Anonymous Distributor

Spring is a time of renewal for plants and crops, flowers and even people. A spring shower refreshes and deep-cleans the air. Afterwards, I always take a deep breath outside because that refreshing air is so very special. The first several lawn mowings add the scent of freshly cut grass to the air, and on a cool spring morning, that scent puts a spring in your step — no pun intended. Forsythia and ornamental Bradford Pear trees bloom first, putting pops of yellow and white across the landscape. White and pink dogwoods and redbud and cherry trees’ pink blossoms follow quickly. Azaleas are the real stars of the show. Their bright hues of pink, red, purple or white blooms, especially those found on large varieties, make front yards in my part of the country become showcases of color.

I’m starting to feel pretty good just writing about spring, and I haven’t even touched on our outdoor-related (landscape and hardscape) and outdoor power equipment-related businesses beginning to get really busy. What’s not to like about this season of the year? Plus, spring is appearing early.

OK, Mr. Perpetually Grumpy. I know I neglected to mention pollen, allergies, hay fever and runny noses. I grew up with sinus infections, hay fever and allergies, so that makes me an official allergy sufferer and survivor. But, remembering my mantra about our lives being about the choices we make every day, I choose to focus on the beauty and renewal of spring and the beginning of our industry’s busy business season. I’m smiling, and you should be too.


My refrigerator is in my living room. Now, I’m not recommending that you keep your refrigerator in your living room. It’s just that every time I think about this, it makes me laugh, so I thought I’d share that fact with you.

No, it doesn’t belong in my living room, but it has been there for several weeks and will probably be there for several more. Where it used to be is now 100-percent gutted and empty, on purpose. The polite way of describing this home project is “remodeling” the kitchen. More accurate ways of describing it are “a fine layer of dust covering everything you own” and “eating dust.” The rumor is that “it will all be worth it.” There’s no doubt in my mind that it will. But it does bring back memories of days in the U.S. Army military police, directing tank convoy traffic in the dust at night with one small flashlight in my hand. Now that was “eating dust!”


Here’s an interesting fact you need to know: You do not need a parachute to skydive. Now, I know that statement is a little troublesome, but let me finish the statement: You do not need a parachute to skydive; you only need a parachute to skydive twice.

It’s amazing what you can learn by doing a little reading.


Speaking of reading, did you know that only one-third of elementary- and middle-school students are competent in reading, math and science, according to an editorial in the March 20 edition of The Wall Street Journal? And did you realize that “compared to their peers in industrial countries, 15-year-old Americans rank 14th in reading, 25th in math and 17th in science?” The editorial goes on to say, “Less than five percent of U.S. college students graduate with engineering degrees, while in China that percentage is 33 percent. Thirty percent of high-school graduates can’t even pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery tests.” This country desperately needs a better educated workforce who “can keep the U.S. economy strong and innovative amid global competition, and the workforce we need requires skills in reading, math and science, as well as foreign languages and cultures.

Throwing more money at education is the easy way out of making tough decisions. I know that isn’t the solution anyway, based on the results I’ve seen in my community and read about in other communities. I’d be willing to bet that more money coming out of your taxpayer pockets each year really hasn’t improved the results in your community’s school system very much, if at all.


I’ve always liked the following adage: Although no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new end. It’s all about making the right choices and knowing where you want to end up.


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