Last Friday morning, as I was guiding my Toro snow thrower across my driveway, a strange thought crossed my mind: Spring can't be far away. OK, I know what your thinking. The old boy has finally lost it. Actually, there was a good reason for my spring like thoughts. As I was blowing snow, I was planning out my day in my mind. My day was about to get rather compacted, thanks to our plans to attend the Section 4A Individual Wrestling Tournament in Le Sueur. For many high school wrestlers, that tournament is a sign that the winter sports season is coming to a close. After that tournament, all that remains is the State Wrestling Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. And after that, we begin looking ahead to spring sports. Did you catch that "spring" sports? As a parent who has already seen one son fly through his junior and senior years, I can easily say that the winter sports season seems like a blur. It was almost like yesterday that our son, Andrew, a junior, was getting set for his first wrestling match in Glencoe shortly after Thanksgiving. And this week he'll get his final taste of wrestling while watching the State Tournament, an event he looks forward to almost as much as Christmas. Thoughts of spring Getting back to those Friday morning thoughts about spring, there are many reasons that spring is my favorite time of year. Here are a few: We all know that we are bound to experience a few more freezing cold days and huge snowfalls. But for the most part the weather will keep getting nicer, milder. And then one day, we'll enjoy that first summerlike afternoon when we can wander outside with shorts and a T-shirt. Priceless. There's that usual spring excitement about the Minnesota Twins. As limited as this team's pitching staff appears to be, we can always talk about the "worst-to-first" 1987 team, a reminder that miracles are certainly possible. It's the true meaning of the phrase "hope springs eternal." Tractors and farm equipment start rolling out of sheds as farmers get set for a new planting season. This always brings back treasured memories of working on the family farm alongside my dad and brother, and those fantastic lunches served up by Mom. Thoughts of golf emerge. I can hardly wait for that first crisp tee shot - no matter where the ball winds up.