Well, lookie that! It’s March! Bigger and brighter smiles surfacing with added daylight each and every day! As early as this weekend, we spring those clocks forward an hour and there is hope in the air. Simply put, who doesn’t love March?!

March is an interesting month from my perspective. It has a lot of activity in it that connects with me on both a personal and a general level. As stated, Sunday, March 8 we greet daylight saving time. A good thing. However, Saturday, March 7, is one the Brooks family remembers all too well. This year will mark 35 years since our mom left us. She was only 61, but her battle with cancer finally claimed victory after a six-plus year battle.

This year, one week later to the day, a small town in southern Wisconsin will stage its annual St. Patrick’s Day event, complete with a parade down Main Street! Each year, the committee picks the Sunday closest to the holiday and this year, it falls two days before the actual St. Patty’s Day. This town is 10 miles from the town where I grew up. It’s also the town where my parents grew up. For years, most of my father’s siblings lived in this town. It’s a place that holds many memories for all of us. I usually start getting asked in February if I’m planning on coming back for the fun. My parents loved this celebration. They’d see so many people they had known most of their lives. After Mom died, it just wasn’t the same for me. Yet the gang continued to go. Dad still managed to have his brand of fun. After we lost Dad in 2000, my siblings still enjoyed going, or at least a few of them. I’ve returned from time to time. The parade is all of 15 minutes or so, but people love it. In 2017, there were 1,460 people taking up residency in Fox Lake. But this event brings in folks from miles around. I haven’t decided if I’m going this year or not; nevertheless, it’s part of my March thoughts each year.

On that same Sunday this year, the NCAA folks will announce their brackets for the annual March Madness basketball tournament. It took me years to care about college basketball, but I love it now, and I look forward to the tournament every year. The first four days of it, beginning Thursday, March 19, are the most exciting.

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. For me, it comes and goes. If I can find a showing of John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s “The Quiet Man,” I’ll likely watch it. TCM will normally run it at some point.

March 18 is Mom’s birthday. We all wanted so badly for her to make it to her 62nd birthday and retirement, but it wasn’t in the cards. The next day, the 19th, is Dad’s birthday. They both are on our minds each year on these two days. They were only a day apart in age too. Growing up, I thought that was the coolest fact, and I’d tell all my friends who thought so too.

My final connection I once had but still can’t quite seem to chase out of my thoughts is the final week of March. For District 196, it’s been spring break for years, as it is this year. The final trimester of the year always began in early March, and teachers just wanted to survive to break. Now, I always think of that week because … well, just because.

I’m not even sure December has as many connections for me as March does. I’d love to pursue that thought here but...

Time’s up! See you next week!