Long gone are the robins. Gone are the ice cream trucks. Gone is Philip the Fly.

They avoid the cold weather.

Blizzards are easy to come by. Usually, you find them only at the Dairy Queen stores.

This is the time of year when Mother Nature means business. She brings on the snow and the cold. Maybe it’s good for us. January with all its snow piles and icy walks has once again asserted itself around Grand Forks.

But the lights are flickering on again around the University of North Dakota campus. By afternoon on Monday, classes will be running for the second semester.

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Meanwhile, Omaha is here. Maybe not everyone in Omaha – but at least the women and men’s basketball teams from the University of Omaha. And the hockey team, too, for weekend games.

Those who want to pick up a few insights on the UND weekend sports will gather at noon today at the Alerus Center.

Walking on ice

No matter where people gather this weekend, there is a challenge. It’s walking on ice. And those in the know say to walk carefully. Pay attention. Those falls that send people to the emergency room happen so quickly.

If I could find Mayor Mike Brown, I would ask if we could name Saturday officially as “Watch Your Step Day.”

Kick Off Party

They really mean business over at the YMCA about promoting a healthy spirit, body and mind -- and doing it through physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.

So they are holding a community Kick-off Party beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Grand Cities Mall. It’s the official send off for a 99-day wellness trip. And there will be prizes along the way.

While it costs $20 for adults and $10 for those 15 and younger, there is no charge for Saturday’s kick-off. It’s open to the public, according to the announcement from Adam Sorum.

Sandy and Doug

Cheerful people of the week: Sandy Norby and Doug Norby.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at (701) 772-1055 telepnone or mhagerty@gra.midco.net