Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Charles Owens

April 2, 2014

As the mercury climbs to 70, spring fever grips the region

— — Can you believe the mercury could be pushing the 76-degree mark today? It is certainly well deserved after what was another winter for the record books. It is the hope of many that the warm weather will stick around this time — and not give way to yet another cold spell and more unseasonably late snow. At some point, the snow machine has to be cut off for the season. And now would appear to be the ideal time for that to occur.

I’m already enjoying the warmer weather outside — soaking in some long-awaited sun. Granted, it is now April, but there is still something a little surreal about summertime temperatures without the expected green shrubbery outside. There are no leaves, at least not yet, on the trees. In fact, the old and very tall trees lining the immense mountain behind me remain barren. In some ways it looks more like October than April. It’s not really summer — not yet. But it sure feels like summer outside at the moment.

There are no flies or bees swarming around my head. There is no threat of a snake crawling in the grass near the lawn chair. But already a few critters are making their early seasonal arrival. Living in the country, and near a mountain, has its advantages and disadvantages. Spiders have a nasty habit of showing up inside of the house. And they are particularly attracted to the shower. Each morning, now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, have to check the shower curtain to make sure there no spiders in the tub, or climbing on the shower curtain, before turning the water on. This was never a problem when I lived in the city. And I really have no idea how these spiders keep finding a way inside of the house. But they do.

I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the next electric bill will be lower. It has to be — I haven’t had the heat on for a couple of days now. Although I did have to turn the heat on Sunday when it snowed. But I hope the electric bill will be lower in April. Because lately the electric bill has been my biggest monthly expense. And that was never the case in years past. But the reality of a still early spring does slowly set in at night as temperatures still begin to fall during the overnight hours. It will take a while longer before both the days and nights stay warm. But seasonal transition is finally underway. It was a long winter. Bask in today’s warmth. Let’s hope spring is finally here to stay.

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As it warms up outside, spring cleaning campaigns will soon be launched across the region. Also helping out matters this year will be the addition of a new litter control officer in Mercer County. One of the biggest spring cleaning campaigns in the region is Bluefield’s annual Clean Sweep. This year’s campaign begins on April 22 and continues through the first week of May. Similar spring cleaning campaigns also will be held during or near the same time period in Bluefield, Va., and Tazewell County.

Everyone should do their part during these upcoming spring cleaning efforts to help tidy up their neighborhoods. It is important to beautify our region before all of the big summer fairs and festivals get underway. And as we already know, many out-of-town visitors will be here for events like the Cole Chevy Mountain Festival and the Second Chance Rocks the Two Virginias concert. That’s why it is so important to make a positive first impression of our region. Many of these fairs and festivals will begin in May. But there is still plenty of time to beautify the region in advance of our out-of-town visitors.

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All of our prayers and thoughts here at the Daily Telegraph are with Princeton Times Editor Tammie Toler, who is still hospitalized at Roanoke Memorial Hospital where she is undergoing treatment for a stroke. Tammie is not only a co-worker but also our friend. And she has been a tireless advocate for the betterment of the greater Princeton region in recent years.

Tammie, a veteran journalist, has been a part of the Daily Telegraph family since 1999. She began her career as a copy editor at the Telegraph, and later advanced to the position of news editor before later being named as editor and general manager of the Princeton Times.

Tammie is in our prayers. It is our hope that she can make a full and speedy recovery and get back to doing what she loves, which is serving her community through the Princeton Times. Get well cards can be mailed to Toler in care of the Princeton Times, P.O. Box 1199, 109 Thorn Street, Princeton, W.Va., 24740.

Charles Owens is the Daily Telegraph’s assistant managing editor. Contact him at cowens@bdtonline.com. Follow him @BDTOwens.

 

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