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Column: Share the things you love doing when warmer weather arrives

It can’t be said strongly enough.

After our cold, icy–snowy–sleety winter, which still hasn’t given way to consistently warm days, we’re all looking forward to the changes spring can bring.

For me, the first signs of warmth signal that it will soon be time to get my toes and my boat in the water.

But for others, it’s the chance to put plants in the ground, get out the shorts and flip–flops, or maybe take a nice, long bike ride and simply enjoy the sun on your skin.

To commemorate the arrival of warmer weather, I want to find out what you readers look forward to doing in it. What have you started doing, or will do soon, now that warmer days are becoming more regular?

Pull your thoughts together and send me a quick email, or jot them down in a letter and mail it to me, using the info in the attached box.

My standard write-in rules apply. In order for your remarks to be included in the column I’ll be writing soon, you must provide your complete name, where you live (the locality, i.e., Stafford County or Colonial Beach, not your address) and an indication if you’re male or female.

The latter is so I don’t guess wrong, as I did recently with a very understanding grandmother named Bucky in Colonial Beach.

You’re welcome to make your remarks as brief or as detailed as you wish.

You can share just one thing you can’t wait to get doing as the season warms up, or you can list several things you can’t wait to get outside and start doing.

Some may be very place-specific: swimming at your local pool, hiking at Shenandoah National Park or taking a canoe float down the Rappahannock through Fredericksburg.

Or it can be something more universal: enjoying the feel of warm sun on your skin, ditching long pants for shorts and lace-up shoes for flip–flops.

For others, it could be firing up the grill for your favorite steak, burger or eggplant meal.

For me, it’s always the accessibility of the water.

Yes, folks who live on a river, lake or bay have beauty and wildlife all year long. But for those of us who don’t and love getting out on and in the water, things don’t really get cooking until the mercury rises.

Yes, you can rush that first dip into the drink; the air always warms up faster than the water below.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull out your sailboat, powerboat, canoe or kayak and take at least a short turn on your favorite waterway.

Even with non-powered vessels, there’s the preparation required for a new season.

We need to pull off our tarp, check our boat and do whatever summer-izing is needed after we winterized it last fall.

Doing that one year, I discovered a whole family of mice living under my seats.

Other years, I’ve discovered ugly layers of mold, leaks in my tarp and a variety of mechanical problem.

I’m not sure why, but I get a kick out of the spring cleanup that’s always a part of owning a boat—washing it down, waxing it up and checking out the working parts.

There’s a built-in excitement that comes from knowing another boating year will soon begin.

But that’s me.

Share your version of that kind of spring excitement soon.


Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415 


What’s at the top of your to-do list for enjoying spring? Email Rob Hedelt at or write to Rob Hedelt, The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401.