Friday, April 17, 2015

April Showers and April Everything

April is a busy month for everyone.  Besides preparation for Spring holidays, vacations, tax deadlines, kids sports, senior prom, opening-day baseball games, crop planting, and turkey-hunting season, the warmer weather brings new chores such as lawn mowing, landscaping, and window washing.  Let's not forget changing wardrobes from the Winter sweaters and coats to the spring lighter-weight clothes....and that could mean shopping, especially if that long winter of hibernation created any changes in your comfortable sizes!

Spring weather in Ohio is unpredictable.  One day it could be cold at night, foggy in the morning, and 30 degrees warmer during the day.  The next day could be cloudy and chilly all day, and the weekend could have thunderstorms and showers all day and night.  One thing is for sure, the trees start to bud, the flowers begin to bloom, and the grass turns green and begins to grow.

This colorful landscape, the warmer temperatures, and the thrill of the school year's end in sight creates a lot of enthusiasm.  One can practically feel it in the air.  People have a little more spring in their step as they go about their daily routines.  People are smiling, birds are chirping, and branches are softly swaying in the Spring breezes.

Kids are riding bicycles and skateboards, campers and boats appear ready to launch, and shiny sports cars are whizzing through the intersection.  Motorcycles and long-distance bicyclists begin making their first appearance of the season.

With all the excitement and anticipation, please remember to drive defensively.  Last year around this time, there were several serious collisions on the State highways that pass through Homer and Utica. Speed and distracted driving seem to be the usual causes of these accidents.  Rural highways are typically one or two-lane, narrow, curvy, and high-speed.

Therefore, there is no "forgiveness" if a driver goes left of the center line or swerves off the right side of the road into the ditch.  There is not much a driver can do to avoid wrecking when either of these events happens. That's why it is so important for everyone to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel, leaving plenty of distance between vehicles. That can be difficult to do, especially with such beautiful landscape views on both sides of the road and all the exciting things about Spring to think about--not to mention cell phones, eating and drinking in the car, and traveling companions providing further distraction.

At the risk of being criticized for driving like an "old lady" by cautiously approaching intersections and hill crests, please let's just remember all of us have only this one life here on earth.  No one's precious life is more important than anyone else's.  We can each look out for ourselves, but we can also look out for the "other guy" by driving defensively.  Sometimes accidents can be anticipated and avoided with a little extra caution, a little less speed, and a watchful eye on the traffic all around us. Remember there are distracted drivers on the road all of the time, and even more in the Spring and Summer seasons.