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Vogt's Notes: Things to be happy about

The birds are chirping. Loons are calling. Frogs are croaking. And after Tuesday’s unseasonably warm temperatures, area lakes are certain to be ice-free — finally.

I think it’s safe to say, spring, at long last, has sprung.

Lately I’ve felt my mood soar with each sunny, blue-sky day accompanied by a pleasant springtime breeze. That mood plummets when I’m greeted with depressing gray skies and biting cold winds.

I think it’s safe to say, my mood will continue to soar from here on out.

Here are a few other mood elevators, which I find myself in dire need of right now.

• Pequot Lakes High School’s first Day of Caring. Kudos to high school principal Chip Rankin, staff and students for spreading out across Crow Wing County to do good deeds in the form of chores for others. They raked, they planted, they painted, they built, they washed, they cleaned.

Rather than confine this first undertaking to just Pequot Lakes, crews were located as far south as Baxter and as far north as Pine River. They were in Crosslake and Ideal Township, Nisswa and East Gull Lake.

I didn’t hear one negative comment. Those who received help were grateful. Students said it was fun to give back to their communities and to show appreciation for the community’s support of their school.

I heard those comments from students so often that I had to ask if that’s what they’d been told to say. No, they said, it was how they felt.

I look forward to next year’s Day of Caring for all the positive feelings it evoked.

• Pequot Lakes School renovations and additions. School building bond referendums are always controversial. After voters approved the $33 million referendum for school improvements and renovations, it was time to accept the plans and wait for the final results.

Eagle View Elementary School has more space for students and an early childhood addition. Pequot Lakes Middle School has a whole new wing for fifth- and sixth-graders. The district office and high school office are in new spaces — though I do still question why the high school office really is no longer in the high school. It seems some kind of central station is needed at that end of the school.

There’s a new suite of science classrooms, with many more projects continuing to take shape, including the huge gymnasium we’ve all watched go up since last fall. I was excited to see lettering on the outside of the entire building.

It’s exciting to see all the improvements as the school takes advantage of today’s technology to best teach our kids.

• 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener. It’s hard to believe it was five years ago already that Breezy Point Resort was the fishing opener headquarters. Next year the statewide event will return to the lakes area, specifically to Grand View Lodge in Nisswa on Gull Lake.

I’m not the most avid angler (though I’m getting better, just ask my husband!), but I thoroughly enjoyed the 2008 opener in Breezy Point. After a long winter I certainly don’t want to push the seasons, but I do look forward to the hype of next year’s event.

• Road construction. That’s right, I consider local road construction to be a mood elevator. Plans long in the making are taking shape. I’m a visual person — I can’t really comprehend how something will look by looking at schematic designs and architectural renderings. I look forward to seeing the new Nisswa with a pedestrian tunnel and new downtown entrance.

After several years of quiet, Pequot Lakes is buzzing a bit again about the Highway 371 four-lane expansion. It’s still five years out, but to keep communication strong, meetings are planned later this month to update both businesses and residents on what’s going on.

• Summer is coming. School will be out, outdoor festivals will begin and tourists will flock back to the lakes area. Boats will be humming on lakes, filled with both fishermen and those out for pleasure rides.

I think it’s safe to say, there are good times to come.