This is not necessarily the time of year one typically gets excited about living in Milwaukee. That is, however, until you stop and think about all the signs of hope, renewal and rebirth that getting ready to bloom.
Spring is a weird time in our hometown, because unlike in cities with more predictable climates, it's never a sure thing. We could see temperatures hit 60 degrees just as easily as we could get buried under a few more snowfalls. But change is in the air, and these next few weeks are actually pretty exciting.
Think about it:
Daylight Saving Time: This weekend, we'll spring forward. No matter what the temperature, most of us will start leaving work when it's still plenty light. Sunset on Monday is at 6:57 p.m. In my book, more daylight means more fun.
The great thaw: We're hitting that time of the year when temperatures are rising quickly. Sure, we might another blizzard or two, but Milwaukee's average temperature is now above 40 degrees. It'll be almost 50 by the end of the month. The worst is officially over, and it won't be long until some green starts peeking out of your garden.
Hope springs eternal: Maybe I'm especially excited because I'm going to Phoenix next week, but Brewers Spring Training baseball is something every Milwaukee baseball fan can get excited about. To know that we're inching closer and closer to Opening Day, and that the Crew is warming up ... well, it's warming me up, too.
Fire up those grills: And, as we think about a spring thaw and tailgating, it's just about time to start grilling. Sure, you can barbecue all winter, but I don't like to stand on my deck in the snow. The smell of brats has to be the official scent of the great Wisconsin summer.
Luck of the Irish: I'm not Irish, but I sometimes wish I was. I think St. Patrick's Day is a fun holiday, from Shamrock Shakes to corned beef and cabbage. This year, Milwaukee's St. Paddy's Day parade even asked me to be a judge (yes, I told them I'm not Irish). Really, I just love watching people get together and having a great time, even if it's a bit silly.
Bigger fish to fry: As I'm neither Catholic nor am I one of the 99 percent of Milwaukeeans who love fish fries, I can't say I'm fired up about this. But people tell me that we're in the fish fried, Lenten wheelhouse this time of the year. Places like the Lakefront Brewery Palm Garden set out extra tables this month -- which is great, unless you have a little kid who loves to run around and dance to polka.
March Madness: I'm so far removed from my GW Colonials that I'm not rooting for one specific team anymore, but I certainly remember a time when I did. And the Big Dance is the sport's Mecca. I know people who take vacation days from work to sit around and watch game after game after game. Having a few good local teams in the mix makes it more sweet.
Big Gig giddiness: Even though it's still months away, Summerfest announcements are now coming fast and furiously. It's always fun to play armchair quarterback, to check bands' touring schedules hope that your favorite will make a stop in Milwaukee.
April 1 is coming: It's always a big day on OnMilwaukee.com. And that's all I'm saying.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.