Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Columnist enjoying the 'spring' in winter weather

By Bill Gray

By BILL GRAY

Mt. Pleasant News

I’m enjoying this faux spring, I really am.

But it’s making me nervous, too. Is Mother Nature setting us up?

Gee whiz, we need to enjoy what we have when we have it, right! This is the first time in my life as a Midwesterner, both within and without Iowa that I’ve had to dodge a jogger on the city square in February. I mean, those “polar plunges” into Lake Geode hardly seem to have any bite in this context!

It all could go off the rails in an overnight blizzard. Anyone else get stranded somewhere in the Great Blizzard of February 2011? Yeah. You know what I’m talking about.

I need to get my body “attitude” turned around like Ad Director Jim Hart. Despite being a fellow lifelong Midwesterner – and a Chicago area native to boot who knows what “Lake Effect” weather means – this guy was impressive in failing to don a coat (and not getting sick in spite of himself). Me, I find myself shivering and look at the temperature gauge: 41 degrees!

I keep taking my stocking cap and gloves to work with me even though I don’t need them. I stash them in my vehicle so I won’t embarrass myself. They are there “just in case.” Winter in Iowa can’t be this nice, can it?

And certainly I should be enjoying the parallel fact that without iced-over roads for three straight months or so, it’s safer out there, and Henry County Engineer Bill Belzer and his road crews have been able to keep things plenty smoother. I haven’t gotten stuck in the driveway once – which is a five-winter record, I’ll have you know!

I’m just afraid it’s going to be like gasoline prices: I should have been enjoying that $3.19 per gallon level, because now it’s, Look out for $4! You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone; right, Joni Mitchell (please excuse a Baby Boomer pop culture reference)?

It makes a body feel warm inside, though, to see temperatures are accommodating enough for construction projects to make a little headway. Even though that groundbreaking at Community First Credit Union was a little, uh, frosty, there were backhoes hanging out. And how about the work under way at the former veterans building at Jefferson and Washington streets? That’s going to dress up that corner to match Hy-Vee Drugstore across the street!

There are those folks who may have planned to push some snow to gain a few extra bucks this winter – considering we couldn’t find enough of those kinds of folks last February. Hopefully, they found some compensating outdoor work like the aforementioned construction.

And as I start my Friday, would you look at that? Enough snow to shovel – my sometimes-paranoid gloves-carrying habit has paid off.

Now I can worry with confidence (even if the very premise just seems wrong) about whether I’ll get stuck driving home.