Three weeks ago, I knew my peach tree was dead. The February deep freeze was over, and not a sign of a bud anywhere on a tree that normally swells slowly through early spring. Today, pink blossoms abound! When conditions are right, miracles occur.

Just about a year ago, the social and community lives of many of us died practically overnight as a different kind of storm, driven by a virus, blew through. We clung to the knowledge that dormancy isn’t the same as dead. We waited for conditions to improve. A month ago, few of our family and friends had a single shot of the vaccine. Today, anyone in Oklahoma who wants a shot can get one.

Feels like pink blossoms dancing in the sunlight, doesn’t it? And yet, we worry still about a late freeze. What about variants? Are enough people participating to provide some level of protection overall?

Just as spring arrives in fits and starts, gradually moving toward the constant warmth of summer, so too is the return of “normal” life. The first events, opportunities to work together, to visit with friends while building community, are on the calendar. If you don’t have anything on your calendar for the weekend of April 17-18, you may be missing out.

Saturday, April 17, is a busy one. Registration for the 11th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes will be at 10 a.m. at Norris Park. The walk beings at 11. Start your return to public life by taking a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. You can sign up at www.eventbrite.com/e/139022316491. If you can sponsor or help in any other way, call or message Help In Crisis, 918-456-0673. HIC has carried a greater burden than normal this past year. They can use your support.

Also that weekend are multiple events aimed at cleaning up after a hard winter. Tahlequah Solid Waste and Cherokee County transfer stations will be open Saturday for a Free Dump Day. If you’ve been accumulating junk, trash and yard waste to take to the dump, this is your chance to get that pile out of the back yard or off the front porch. Gates will close at 3 p.m., so plan to hit it early and get it done.

The Tidy Up Tenkiller Spring Cleaning event is scheduled that same Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Those of you who have participated in a Tidy Up event in the past know how much fun gathering trash at the lake can be. More details will follow, but mark you calendar if you’re ready to spend time on the water getting things ready for a beautiful summer.

Then, if you’re not worn out from Saturday, on Sunday, April 18, starting at 1 p.m. in the afternoon (after church), there will be a Clean Up Tahlequah event hosted by MyTahlequah and the Main Street Association. Do you have a favorite eyesore? Maybe a particular spot in town where the loose trash rankles every time you drive past? This is your opportunity to round up a few of your friends and clean it up. Trash bags and other support will be provided. Again, more details about how to sign up will follow, but you should start lining up your team now.

Spring has sprung in so many ways. Sure looking forward to seeing you out and about again!

Sue Catron, former assistant vice president of Business and Finance at Northeastern State University, is mayor of Tahlequah.

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