LOOSELEAF LAUREATE: A few thoughts in anticipation of spring

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By Terri Likens, Editor

Winter is far from gone, but the promise of spring finally is upon us.
Every year, some of us, somewhere deep inside us, begin to have our doubts that winter will really loosen its grip.
It takes a warm spell, a few sunny days like we are having this week, to reassure that forlorn part of our soul that the seasons are not stuck in park.
It takes the Carolina wrens, reddish brown and handsomely speckled, showing up in pairs at the bird feeder and singing with everything they’ve got.
It takes the crocuses — first the buttery yellow blossoms, and then the pale purple ones — emerging on the lawn.
And now, to my great relief, I believe in spring again.
I know that at some point soon, winter will let go, the daffodils will bloom, redbuds will pop and the world in all its splendor will continue to turn.
Amen to that.
I hope you‘ll take advantage of every chance you have to enjoy all spring has to offer.
I had a birthday this week and turned 53.
I have always felt young for my age, but on my birthday, I really did feel like my interpretation of 53: a little more somber, a little bit sad.
And then the sun came out, and I got over it. Now I’m feeling like the younger version of myself again.
The need for  a boost in spirit seems to be the unintended theme of today’s column.
On that note, I’d like to thank the kind man at Cracker Barrel Saturday morning who came over to my table, asked if I was Terri Likens and, after I said yes, he said he really enjoyed my column.
It is always good, in this business, to hear that something you have written has made someone else’s life a little more enjoyable.
It’s even better when you have an out-of-town date sitting across the table to be impressed by the comment.
Your timing was perfect!

It’s a little too early (for me, anyway) to be on the water paddling, so I’m back on my hiking kick again.
I’m plotting and planning and trying to get in at least one hike a month.
The rivers and trails around us in East Tennessee are abundant and well worth exploring. I hope to see some of you out there, too.