Did you remember to move your clocks forward one hour before going to bed last night? Daylight saving time began at 2 a.m. today, with a spring forward that probably cost most of us an hour of sleep. I hate losing an hour of sleep. Every year I grumble about the change until the following day, when I actually arrive home from work before the sun has gone down. This sets me up perfectly to later grumble about adjusting clocks in the fall, when it is dark by 5 p.m.
I didn't have a lot to grumble about last week, however, as my new nephew arrived on the only day that gives a command, "March fourth!" I'm sure my sister and brother-in-law would have a word or two for me regarding the loss of just one hour of sleep.
When the little guy was introduced to his older sister, whose command of the English language requires serious interpretive skill, at this point, she delivered a crystal clear "Baby?" with a smile on her face that melted every heart in the room.
What a perfect moment to put this yucky, gray, snowy, icy winter behind me. I know there are some snow bunnies out there who will disagree with me, but in my humble opinion, January and February are just the worst. But March? March sometimes comes in like a lion (again, I'm sure my sister could put my nephew's roars up for comparison), but it is so filled with joy and hope, I can't help but be lifted out of my winter funk.
Lent has begun. That means Easter is relatively right around the corner.
St. Patrick's Day is in a little over a week. I was told during my first winter in the New York City metro area not to worry, it never snowed after St. Patrick's Day. I have clung to that belief ever since. On the other hand, the turning of March into "the St. Patrick's Day season" by some bars and retailers dilutes the mood a bit.
Travel destinations have begun to send out emails, enticing me to make reservations for future trips. It gets me every year. Yes. I'm the ninny who books a camping trip for the first week a national park is open in May, just because I can. Nevermind that it is still 45 degrees at night, and I'll be in a tent. I'll pack layers.
Baseball is back. The first regular season game is March 22, though my Pirates' home opener is not until March 31. Meanwhile, our sports staff is hard at work on the Spring Sports tab. Running shoes and rackets are coming out of storage all over the Mid-Ohio Valley.
"California Dreamin'" and the U.S. Air Force Heritage Ramblers are coming to the Smoot Theatre this week.
Spring officially begins in 11 days. Spring! Real, honest to goodness, marked by the vernal equinox, Spring. I can't wait. Fortunately, I won't have to wait much longer.
One more tidbit about my nephew being born, and then I'm done. Really. While most of the family was at the hospital in the wee small hours of that morning, I was with my sound-asleep niece, at my parents' home. My parents have a dog, Maggie, who is one of the smartest dogs I've ever encountered. She also thinks my niece is hers. The two of them have quite a connection. It looks as though that connection has expanded, though.
At about 20 till the hour, Maggie put up a huge racket. Barking and wailing, running circles around the house and inciting the other dogs to start pacing and barking as well. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. She didn't stop the barking even when I let her outside. This went on for several minutes. (And, yes, my niece woke up.) Later that morning, when my mother let me know the baby had been born, she told me what time he had entered the world. Nineteen minutes till that same hour, according to the hospital's clock.
I don't know how, but Maggie knew. There may be some debate as to whether dog is man's best friend, but I know a baby boy and little girl for whom there is no doubt.
Happy (almost) Spring, everyone.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org