I was outside doing some work in our front yard earlier this week, when I heard that distinctive sound that defines spring and summer throughout southeastern Minnesota.

They say your sense of smell is the one that stirs the most memories, but hearing certain sounds has to be a close second. Which then got me thinking of those sounds that bring all those memories of warm, summer days back when you hear them again each spring...


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    An outboard boat motor

    The sound of an outboard motor takes me back to those long, summer vacations at the family cottage on Trout Lake in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. We'd head Up North for a couple of weeks each summer when I was growing up.

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    A single engine plane

    The sound of a single engine plane high up in the clear blue summer sky takes me back to an open field near the high school next to my grandparents house where I'd spend many lazy Sunday afternoons.

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    A chainsaw

    The sound of a chainsaw firing up reminds of me of the neighborhood (which had a lot of trees) where I had my paper route, back in my hometown in central Wisconsin. After a summer thunderstorm would rumble through, various neighbors would fire up their chainsaws to help clean-up all those downed trees and branches.

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    Birds chirping

    And, of course, a sure sound of spring is the always-welcome sound of birds chirping when I'm on my way into the Quick Country 96.5 Worldwide Headquarters in downtown Rochester. During the fall and winter months, it's completely quiet at 4 in the morning. Which is why hearing birds chirp-- even at that early hour-- is a welcome sound!

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    A lawnmower

    Somebody in our neighborhood had fired up their lawnmower earlier this week. And, after not having heard that sound for the last 6 months, hearing that telltale sound earlier this week was actually kind of cool. Because just hearing a lawnmower after the long, cold winter we just went through, immediately took me back to those days of summer vacation when I was a kid– when the days seemed to stretch on without end. (It also reminded me I'd better dig ours out of the garage and see if it starts...)