As you read this column, it is just under two weeks until Spring. I realize that here in Otsego County, Spring has a habit of arriving well past the actual equinox. Days may begin to be incrementally longer, but sometimes it just means more snowfall during the daytime. Remember March 15, 2017? Winter storm Stella brought us over 33 inches of snow just five days before Spring. Don’t remember that one? How about April 18-19 just last year that brought a full foot of snow to town? Not only was that after the first day of Spring, but it was also two days after Easter! And last weekend, we were bombarded with Snowpocalypse predictions of 15 inches of snow and ice. My back is personally grateful that it was only 7 inches on Franklin Mountain.
Spring will get here eventually. And with it comes the annual cycle of rebirth. Green shoots will poke their heads out from underneath the snow. The Sun’s warmth will begin to make more of an impact, and we can once again open our windows at home. Spring is the season of awakening; the season of new beginnings; the season of enjoyment. Nature has a way of healing the wounds of winter each Spring, but it doesn’t mean you should not be an active participant in its purpose.
Luther Burbank once said, “Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul.” I love this outlook on life as it matches the mission of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. We see everyone in our communities as active participants in the overall “quality of place” effort that is underway. There are new businesses opening and thriving in Otsego County. Cooperstown just received $4.5 million to improve the village’s infrastructure and community services. In Oneonta, the Dietz Steet Lofts project is opening with Hartwick College’s Grain and Beverage Innovation Center on the ground floor. New projects are also underway with SUNY Oneonta and Springbrook expanding their footprints into downtown. This Spring, keep an eye out for new business Vesucre, who specialize in vegan sweet treats. They will be peddling their Icicle Bicycle and festivals, fairs and gatherings throughout the Spring and Summer. Baseball camps will bring thousands of visitors to our area, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame will once again be the focus of the sports world in July. There will also be new and exciting events throughout the county as the weather warms, even if Snommegang was snowed out (insert your own joke here). Be sure to come out and participate in the Hometown 4th of July Celebration in Neawha Park and the many unique celebrations throughout the county.
Looking out your window now, it may not seem like Spring is just around the corner, but it truly is. The only way that the next six months could be any better is if you were an active participant. Get involved with a local service organization like Rotary or the Elks. Get a booth at the summer festivals and sell that hand-made jewelry (can you hear me Mrs. Stoutenberg?). I’m sure that Hill City Celebrations would be happy to have you. Partner with our schools, churches and area charitable organizations throughout this beautiful area to had your time and effort to their work of making this wonderful place even better. Don’t wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own and decorate your soul. We are doing that at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. Who wants to join us?