Spring brings welcome signs of new beginnings

Well, Mardi Gras is in the past, and springtime is now here. It’s time to get the yards groomed and the flowers planted. The leaves are turning green and budding everywhere. Yes, you have to cut the grass, but isn’t it beginning to look and feel like spring . . . even summer, some days?
I’m excited this spring because I believe it will bring new life to all of our yards and help remove the signs of the devastating August flood. It signifies a new beginning in a colorful way.

Looking Forward with President Ricks

Looking Forward with President Ricks

Spring is also a time to get out in the fresh air and enjoy our fairs and festivals, such as the Spring Fest in the Denham Springs Antique Village, the craft sales on Highway 190 in the town of Livingston next to V Watts, and baseball and softball everywhere.
Our waterways along the Amite and Tickfaw rivers and all through the southern part of the parish like Lake Maurepas will see the usual increase in activity. The ever-popular Tickfaw 200 will soon be upon us again, always fun and a huge success every year.
I urge you to be as responsible on the water as you would be in a car on the road, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption. “Don’t drink and drive” applies to the water as well as the road. Even if you aren’t driving, please drink responsibly if you drink. We want you to enjoy our waterways but, more importantly, we want you to be safe and to keep all those around you safe as well.
It’s also a time when the health clubs are full because, like our yards, we all begin to work on our bodies to get in shape for summer fun. For many of us that seems to be a never-ending journey. It’s a very worthwhile effort, nonetheless, and can produce some good results both mentally and, certainly, physically, which is the most important aspect of exercise. I love to lift weights, and I do some (actually very little) cardio. My goal is to increase the cardio since getting older (not old) is around the corner.
I hope you will all get active, if you aren’t already, and do whatever you enjoy to get in the best overall physical shape you can. The benefits are well worth the effort you put into it: like health and wellbeing and possibly, just possibly, bathing-suit- ready. Ha!
Now we all know this time of year also produces all kinds of diets and diet programs, both old and tried, and new ones. My wife says just eat in moderation, but my moderation and hers are way (no pun intended) different. Seriously, consult your physician before going on anything extreme, and good luck to us all.
Now, to switch subjects, we still have a lot of work going on in our parish from the flood. While we have had some reports of contractor fraud, we really have had many contractors who have been very honorable and have done a fantastic job for our citizens. I would caution you to check credentials and licenses and get referrals, if possible. Most local contractors are well-known and do great work. They can easily be found and are known to someone you know that has had them do work for them in the past.
As always, I will continue to pray for us all as we steadily climb out of the perils of the flood and tornadoes.
May God continue to bless us all and bless Livingston Parish and the United States of America.

This column by Parish President Layton Ricks is a regular feature in the Journal. Contact the president’s office at 225-686-4400 or email comments or questions to him at info@livingstonparishla.gov.
See the official parish government website, www.livingstonparishla.gov, for information on all parish officials and departments.