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By Jesse Utz 

Put down the controller and walk away, spring is here

Jess Shut Up


The gray days filled with gloom and chill are disappearing fast. The robins are moving in and the buttercups are blooming. Sneezing is more prevalent, and that means spring is here. Yes, you may open the curtains now and even open up the door. Don’t worry, that bright light in the sky is the sun. You may not recognize it, but it is. Feel the warmth, the glow, meaning soon we will be complaining about the heat — but not just yet.

Kids, if you noticed your dad and mom pulling these long things out of the garage with finger-like things on the end, don’t panic. Those things are called rakes. We use them to move all the leaves on the lawn into a pile. Then we pick them up, put them in a bag, and haul them away. This is also the time of year we trim branches and bushes. We will haul them away too. Oh, and that wet stuff on your parents’ foreheads when they come in for a tall glass of water … well, that is called sweat; you get it when you work hard. Kind of like exercise, but you are working on your own stuff to make it nice. Oh, and the best part: If you put down that controller and walk outside, take a deep breath. That is fresh air ,but let me finish. If you come outside with mom and dad, I will gladly hand you one of these rakes and, after you do your best light saber impression, you can rake the yard too. No, you’re not in trouble, but you don’t have to be in order to spend time with family, working together. It might even be fun.

Speaking of spring and fun, after we rake the yard and laugh a bit, we might dust off the fishing rod and head to the lake. No, it is still too cold to go swimming, but we could drown some worms. Oh, you don’t understand my old talk? Well, let me make it easy for you. Go fishing. No phone, no gaming device. Just a parental unit and his child (me and you). Oh, and more Star Wars reenactments with the fishing pole is a gimme.

Or we could just go for a hike. Yes, that will cause more sweat, but actually that is good for you. Northrup Canyon or even Steamboat Rock are awesome this time of year. We might even see some babies running around. No, not wild human babies. No, not zombie babies either. Animal babies. You know, deer, ducks, raccoons, rabbits — that kind of stuff. No, we won’t shoot them unless we bring a camera and take pictures of them. Pictures? You know like a screen shot but outside, of nature and things. Yes, we can post them whereever you like when we get home. Facebook, yep, that too, or we can print them off and put them into a different book. A scrapbook, a book where we save our memories. Yes, that’s right, just like the photo albums at grandma’s, but this will just be you and me and what we saw.

So what do you say, shall we go outside? Take a walk, fly a kite, catch a trout, make some memories? Great! But you will have to put that controller down first. Yep, the cord won’t reach outside anyway. Oh, and it would help if you took those ear buds out of your ears. How else will you here the mating call of the loon? No, not Bugs Bunny, but a bird called a loon. But we might see a different bunny. Yes, maybe Wile E. Coyote too. Come on, don’t be afraid. Oh, no, you probably won’t have to update your status out there, unless you want to say, “Having quality time with family.” Yep, come on, let’s get some rays. No, not the baseball team, but we could throw the ball around if you like. The possibilities are endless in the spring.

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