So I pick up this morning's dinosaur edition and I see there's a boxscore in the paper again, an actual it-counts-and-everything boxscore, and that tells me winter's over and summer's standing just off-stage in its Sunday best, waiting to be introduced.
In other words: It's Opening Day of the baseball season.
(And, yes, I know, Seattle and Oakland played two official games in Japan last week. That doesn't count as Opening Day, just like a dinner salad doesn't really count as dinner. It's what dinner eats).
Anyway .... want to know what's great about Opening Day?
It's the fact that it's not "opening day" but "Opening Day."
It's the fact that everybody is unbeaten and could just possibly remain so for the next six months and 162 games.
It's the fact that this includes my raggedy old Pittsburgh Pirates, who haven't had a winning season in 20 years, which means before iPads, Blackberries, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Metta World Peace and Lady Gaga. The Pirates open the season at home against Roy Halladay and the Phillies today. The ballpark is expected to look very pretty again.
Want to know what else is great about Opening Day?
It's the fact that, as I write this, the lilacs are blooming outside the kitchen window. Big, cone-shaped clumps of lavender are tossing around in the chill morning breeze, coming onstage just as the forsythia goes from yellow to green.
Yesterday, they looked like what they were, a month too early. But today?
Today, they look like they're right on time.