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Published March 23 2010

Five reasons to look forward to spring's fun times after the flood

April showers bring May flowers, or so the schoolyard rhyme says.

But after being battered by another shot of the Red River’s rising rage, it’s worth wondering, or at least hoping: Can March floods bring spring fun?

We think so. And with that in mind, we’re offering five reasons to find some hope beyond the anxiety of worries that accompany this all-too-familiar flood scenario.

Even with the Red still running through our cities with enough force to scare us, there are reasons to be happy and hopeful that better days are ahead, like the fact that spring is finally here or that we’ll soon be able to chill in our lake homes.

Here are five reasons to look past the flood and see some relief.

1. Spring is here. No, really.

After another winter that seemed to exist as a natural torture device, we can take ease in the fact that spring is here. Technically, at least. The season started this past Saturday.

Though winter’s weather will linger around intermittently for a few more weeks, the arrival of spring means we can look forward to doing things outside that don’t involve thermal underwear.

For instance, the Fargo Marathon expands to two days with the 5k run taking place May 21 and the full marathon running on May 22. Even if you hate running longer than the distance from your recliner to the bathroom, the marathon’s a good time to hang with friends and cheer on sweaty people. And with a Friday-night 5k, there’s hope for some tailgating.

May also marks the start of the baseball season for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks with the first home game coming on May 16. Hopefully by then we won’t still be wearing sweaters.

2. Nature’s nurture

After four months stuck inside, few things feel better than getting out of the house and literally digging into nature.

Whether it’s cleaning up the mess winter left in your yard or starting a seasonal garden, many of us will soon be able to get in the dirt and wait for the flowers blooming again.

Others will be focused on getting back to their lake houses and prepping them for summer use.

For many lake-dwellers, Memorial Day, May 31, is the unofficial start of the season. Others will be looking forward to May 15, which is the start of several fishing seasons in the state of Minnesota.

3. Holidays in the sun

Even if we’re being hopeful about the sunny weather, several key holidays are almost here, ready for family, or personal, celebrations.

Easter falls on April 4, which means people will feast on traditional items like ham; we’re just hoping you don’t pig out on the Peeps.

For our Jewish neighbors, Passover begins on March 30. And for Team Green Earth Day will take place on April 22. And even though we’re not sure what it signifies, May Day is May 1.

We’ll all be showing our moms some love on May 9, Mother’s Day, for bringing us into this world.

And though it’s not a holiday, the most anticipated day might be May 3 when Fargo, Moorhead, Dilworth and West Fargo start their annual Cleanup Week. After this flood, it’s going to feel really good to throw some stuff away.

4. Sounds of spring

Birds will sing and brooks will babble. But if you want more of a harmonic adventure, there is a trio of music-related events that should get most music fans excited.

The first comes on April 8 when the budding guitar god and celebrity blabbermouth John Mayer (pictured below) turns on his amp in the Fargodome. For a warm up, check out Mayer’s Twitter page. The guy’s a riot when he’s not singing pop-rock love songs.

In May, the younger baby boomers will bounce into the Fargodome to catch Simon & Garfunkel. The folk-rock duo’s music was a soundtrack for change, hope and cultural insight with songs like “Sounds of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson,” and it still resonates.

Sticking with the boomers, they should also be interested in “The White Album: The Beatles Meet the Plains,” an exhibit at the Plains Art Museum that collects art that corresponds with tracks from The Beatles’ “White Album”, like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Back in the U.S.S.R.”

The exhibit opens May 18.

5. The Taxman

Yeah, we know for most people April 15 – aka Tax Day – is one of the most stressful dates on the calendar. But think of it like this: After stressing about the flood for a couple weeks, it should be nice to worry about something entirely different.

Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518 or rmorast@forumcomm.com