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Feel the change in the air

My Nikkel’s Worth column

I could feel the difference in the air, particularly on Sunday — and it wasn’t just the beautiful spring weather.

The May long weekend was supposed to be like this, but we really did need that rain. It likely has saved the crops for many, many farmers, not to mention helping livestock producers and everyone else wanting to grow things.

The nice weather on Sunday dovetailed nicely with the day that Step 1 of the province’s re-opening plan took effect, and games were finally allowed to be held instead of just practices.

I first headed out to Jubilee Park on a nice Thursday evening, and the sports fields were busy with ball and soccer practices — and even though the teams were still in practice mode, the day for games was approaching and you could feel the excitement in the air.

I chatted with a couple of ball coaches, and they were preparing their boys to hit the road on Sunday for their first league game of the season. Looking around the park, one smiled as he said, “This sure is nice to see — and it’s nice for the kids! This is good for them.”

I couldn’t agree more, because the fresh air and outdoor exercises in the various sports activities going on is definitely good for the children’s physical and mental health.

After suffering through the COVID restrictions for over a year, including periods where students had to do remote learning from home, the children (and the parents, and everyone else actually) needed this, they really did.

Taking in a ball game on Sunday, and seeing all the parents there spread out around the perimeter of the fence in lawn chairs to watch the action, it was sure good to see.

It didn’t quite match the huge crowds on Sunday at the Indy 500, with well over 130,000 people gathered for the big race (and none of them wearing masks!), but it was still good.

It was also nice to hear news reports about the Indy 500 without the snide, deriding comments of “and no one was wearing a mask …”

The atmosphere of the Montreal-Toronto playoff game in Montreal was also a welcome sight, with the sounds of a crowd cheering adding to the excitement of the playoff game.

So are we nearing the finish line? I certainly hope so. We need this — we all need this.