The especially long winter and late spring that we've experienced this year has wreaked havoc on some businesses, but has been a boon for others. Generally, most area golf courses, landscaping firms and anyone else who caters to outdoor enthusiasts or relies on good weather have had to endure a lower-than-normal revenue stream this spring. But one only has to visit an area mall, grocery store or any other retail establishment to find out who is thriving during lousy weather conditions.
Plus, the Easter holiday fell late this year.
When it's nice out, people don't have as much time to shop. But give shoppers a few extra weeks before a big holiday and mix in some rain and cold weather, and it's a bonanza for retailers.
A lot of people don't know that Easter falls on the Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. The spring equinox, which marks the day when the center of the sun passed over the equator into the Northern Hemisphere, is usually March 20-21. There was a full moon on March 19th, but the last full moon was April 17th. Hence, Easter Sunday was last weekend.
As a result of this quirk in the calendar, the earliest Easter could ever occur would be March 22nd. The latest: April 25th. In fact, the next time Easter occurs on April 24th will be in 2095. (I feel blessed to have seen the 2011 version). Easter will occur on April 25th in 2038, which means I would witness the latest Easter could ever occur when I'm 73 years old. Either way, I'd be willing to bet that it will be a banner year for the retail industry in 2038 - especially if it is accompanied by a late spring.
And, for those making holiday plans in advance and don't have a Full Moon calendar on hand, Easter falls on April 8th next year.
* On a related note, spring makes me think about baseball. Unfortunately, I've been a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs, who haven't won a World Series since 1908. The start of the 2011 season is not shaping up to be anything extraordinary for Cubs' fans again.
Only one month into this year's baseball season, the Chicago Cubs have already set a Major League record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, my "Cubbies" have set the record for the most times playing .500 baseball at the outset of a season. In other words, the Cubs were 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and 10-10. No other team has ever started the season with the same record through its first 20 games. So even though the Cubs probably won't win the World Series this year, fans can boast about the new team slogan I have coined for 2011: "The Chicago Cubs - Average at Best ".