DARKE COUNTY - Ahh. The first day of spring has finally come….after a harsh winter that Darke County hasn’t seen in a long time.
In reality, that doesn’t mean it is going to magically appear, not with the winter that touched our lives this year. It was a time of so many weather conditions in a matter of just a week at times, but county residents pulled through.
With spring, there will be increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.
For the most part, it seems that people are glad that spring is here.
Gary Francis of the rural Greenville area is one of those who enjoys winter.
“I love being snowed in and spending time doing little projects in my garage that I’ve put off all year. Or just sit by the fire and snooze,” he said. “October is my favorite time of the year. I am ready for spring this has been a long winter.”
His wife, Susie, was also known to do happy dances when snow was forecast this winter.
“Well spring time is okay. I just don’t like all the rain and mud. As you know winter is my season. I love the snow. When the kids were little, we would make snowmen and go sledding and come in and make hot chocolate and sit by the wood stove,” she said.
“I’m glad it’s here…we’re long overdue and I hope it stays once it gets here, but I think it is probably an evil trick,” said local garage mechanic Tom Stevenson. “It’s not really here. Old man winter is tricking us. Someone is forecasting an arctic blast at the end of the month. I’m afraid it’s a trick but I’ve seen snow at Easter.”
Stevenson said he had a tough time keeping his driveway plowed this year and noted that he had to had to work on Craig Francis’ snow plow a couple of times.
Perhaps one of the biggest “cheerleaders” of spring is Shane Coby, superintendent of the Darke County Garage.
“It’s hard to believe,” Coby said. “But, it sounds like it will get cold next week and that it will be cool for spring temperatures.”
Coby said this year’s winter added $200,000 worth of expenditures for his department.
“Winter was long in length, but we have a real good group of people here who are very dedicated,” he said. “They work hard. They put people ahead of themselves.”
He said his crews are now looking forward to spring and the road and bridge construction projects.
“After about 30 [snowfalls] of them…that’s as much as we have had this year. I would like to put it behind us,” Coby concluded. “We had somewhere in the neighborhood of 56 inches of snow for the complete plowing season.”