Opportunities abound in the springtime

Social media tends to leave me in the dust. Its absence in my life is nothing of which I’m ashamed, for sure. It’s just not me.

I’m relatively computer savvy; I know my way around several applications and iPhone apps and am not at all intimidated by the Internet. It’s actually kind of fun to peruse websites. I’m always amazed at how I can start researching widgets and end up reading about a Civil War battle in Mississippi.

Some of you older social media people will remember MySpace. It was a fad. And now the “experts” say Facebook is losing followers as the next wave of social media comes on the scene. The young folks, who drive the Internet and website decisions, are a fickle sort. They want instant gratification. And if mom and dad, or grandma and grandma, show interest, the social media mongers move on to the next fad.

My only social media flaw is Facebook. My kids are still caught in its lair, and many of my “friends” still share snippets of their lives. Admittedly, I’m a Facebook voyeur. I sit on the sidelines (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain) and watch. Never in a sordid manner at all. Just curious about which friend had what for dinner, which one is at his daughter’s basketball game, which one is on vacation in Oklahoma City or the Maya Riviera in Mexico.

I discovered over the weekend that Lisa Larson’s tulips are up. And she dressed her dog in a tutu and then took a picture of her dog with a very tall man, also dressed in a tutu at the Polar Plunge.

“This is better than Halloween,” someone said to me during the Parade of Plungers.

But back to spring. My confidante Susie has hostas peeking through the mulch in her east-facing flowerbed. It’s the best news I’ve seen or heard in a long, long time. It’s a portent of what’s just around the proverbial corner — spring. Mother Nature will soon dazzle us with spring flora and fauna, the air will be fresh with the smell of daffodils, crocus, tulips and hyacinth. And we’ll begin to experience that wonderful hue of oak-pollen green that will invade our lives.

Spring gives us opportunity.

Many of us proclaim the Lake of the Ozarks to be our own slice of paradise. On the surface, it certainly is. But with summer’s leaves off the trees for the last four months, there’s a lot of ugliness hiding just off our roads. And spring gives us the opportunity to make a dent in that eyesore of a problem.

Ameren has done a magnificent job of leading us to a cleaner shoreline. Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance has become a source of ways to reduce water runoff into the lake and to improve water quality.

Now we have a chance to clean up our own backyards.

Let’s be stewards of not only our lake, but of our own properties. Yes, it’s difficult to grow anything here, but the problems go beyond green grass, pretty flowers and lavish waterfalls. It’s the trash that’s tossed along the roadsides; it’s the abandoned vehicles, trailers, boats, sheds, barns, etc.; it’s the peeling paint on houses and storefronts; it’s the weeds that grow in the cracks along the streets and on commercial properties.

In perception, there is reality.

It’s costly to adequately maintain a residential or commercial property. But the long-term cost of doing nothing is potentially catastrophic.

We’re in competition with other resorts in the Midwest for the all-mighty tourist dollar. It’s imperative that we do our part to create a lake community that is reflective of what we know it to be — our paradise.