Wow! Quarter-size hail fell so hard and so quickly, there was a good two or three inches of hail carpeting the ground. It was really quite a sight to see, but thankfully, it wasn’t severe enough to cause any damage to vehicles. As spring gets underway, please keep in mind that severe weather like tornadoes and thunderstorms can happen at any time — actually during any season of the year, so stay informed. A good way to do that is to sign up for our free service — bcralerts. You can find it on our website at www.bcrnews.com. This service will notify you of any severe weather headed our way. There are plenty of other features too, so give it a try. ••• There was a lot going on in the news around Bureau County last week. • I have to applaud the village of Tiskilwa as they discuss wheelchair access ramps on curbs and guttered streets in town. I have to believe that access will be so appreciated by those residents who need them. • I am also impressed with Tiskilwa’s decision to look into a burning ordinance in the village. While I know many folks need to burn their leaves and yard waste, just as many people struggle with the effects of that burning. Many villages have struggled with this problem, and most have found a solution. There’s nothing more aggravating than to have a beautiful day, so you open your windows and the smoke from someone’s fire fills your home instead of the fresh air. • Last week at Princeton High School, the Three Rivers Athletic Conference (T.R.A.C.) Art Festival was held. What an event! High school students from several schools in the area participated — not only did they show their art and compete for prizes, but the students also had the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops in different genres. It was really a neat event. This year’s host teachers were Linda Ribar and Karen Greer of Princeton High School. ••• It’s Holy Week; Easter is Sunday. I hope you have a special day planned — one filled with traditions and memory-making moments. Because after all, when it’s all said and done, memories are all we really have ... By the way, the BCR Editorial Department is always eager to accept your leftover Easter candy. We have a passion for the Reese’s peanut butter bunnies ... just saying. ••• If you haven’t seen it yet, our Spring 2014 Illinois Valley Living magazine is out. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to call me with any story ideas you might have for upcoming editions. ••• Mommy and Me Contest: Get in on all the fun with the BCR’s Mommy and Me Contest. Mommy & Me Contest. It’s easy. Just submit a picture of your favorite moment with you and your children or grandchildren. Once the submission period is finished, the voting begins on our website at www.bcrnews.com. You can view the entries and vote for your favorite. Make sure you get your family and friends to vote for you by putting this link on your Facebook page. The winner will get some great prizes. The photo submission period is until 5 p.m. April 23. The voting period begins at 9 a.m. April 24 and runs through 5 p.m. May 1. Thoughts for Holy Week: • “Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” Mitch Albom. • “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.” Mahatma Gandhi. • “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” Robert H. Schuller. • “You gotta love Easter candy!” Terri Simon. ••• It’s National Library Week — see our front page story! This is a great time to get reacquainted with your local library. And if you’re a regular library patron, it’s also a perfect time to take a friend with you to see what great programs and features today’s libraries hold. Another great idea? National Library Week is a wonderful time to thank the folks who go the extra mile to make your local library an interesting and fun place to read, study, etc. I guarantee these folks aren’t the highest paid people in the world, but I also guarantee they are committed to everything for which your library stands. ••• I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter. Take some time for you — maybe just to reflect. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.