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We’ve hardly had winter so far in Southern Ohio, a light dusting of snow here and there, but nothing as substantial as the winters I remember as a child. We’d all but believed winter had skipped us entirely until last weekend when the temperatures plummeted bringing a wintry mix. Daffodils had already begun to spring up.

Here in Southern Ohio, we’re not truly hardy Northerners — school still gets cancelled for a snowfall of more than an inch — but we’re not the South either. Seasons have their purpose. Rest and repose, renewal, replenishment. Too often lately our winters stay so mild that we get early blossoms that suddenly freeze, ruining crops. I’d rather have a healthy dose of winter now so I can enjoy strawberries in June and apples in September. Nevertheless, signs of spring are here, if you look.