So many things have changed since I first moved here. And when I look around downtown Frederick, I see all sorts of fresh newness. It is Spring, after all, and this is the time for new beginnings. Yes, it's a cliché, but that's because it's true. The new buildings on and near East and South Streets appear to be nearing completion -- the parking garage looming over the Delaplaine seems to lack only cars, the finishing construction on County school headquarters is simply academic, and the nearby apartments/houses await their first occupants -- while another building continues its transformation and a sign announces the site of the new Visitor's Center. Empty storefronts that once housed charming little shops reflect my shocked, blank stare. But many of the business have simply moved to more productive (one hopes) locations only a few steps or blocks away, while the owners of others have moved on to new beginnings of their own and another stage in their lives. And conversely, the bustle on the other side of some of the picture windows indicate the impending appearance of a new merchant. New weather patterns, bring the reality of nicer, warmer days rather than just the hope and promise. They, along with longer days and the inevitable forward shift of Daylight Savings Time, lure everyone out of their hibernation to reveal kids half a foot taller, teens eager to show off their new warm-weather togs, and adults with all those new babies in their arms, in strollers and yet to be born. I'm looking forward to some new beginnings of my own.