Go outside and enjoy the sunshine

We’ve had a couple quick bouts with some late cold and snow, but it would appear we have finally gotten to the point where we can stop worrying about waking up to ice and think about those warm days of spring and summer.

The flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are singing and that golden disk is floating around the blue sky.

It’s a time of rebirth after our long winter and it should be enjoyed.

My late father used to tell my siblings and I to “go outside and get the stink blown off”?us.

It was his way of encouraging us to go run around the yard instead of sitting around the house all day.

I constantly hear or read comments from area residents saying there is nothing for our younger residents to do in town.

I disagree.

It’s frustrating to hear people talk about how “dead” our towns are, because that just discourages anyone from making the effort to build something or continue with those features which already exist in our communities.

There is plenty to do in our area if you are just willing to take the time to look around a little bit.

Saturday morning, for example, the annual Weirton Community Easter Egg Hunt took place. There were around 140 kids taking part.

This summer will mark the third year for the Weirton Summer Concert Series, held just about every Friday night at the Weirton Event Center (where Cove School once stood.)

That is a great time for residents to get out, enjoy some live music and just take a few hours with family and friends.

The Mary H. Weir Public Library has literary events and movie nights periodically.

We have local youth sports, with both soccer and baseball or softball being chief among them this time of year. For that matter, the Millsop Community Center is always planning some sort of youth league or events.

Starvaggi Park has its pool open each summer, a playground and athletic courts.

Marland Heights Park also has a playground and a tennis court.

During the school year, there numerous are clubs and activities available.

At the same time, there are options just a few miles outside of town, too. There are walking trails, miniature golf, picnic areas and much more at both Tomlinson Run State Park and Brooke Hills Park.

There is Oglebay with its lake, zoo, activities and other features.

For those looking at something a little more educational, we have three museums in Hancock and Brooke counties, where residents of all ages can learn more about the early days of our area and the people who helped build it.

Yes, things in our communities aren’t the way they were 20 or 30 years ago. They won’t be the same in 20 or 30 years as they are now, either.

But there will be things to do if we are willing to just open our eyes and encourage each other to get out and enjoy what we have available.

Perhaps that will even spur someone or some group to find ways to provide even more.

Think about this. The more our youth hear us adults saying there is nothing to do in the area, the more they are going to believe it, which will only cause them to look away from our local communities for things to do.

And if there is something you would like to see here, and it’s not already offered, instead of complaining maybe you and a group of like-minded individuals would even consider seeing what it would take to bring such an attraction to the city.

Despite some beliefs, not everyone drives to Pittsburgh every weekend just to find something to do.

There are things for kids to do in our area. There are things for families to do together.

If nothing else, just let the kids run around in the yard for a little bit. Allow their imaginations to take hold. They’ll find something they enjoy.

Tell them about some of the groups and activities in town. See if there is anything that would interest them.

You might just be surprised.

For that matter, see if there is something you might enjoy. Check out a new restaurant (there are several which have opened in the last few months). Take a walk or bike ride on the Panhandle Trail.

Don’t just sit around the house and wonder what there is to do. Look around, check out some of the local parks, trails, businesses and events.

Most importantly, go outside and get the stink blown off of you.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)