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Kentucky by Heart: March signals renewal, a time to enjoy the beauty of the coming of spring

By Steve Flairty
NKyTribune columnist

The month of March gets me in an especially good mood despite its still-too-cool weather patterns. I like what it portends for the near future. And though I always aim to look for the best in every part of the year, it’s a little easier with this one. To me, it spells r-e-n-e-w-a-l, in several ways.

March preparation brings summer blooms. (Photo by Steve Flairty)

The wildflower seeds will need a little more sun before sowing in their hand-cultivated beds, but once they’re in the ground, it’s so fun to watch and wait for their emergence and later their blooming charm. Actually, the whole gardening process is gratifying.

I like sitting on my zero-turn mower and giving Suzanne and my one-acre yard a haircut—which artistically sets off the beauty of the flowers even more. Deadheading blooms, spreading compost materials such as coffee grounds on the beds, and even a certain amount of weeding — all are enjoyable for me. Also to come is our third year of entering our bloomies in the Woodford County Fair. We’ll start our second year as sellers at the local farmers market, too, where we feel “one with the cosmos (pun intended).”

March also means the Cincinnati Reds are in spring training and soon will come Opening Day at Great American Ballpark. What pageantry! And though hope springs eternal, this might mean another one-hundred-loss season as the team is nurturing their young talent until they’re ready for the big leagues. Still… I embrace the nostalgia—and pleasant memories of Reds talk with my father, who died in 2013. Maybe some pleasant surprises are in store.

I’m a dedicated walker, always fully armed with a pedometer on my hip. Since I avoid bitterly cold temps to walk, I go to the recreation center six miles away. With March here, it’s more time I can spend on the neighborhood loop with the bonus of seeing nice scenery, punctuated by a couple of horse farms with stately thoroughbreds and saddlebreds grazing and perking up their ears at my skinny legs.

Signs of March from Steve’s back porch. (Photo by Steve Flairty)

And let me not forget the neighbors in our Woodford County subdivision. After navigating the winter when most of stay inside a lot, Wil Rose Lane residents look at the March calendar and start appearing outdoors, just like Suzanne and I do. Over the nearly seven years we’ve lived here, we’ve gotten to know our fellow homeowners mostly with spontaneous conversations in our yards or on the road as we all get out and about in our shorts and sneakers.

March, for sure, is about renewal, and at age 69, that’s important to me. And what about others around the Bluegrass? To what tune are they March-ing?

“People tell me I’m crazy, but I look forward to cutting grass,” said retired educator Jim Palm, of Claryville, in Campbell County. He also recalls using the month as a family prepping time for something special coming up. “Spring break was at the end of March/first of April. We always tried to plan a trip that was educational and entertaining for the kids. There were lots of great memories with three generations of the Palm family.”

For Gerrye Randall, of Louisville, tradition is important. “March weather is always unpredictable, but Basketball Madness in March is as sure as Kentucky bourbon and fast horses,” she explained. “My dad was a Kentucky High School Association referee along with SEC and OVC. We didn’t miss a state tournament and countless others! I truly believe Kentucky is unique to this magic and at 71 it is still in my memories!”

Big Versailles crowd for Sweet Sixteen at Rupp Arena. (Photo by Marcus Lynn.)

Over in the Frankfort area, Elizabeth Clark waxes eloquently in speaking of March. “It ushers in spring and with it, the rebirth of nature. Tender blades of baby grass popping up, fresh and bright green tree leaves growing out, and cheerfully colored blooms arising everywhere. To me, it signifies newness of life.”

At Southern Elementary School, in Scott County, Amy Mullins knows March is upon us by her kindergarten students’ activity level, which she says brings “fun, exciting days.” Amy is an after-school instructional assistant/para-educator shepherding twelve kindergarteners on school days from 2:30 to 6:00. “The madness, which I call ‘kindergarten,’ is in March,” said the resident of Stamping Ground. “These little people get rowdy because they’ve been cooped up for months. The energy that has built up those months all comes out in March… which can be madness, but I love it!”

And one of the funniest lines I’ve heard recently is about basketball in March. Looking at the huge number of Woodford County fans around Lexington’s Rupp Arena at the Sweet Sixteen High School tourney, Marcus Lynn commented: “Just like another day walking into my Versailles Kroger (store)…”

Here’s hoping YOUR March is a good one.

Steve Flairty is a teacher, public speaker and an author of seven books: a biography of Kentucky Afield host Tim Farmer and six in the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series, including a kids’ version. Steve’s “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #5,” was released in 2019. Steve is a senior correspondent for Kentucky Monthly, a weekly NKyTribune columnist and a former member of the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. Contact him at sflairty2001@yahoo.com or visit his Facebook page, “Kentucky in Common: Word Sketches in Tribute.” (Steve’s photo by Connie McDonald)

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