In Minnesota we will see temperatures this week in the 50s for the first time since last fall. Spring fever is breaking out everywhere.(More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Yesterday it was 45 and the news showed video of a man ice fishing in shorts and a t-shirt. Runners have shed the “Michelin man” look and are wearing either tights or shorts. No one’s jacket or vest is zipped anymore – at least in my trip to the grocery store I didn’t see anyone in the parking lot or the store with their clothing zipped. Most of the snow has melted. There are still a few piles on corners and at the outer edges of parking lots but they’ll be gone by the end of this week.

It used to be that the first sign of spring here was the orange cones for road construction. There were roads that had them all winter so they aren’t a reliable indicator these days. Potholes, on the other hand, have appeared lots of places. I think some of them are deep enough to break an axle if you ran straight over them. They are more craters than holes. I’d bet that people are furiously Googling their city council or the department of transportation to figure out where to make their reports. Even the Tea Partiers seem to expect that the government will repair the potholes.

One sure sign of Spring is the reappearance of the deck furniture. My last two houses were built in the 1880s and had screen porches. Even though I knew better, this first burst of Spring would have me hosing off the porches and uncovering the cushions on the furniture. It will cool off again. It may even snow again. Still, it is irresistible to get the porches and the decks ready. Summer is so brief here that one wants to take advantage of Spring even in small bursts. Since I am babysitting for my son and daughter-in-law I may just clean their screened porch. It is one of my rituals.

As I was writing this I looked out the window. I saw an elderly couple walking slowly and holding hands. They were wearing winter jackets, hats and gloves. Maybe Spring fever and the idea of shorts is an age related thing. Maybe at a certain age Spring fever manifests itself differently.

Happy Spring everybody.