Each year I impatiently look forward to the blooming of the first crocus of spring. Its appearance lifts my spirits – it is a signal that spring is on its way and the icy fingers of winter in northeast Ohio will soon loosen its grip on my psyche. While the blooming of the first crocus is a harbinger of spring it invariably succumbs to freeze and frost as it struggles to keep that hope of spring alive. Fortunately there is one sure way to know that spring is definitely here. That is the arrival of the first pallets of bagged mulch at gas stations and discount stores. Their arrival erases any doubts that – SPRING IS HERE! The sighting of the first bags of these brown odoriferous remnants of once stately trees lightens my soul. While on the outside I remain a grumpy old man – inside I become Snoopy lightly tripping through a meadow, feet flailing, ears flapping with a smile as wide and broad as the Grand Canyon. These pallets piled high tell me that I can put away the snow blower and tune up the lawn mower. The now ubiquitous bags of overpriced wood chips will soon decorate yards everywhere as customers jam as many bags as they can into their trunks only to find that the total is woefully short of the number required to do the job. While I never use bagged mulch I welcome its arrival as the final, official announcement that spring is finally here. Hallelujah!!!