Oh look! Spring.

Now, technically I know it’s not Spring yet, but with the Ides of March and Buffalo’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in our rear-view, two of the indicators I use for Spring have already passed. Throw in the nice weather we’re having and my body is ready to walk down Main Street in a t-shirt and shorts.

It may seem like Winter lasts nine months here, but the warmer months make it all worth it. So much to do. So many places to go. People to see. And yummy food to eat.
Yup, standing at the corner of Allen Street and Delaware Avenue on Sunday watching the world turn green, it became official. I have Spring fever. The desire to get out and about wandering around parks and festivals, eating even worse food than I’ve been eating all Winter. Breaking the speed limit with the sun roof open. And ordering iced coffee instead of hot.

I don’t really appreciate our Winters here, although I know we do our best to make them worthwhile. And it seems this year Western New Yorkers tried even harder to make Winter bearable. It seemed there were more things to do and more places to go. But it’s hard to beat Spring.

I love driving, but I prefer driving when it’s sunny out. Every day it’s sunny out a little longer. I love to be outside, enjoying our fresh – and sometimes not so fresh air. When the temperature goes about 40 I do that quite a bit more often. Oh. And tennis. It’s almost time to play tennis.

You feel it too, don’t you? You’re starting to think of what to put in the garden. Starting to plan your summer trip. Where to this year? Boston? Philly? We’ve done both. They’re great vacation spots.

You’ve been thinking since November that you should scrape that Darien Lake parking sticker off your car window, only to procrastinate on a daily basis until you’ve gotten to this point … and now you’re excited to be able to replace it soon with a new one. The 2010 edition.

Spring is a time when young man’s hearts turn to thoughts of fancy … or something like that. I’m not so much worried about the fancy as I am the thought of sleeping outside under the stars with the kids while they point out Orion’s belt and the Dippers.

Last week it was warm enough to drive with my windows all the way down, blaring my music for the world to hear – whether they wanted to or not. Judging by some of the looks I got, they didn’t want to.

And this week is supposed to be even warmer.

Every year when the weather starts to break like this, I create a list of things I want to take advantage of. And every year when the weather turns cool again, I look at that list and wish I had crossed more things off of it.

This is the year that I cross more things off the list than not. This is the year that I refuse to let the warm months slip by. This is the year that I refuse to let life get in the way of living.

I’m starting that list. Sunday’s parade was the first thing on it. Check. We had a blast. Tomorrow is a day to take advantage of, too. I’ll be sure to check that one off as well.

Each week that passes from here on out is a new opportunity to take advantage of some of the finer things about living in Western New York. And I plan on doing so.

Sure, your friends can mock you in February that since they moved to North Carolina, they haven’t had to turn the heat on, but nothing beats a Western New York Summer.

And when we Spring those clocks forward, we do so knowing it’s right around the corner. Our southern friends can enjoy their one-foot long bugs. We’ll enjoy the county fair soon.

Welcome to the good life.