While there is certainly no arguing that last Friday was pretty much a washout, it is hard to deny that the remainder of the week had a definite spring feel to it as the afternoon high temperature on Monday through Thursday climbed into the lower 60s to the mid 70s.

One day early in the week, with my work done for the day, my wife, Nancy, asked if I would be interested in going on a walk through the neighborhood with her. The question had barely cleared my bride's lips before I responded with a resounding "yes."

As we exited the front door of the Henley hacienda I could immediately tell that my decision to leave my assortment of jackets and coats hanging on the coat tree was a good one. Not only did the mid 60s temperature make the conditions perfect for a walk with bare arms, but so did the absence of almost any wind that afternoon, which for a mid March day is a meteorological rarity.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed last week's warm-weather walk, I have been watching the weather long enough to understand that when the temperature reaches the 70s in March it is more of a preview of what is to come in the weeks ahead than a long-term weather pattern change.

One nice pre-spring feature that can be observed in March is a rapid disappearance of any winter precipitation that might have fallen earlier in the month. Such was the case last week when a combination of abundant sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures made short work of the ice and snow which had fallen in Northeast Missouri late the previous week.

Another sign of spring's approach is the return of robins to the "Hood." I also have a Maple tree that looks like it will explode with new leafs any day now.

Still another indicator that spring is near is the arrival of tax information. Nancy, who among her many responsibilities is that of family bookkeeper, says she can still remember when all we needed in order to do our taxes was a single IRS form and my W2. It seems that the older we become the more complicated our taxes are. Consequently, in recent years we have had a professional do our taxes. However, before a tax expert can work his magic all the necessary income forms must first be gathered.

I walked into the kitchen one day recently to find Nancy seated at the table with a stack of papers in front of her. My better half explained that she was making three piles. One pile consisted of information that she was sure the tax preparer would need. Another of the piles was dedicated to sheets of paper that Nancy identified as trash. With a smile Nancy said the third pile was designated the I-don't-know-what-to-do-with-it stack.

As I walked out of the kitchen, marveling at my wife's system, I better understood why so many people consider this a “taxing” time of year.

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