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by Rod Johnson
Welcome, all. Here we are again, meeting for the first time in 2018. Thanks to Esther Perne and the Summertime news crew, each May and June we gather and catch up with renewed hope and excitement that another summer is nearly upon us.
Speaking of winter, let's chat briefly about what a brute it was for all that stayed here. Like many, I'm a coward and ran away to Florida, but saw all the photos and heard the chatter about how tough it was at times. No sooner had the area semi-recovered from the late October storm that devastated much of the state of Maine, when the temperatures plummeted to some record setting low numbers. As people adjusted to the severity of the cold temperatures, it warmed up slightly and dumped snow storm after snowstorm to set more records on given dates. All in all, with the longevity of winter thrown in for good measure, people were TIRED of winter when March rolled around.
Happily, spring has sprung and summer is on the forefront. How do we know all this? Let us ponder it and list some of the signs. We cannot ignore the forsythia's bright yellow flowers as we come up the Maine Turnpike, or the crocuses that have popped up around the foundation of the houses. Both are early bloomers, and as dependable as old friends. Memorial Day weekend is not far off and is the first major drawing card. It signifies a beginning, an opening time, and shoots us out of the gate into full-fledged summer.
As we move ahead through June and look forward to family and friends visiting, the July 4th fireworks and boat parades, let us thank our lucky stars. We have the beautiful State of Maine and in particular, the gorgeous Belgrades and surrounding area in which to enjoy some time. Let us also thank all the people who, in various organizations, work their tails off and donate money to preserve what is here.
Things are not without change. This summer, changes in Belgrade Lakes village will be extremely evident as the rebuilding of the road and sidewalks is beginning. The initial phases will no doubt shock us, as part of the project involves taking down most all of the elderly maples that line Main Street. Each of us must come to terms with the new look that will emerge as the final phases are completed in 2019/2020 and be patient during the construction period.
In closing this "remembrance and looking ahead" story, it is appropriate to give a salute to those Belgrade dwellers who passed away during 2017 and early 2018 and welcome the newborns that have taken their places here among us.
Having just read E.B. White's Once More to the Lake, I personally am excited and elated that another spring has sprung. Welcome, all!
Rod Johnson was born and raised in the Belgrade Lakes in the 1950s and '60s.