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Changing of the seasons
Marg-Ins 4-3-24

Just when you think it’s going to warm up …

Getting outside in the spring is one of the joys of the season. Of course, the winters here are not like the mix of snow and ice we typically got in my upstate New York hometown but after three decades in California, rain and fog are now my winter norm.

And as spring arrived on the calendar, we saw some 70-plus degree days. Only to be followed by another winter storm in the Sierra, rain and plenty of biting wind here in the Valley.

Easter egg hunts were hit and miss; some had sunshine, some were under cloudy skies, others you had to dodge the raindrops and watch out for the mud puddles.

My granddaughter has a pair of rain boots that she wears outside in the backyard when she helps her daddy with the gardening and the weather conditions when I took her to a recent egg hut required that she wear the boots there.

She just thought it meant that every puddle was fair game for jumping in. I guess when you’re two, are wearing boots that are waterproof, you put them to good use splashing through all the puddles you find.

In recent weeks, she has accompanied me to a variety of events and she always wants to “take a picture” like Mimi does. A few times this past week, her pictures actually included the softball players we were watching, as opposed to just a random picture of the sky. Her aim is getting better. She also managed to charm everyone when we went to a church omelet dinner, doling out some hugs and enjoying every bit of the meal.

With the calendar now switched to April, that means we are gearing up for rodeo mid-month and all the ‘Love’ events that will see volunteers turn out in our communities for a number of service projects late in the month.

And while the hockey season is winding down for my San Jose Sharks (no Stanley Cup playoffs for them this year) and there’s only one more game on my still-to-attend list at SAP Center, baseball is here and that will become my new sport to follow. They are so vastly different; hockey is basically played at lightning-fast speed and baseball likes to take its time. But both are games I love to have on in the background while I’m busy with other tasks; not beholden to a couch and sitting there watching. There’s a time for that, too, but the game is portable with a radio – well, these days my phone – so it can go anywhere I go.

Baseball was the sport my brother and I played the most growing up, with a bunch of neighborhood kids and some of our cousins; we played on a field where you ran slightly up to first, down to second, a little farther down to third and then kind of had a small uphill grade to home plate. Anything past the old piece of farming equipment was an automatic double, anything past the tree line was a home run.

If it was just my brother and I available for a game, we would each pick a team out of our baseball card collections and make a line up, having to bat the same way the player did. My go-to was the Kansas City Royals; I had enough players on that team to fill out a 9-man roster so they got used a lot.

It did teach us both how to be decent switch hitters.

Hockey came along a little later for me; after I figured out how to stand on ice skates and then move. We had a roller-skating rink we enjoyed but making the transition to one skate blade from four skate wheels took me a while. Never quite mastered the backward skating but I was pretty fast going forward so I could defend or score. Our games were always on the frozen ponds outside, just for fun, and one of the best parts was the hot chocolate we always had to drink after the game was over.

So there’s a little winter-turns-to-spring trip down memory lane; thanks for letting me share the memories.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.