Friday, October 28th, 2016

Springing to action


Springing to action

Warm weather means outdoor work, recreation

Waukesha Freeman Page A8 Opinion May 2, 2013Untitled

We finally had a nice spring weekend. We wait all winter for that first weekend when we can go outside and enjoy the sun, and it finally arrived.

The false promise of an early spring did not help the groundhog’s cause. The state Legislature is considering adding a hunting season for the large rodent, a popular target for hunters across the country.

A few groundhog lovers went to Madison to testify against legalizing the hunting of the furry beast. The owner of Jimmy the Groundhog of Sun Prairie reminded the legislators of the Groundhog Day holiday. After this year’s missed prediction, I was reminded of what Rick said to Ilsa about mentioning Paris, “It’s poor salesmanship.”

I tried to hurry spring myself this year by taking a few days off earlier in the month. Unfortunately, I picked the days that Wisconsin transitioned from snow to Seattle-like rain. I watched the Fox River rise as my serotonin levels dropped.

I was reduced to trying to clean out the garage while the Christmas wreath still hangs from the side of the house, mocking me. The nolonger- inflatable Christmas carousel is no longer frozen to the ground, but my wife’s Easter display remains. Perhaps we can paint the eggs red, white, and blue for Independence Day.

The change in the weather has everyone excited. Perhaps the warm weather inspired the supervisors in the Town of Waukesha to reverse their stand on being included in the city’s water service area. Water isn’t just for drinking. They’ll need water for their swimming pools and their lawns. Perhaps the warm weather will finally inspire the city of Waukesha Common Council to end the ban on the use of outdoor fireplaces after midnight. This intrusion of government into our warm-weather freedom has been borne far too long.

The Lovely Doreen from Waukesha and I did our part to celebrate the warm weather with a couple of mango mojitos and the fish fry on Friday at Key Westconsin. And then another mango mojito for good measure.

The owner of Key Westconsin, Gary Krivos, told me he was looking forward to greeting the public at the Farmers Market along the river with dollar sliders and cups of coffee along with the sidewalk café breakfast menu. He also told me prophetically the warm-weather business will pick up after everyone gets over their excitement of grilling out.

Saturday was the first real day to attack the yard work. My wife uncovered the rose bushes while I took down the stray mulberry trees along our fence line. We cleaned the yard while the offspring sped to and fro on their bicycles.

We reacquainted ourselves with our formerly hibernating neighbors. We occasionally see the neighbors in winter but it is almost impossible to have a conversation with the snow blower running. Conversation over the backyard fence requires warmer weather.

The evening still comes too soon this time of year, and the air was filled with the smell of cooking bratwurst. Another neighbor was cooking ribs. Friends were posting on Twitter and Facebook their dinner menus and their grilling recipes.

By the way, Darryl Enriquez is wrong. To cook food outdoors, turn the valve, push the button and close the lid. Then watch your neighbor struggle with his charcoal grill as he uses enough napalm to re-fight the Vietnam War to get the coals started.

By the time Darryl probably started cooking his dinner, we finished eating and my wife bought two tiki torches for the back patio from the public television on-air auction. (By mentioning them in the column, I’m hoping to write them off on next year’s tax bill.) By Sunday evening, the Wigderson family took some time to stop by fellow columnist Jessica McBride’s home to enjoy a cool evening on the deck. The talk ran from columns and Republican Party politics to lilac bushes and proper yard treatments for mosquitos.

Yes, mosquitos. I saw the first mosquito of spring in my backyard on Saturday. Does that mean I get to make a wish?

But mosquitos or not, spring is in the air with a promise of summer to follow. Time to dream of hammocks and tropical drinks, and let the world of politics rest for the moment.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

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