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COLUMN: Spring is here! Dust the sand off the flip-flops

The arrival of spring today means swapping out playlists and planning Muskoka trips
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Spring is here, whether the weather agrees or not.

Today is the first day of spring — officially — and that means the snow is over and it's time to plant flowers.

According to my four-year-old, at least, whose eyes everything should be seen from.

We know there is likely another snowfall or two yet to come, so, realistically, heading to the local greenhouse for flowers is about a month away. 

But why not celebrate like winter is over anyways?

We have art in our house that is seasonal and we still have our snow-themed pieces on the wall, but I think the lake painting with the Muskoka chairs is going up today. 

The candles of apple aroma will be lit, some flowers bought and put in vases. There is no need to extend the mentality of the winter.

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter. We as Canadians, love winter, or at least the idea of winter. 

But one of the things we enjoy more is getting through winter — surviving the harsh cold and heavy snow that is shovelled, sometimes three times a day.

It helps us better appreciate the bloom of flowers, the strenuous but needed spring cleaning of the house.

Walking around the seasonal department of the local big-box store, checking out garden items, barbecues, lawn chairs, and other spring things is a must, regardless of whether I had to clear my car of snow to get there.

Oh, just a heads up to my family — there will be no more shovelling after this column is published Monday morning. Pray we get no big storms because you’re on your own until next winter.

For me personally, it means my spring playlist, which is mainly a whole refreshed set Tragically Hip songs to listen to when writing. Day For Night and In Violet Light get put away until October and out comes Road Apples and Phantom Power.

Different music inspires me at different times. Yes, it is maybe a bit odd.

That said, Fully Completely is a year-round staple.

Food is another big one. Soups and stews go to the wayside for bright salads, grilled veggies and barbecued chicken. I know my barbecue is able to cook in the winter, but mentally there is something about dusting it off and flaring it up for the changing of the weather — the ultimate sign that winter is gone.

A huge sign of spring for my wife and I is one of our favourite things to attend and that's the Spring Cottage Life Show at the International Centre this coming weekend. My wife is a Muskoka girl originally and I long to be there, so this is the event we eagerly await every year.

Coming out of this event we are in full spring and summer mode and ready for the season. Even after leaving the show, as we head up the 400 North in flurries, we we are too busy making plans for Muskoka day trips, cottage renting and camping — for her and the kids, I’m not a camper.

No matter what the weather is today, it is now spring. The calendar says so. 

Change your mindset and plan your picnics, because after a Canadian winter you deserve it.

Shawn Gibson is a staff reporter at BarrieToday.