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March is always worth the wait
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We used to have this drawer where we kept all of the trading stamps. There were S&H Green Stamps, which were given by the Big Apple supermarket. You also had Top Value Stamps from Winn-Dixie and Gold Bond stamps from Colonial stores.

I only remember one lamp that Mama got from putting Green Stamps in books. I can’t remember, but it took several books to have enough to get that lamp.

I don’t know if it was worth the wait, but we waited nonetheless.

When I was born, we had a Kodak Brownie camera. We later graduated to the Kodak Instamatic with its turning flashcube. We would make about two pictures at every birthday or other event and after we had shot 12 pictures, we would take them to the drugstore, where they would send them off to be developed. This took about a week.

When they came back, we were all excited to look at them and, of course, not put our fingers on the pictures.

There was a time when we would wait until the weekend to make long distance phone calls. The rates were much cheaper on the weekend, but that didn’t keep Mama from stepping into the hall and reminding you that the call was long distance.

"Don’t run up a big bill," she would say.

Today, we are not content to wait for anything. We want to see the picture now and we make a million of them. Someone was showing me pictures of a family get together and they had three different pictures of their granddaddy eating the same piece of pie.

We would never take a picture of someone eating pie. A picture was reserved for standing in front of the fireplace or on the front steps and you had to stand nice and straight with your hair combed and say "cheese."

I never remember calling anyone when we were on vacation. Now, we call people from our vacation trip and tell them about the place we are visiting and the flight that got us there. We’ve also emailed pictures home from remote locations.

There isn’t much that we are willing to wait for.

But there are a few things you just can’t rush. I’m reminded about that as the calendar turns to March. It is a month of great transition and inside of 31 days, we can go from the dead of winter to the first blooms of spring.

This year, Easter is in March and I like that. I like to see the early baseball games and spring football practice. I like seeing the earth wake up from the slumber of winter into the color of spring.

No matter what you do, you can’t rush the arrival of spring. The official date is March 20. But the buzzards return to Hinckley, Ohio, on March 15 and the swallows return to the mission at San Juan Capistrano, Calif., on March 19. Two decades ago, we had a blizzard here on March 13. You never know what will happen in March.

I have an early deadline, but it appeared that March was going to come in like a lion. We will hope that it goes out like a lamb and leaves us a beautiful picture that is truly worth waiting for.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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