March Brings Madness


St. Croix Valley residents will be relieved to put a wintery February in their rear view mirrors and may be thrilled to say, “Bring on March.”

Or maybe not.

With March comes the so-called Madness, defined any way residents wish.

More than one hermit living alone in the woods suffered from cabin fever – a term for listlessness and general irritability stemming from long periods of indoor confinement. The snowy weather of February will certainly yield to better days in March, moving the St. Croix Valley closer to a cure for cabin fever, right? Big Oops. March is still regarded as the snowiest month in the Midwest. Keep those shovels handy. Snowplow operators are deserving of an occasional Thumbs Up – with or without mittens. Confined in a cab and dealing with White Gold can bring on its own form of Madness.

And then there are year-end tournaments to determine champions in a variety of sports for girls, boys, women, and men. Notre Dame’s women basketball team is the defending national champs. Much of the credit goes to Arike Ogunbowale who came to ND by way of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee. In a 48-hour span, she hit back-to-back game-winning baskets to knock off number one ranked UConn and then Mississippi State in the finale. Both shots are worthy of a Google search. In short, the Madness of March stuck again (and again). Arike didn’t need ND’s shamrocks on her jersey for good luck. She put forth the one-two combo of hard work and skill in making those game winners. UConn and Mississippi State may claim otherwise, alleging ND’s trademarked shamrocks as the culprit.

The Madness also appears on March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day makes everyone Irish for a day, whether it’s the bona fide O’Keefe clan or McRubin wannabees. Our friends in New Richmond, Wisconsin put on a pretty good show for the day, thanks to the enclave of early Irish settlers. 2012 will be remembered in New Richmond as the Wearing o’ the Flip-Flops as revelers enjoyed the almost 80-degree day. Other years are better-suited for after-dinner coffee drinks and long underwear. The Madness strikes again.

Income tax filings are well underway and many have appointments in March. A refund from Madison or the U.S. Treasury, or both, is an unexpected surprise. Holiday bills, Florida getaways, or Colorado skiing trips can be paid off. For others, filings mean The Tax Man Cometh and he or she may want more money. For those filers, it can only be attributable to the Madness and the pain is extended all the way up to the April 15th deadline.

March can be packed with odd occurrences. Madness or not, the St. Croix Valley’s hearty citizens will survive. Spring is near.