Winter’s icy grip on our happy little hamlet is loosening slightly this week, and the rapid snow melt has revealed some things that have been hidden for several months, now.

Several issues of the community newspaper are bubbling back to the surface, and while I dug one out of the ice tonight, another wouldn’t be removed from its icy grave, so I’ll have to be content to let more melting occur before I can find out what happened some weeks ago. I’ll feel so out of touch in the meantime.

I have discovered that we do, indeed, have a roof, instead of some sieve or screen-like system that had been letting water drip into the house…Okay, the early snow made the ice dams which made water puddle behind it…I get it. But the ice dams are either nearly gone, or are at least 70% smaller than they were going into this past Saturday. And I can see the water that is melting off the higher elevations of the roof pass either around or under the remaining icebergs. This, I can assure you, is extremely good news.

It has been revealed to me that where I dug out the cut to get from the sidewalk to the street is actually off-center from the existing sidewalk by at least six inches, because this is the first time since December that I’ve seen that piece of pavement. I have also learned that we’d lost a good four- to six inches of width to all of our sidewalks due to the drifts and piles surrounding them.

I have discovered that once again, I do not know what color my car is. I washed it eight days ago, and in that time, it has returned to its mottled grey color, particularly in the back, where the back window, tailgate, and license plate are nearly indistinguishable from each other. I’d wash the car again, but there’s a point where with the continued melting predicted for this week, I see no reason for it. So I’m thinking I’ll wait until this Saturday…Either when I’m heading into work or when I’m coming home.

The slope of the parking lot at our new building has been revealed, which is a good and bad thing. Today, I found that I was parked in what would appear to be a major stream, had the temperatures been much warmer. Tomorrow, I’ll move up one row.

I have been reintroduced to the insanity of real Minnesotans: at the height of the mid-40s on Sunday, I saw at least 2 people out and about in their shorts…And one person driving in his convertible with the top down. The odd part is that come October, when the 40s return to us after a long warm summer, we’ll be bundling up and cursing the coming cold. Whereas now, we’re praising the warmth of temperatures just above freezing. It’s all relative.

I learned tonight that the cat is starting to once again contemplate the merits of going outside. She’s spent all winter in a state of perpetual cold, it seems, and I’ve watched her cuddle up to the oven, furnace register, fireplace, and my legs while I’m sleeping just to stay warm. And tonight, she spent some time pondering the smells and temperature of the incoming air from the outside. She still didn’t express a desire to go out, but she’s probably realizing that the days of grass and unfiltered sunlight are just around the corner.

And at the grocery store this morning, I think a full eight to ten parking spaces reappeared from under the 15-foot-tall piles of snow on them.

And, finally, all of the pristine white snow has melted away, leaving the brownish-black brackish piles all over. Heck, even our yard is littered with a horrid looking matte of dirty white snow.

Screw the groundhog…We’re seeing signs of spring right here and right now.

See you tomorrow.

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