By John Zaktansky
The Daily Item
— Editor's note: The Midd-West Moment will be a regular blog-like diary entry about things to see, do, expect or remember in the Midd-West region of our Valley. Comments are welcome.
It's Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, and the Middleburg AYSO fields look barren.
A light coating of snow and ice peppers the grass. Goals made of white PVC pipes and netting are scattered randomly throughout the landscape. And outside of the steady swoosh of cold winter wind, there is no sound. Total silence.
It is hard to believe that this corner of Snyder County will soon look much different. The bland hues of dirt, withered grass and snow will soon be replaced with a rich green carpet outlined with crisp white chalk lines. The parking lot will not only be full of vehicles of all makes and models -- it will be overflowing. Cars will be parked along the New Berlin Highway and sitting bumper-to-bumper in two gravel parking areas.
But the biggest transformation will involve sounds and activity ... Kids screaming, running and socializing ... Excitement as the doldrums of winter transform into the fresh beginnings of spring.
People yearning for warmer weather and the promise of a new season are anxiously awaiting the sight of a red-breasted robin, budding bulb of a bright new tulip or the returning V-shaped formations of Canada geese.
You want to know when to start getting excited about spring? Forget about Punxatawney Phil. No groundhog can dwarf the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old wearing a worn set of cleats, shin gaurds and getting extra time outside of school to hang out with friends.
Keep an eye on the Middleburg AYSO fields over the next couple weeks. You'll see quite a transformation -- and can rest assured the rest of our region will soon follow as winter melts away into spring.
What is your favorite sign of spring in our region?