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By Paul Cook

I love early evenings in the spring and summer here in the St. Louis area. Getting to be active after work at this time of the year is such a big bonus to me.

During the winter, it feels like a gloomy blackout period in the early evening. I feel like I’m telling myself “Get home and huddle up with the family and recharge for tomorrow.” Too often the only action at that time is for homework or TV. Then the cycle continues tomorrow when it will probably bring a chill to your spine. Nope, not in a STL Spring/Summer.

Being light and warmer outside after 5pm gives such an opportunity to have some low key moments. I’m not really talking about loading up in the family cruiser and charging into a incredible “to do” like our awesome “98 Things to do in St. Louis in the Spring.” Those activities are memory makers when you have more than a couple hours of free time, like during a weekend or vacation.

When I was a kid this bonus light-time made way for having a quick dinner and jumping back out into the neighborhood to run and gun. As an adult/parent I still see kids doing that in the neighborhood, but not as many.  Now they are part of the back drop and soundtrack when you sit outside to catch up with your neighbors or mate.

These days I’m always looking to come out of hibernation and fire up the grill – that’s a contagious aroma! Or is it time to let your doggie run or walk around like he’s running for mayor. When it get’s warmer, maybe you make an ice cream/snow cone run or maybe the ice cream truck comes to you! Get the blood pumping , grab your partner’s hand and walk the burb a bit, (and of course judge others yard presentations). Or maybe work on yours with a little yard work while listening to the Cards game. It seems to me all of that stuff is so useful to us humans and not only to just de-stress.

I think we should count these opportunities as something to be grateful for, but I have one big fear. I hope our smartphones don’t steal these moments from us. Don’t let em, instead let the bonus-light shine baby. -PC

Side note: Also, I want to remember to consider the families who don’t feel safe enough in their neighborhood to be outside during these days and try to support ways to make those areas of our city better. Future blog!



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