As the cold, harsh winter becomes a past memory, spring is in the air in Chicago, GAINS hometown. Rainy days now breathe renewed life into the flowers, trees, and bushes in bloom. Lighter, warmer evenings highlight these spring months. Our prelude to summer has arrived. We sat down with some of our local Chicago teammates and others from around the world to discuss the spring season. Here are some things the #GAINSgang’s things said they love most about spring.
Laurel, Senior Software Engineer – Chicago, USA
“Spring, to me, is just the beginning of all of the things I look forward to in the summer: long days, sunshine that warms your skin, lush green foliage, and the ability to take a walk without shivering. It’s a signal that we have made it through the cold, dark winter tunnel.
I look forward to what spring signals for me, but I also look back at some of my favorite memories as well.
I fondly remember growing up on a farm and anticipating the birth of new calves. Every year, as the weather began to warm up, my family would eagerly await the arrival of new life on our farm. My dad would make a birthing pen for the expecting mothers, and I can still vividly remember the sounds of the cows mooing and the sight of the new calves wobbling on their unsteady legs. These memories of spring on the farm will always hold a special place in my heart.
Another favorite memory of mine was in the spring of 2017. My mom and I took a bicycle trip through the Netherlands and stopped at Keukenhof, a botanical garden in Lise, one of the world’s largest flower gardens. It was spectacular; we even shipped some tulips home that we planted in our garden. Now, one of my favorite parts of spring is walking out to the garden and seeing those emerging buds of tulips peeking through the soil, reminding me of our bicycle adventure.
Whether it’s the birth of new life on a farm or visiting a beautiful flower garden, spring brings a sense of hope and joy. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of energy and optimism for the upcoming months.”
Drazen, Director, EU Professional Services – Basel, Switzerland
With warmer temperatures and longer days, locals in Basel again start gathering around the Rhein River for recreational activities like picnicking, swimming, and boating.
Although, my favorite spring (and summer) activity is using the river as a transportation medium. The Swiss invented Wickelfisch (‘fish-skin’) – a colorful water-proof swim bag into which one can place clothes, towels, etc., and then use it as a float. I sometimes meet my wife after work, and we swim back home with thousands of other people doing it daily. The river current is strong, but the swim bag helps ease the 20-minute exercise while the sights of the city pass by. And, of course, there is a beer or an ice cream reward for us at the end of the trip in one of the numerous cafés along the river.
Springtime in Basel also brings tourists in; in addition to well-supported local museums, spring activities culminate with Art Basel, one of the world’s premier contemporary art fairs. For some locals and me, the fair is a signal to escape the city’s weekend crowd and hike up the nearby Jura Mountains range.
Spring is the time to regain work-life balance, starting with small wins, walks, and hikes. And sometimes swims.
Steve, Senior Director of Solution Consulting – Chicago, USA
I have lived in and around Chicago my entire life, and to me, Spring always represents a time when Chicagoans can get reacquainted with the sun, emerge from our winter hibernations, and ditch the parka for a hoodie. Starting around the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, there is renewed energy around the city as more and more people start getting outside. With two kids under two, my wife and I are excited to spend a lot of time with them at the local forest preserve to see the budding trees and flowers and the Brookfield Zoo.
While many may do this year-round despite the elements, I’m excited to start grilling again. It’s fun to put on some music and have a drink while making some (hopefully delicious) food. I just learned “dad rock” is a thing, and while my musical tastes may not fall squarely in there (I’m still hip, right?), it’s dangerously close, so I will continue indoctrinating my kids with my (lamer-and-lamer-with-age) habits.
Spring also means the return of baseball, and while I’ll probably be disappointed by the on-field result of the White Sox, I can at least play the “how many calories can one consume at the ballpark” game which is equally exciting. I’m hoping to take my 22-month-old to his first game, which would be a blast.
There’s a corny “optimize your Spring” or “automate your way to fun this May” supply chain comment somewhere, but I can’t pinpoint it. Either way, I am forecasting a great Spring (oh wait, there it is).