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Feb 14, 2017

It's the time of year when everyone is thinking about the Spring. As the big machines pile up the remaining snow into huge piles in the parking areas, we find ourselves longing for(1) a more pleasant season, and greenery and flowers. Preparations are being made for life beyond the snow. Bulbs and seeds can be found again in the home centers, new Spring fashions are appearing in the shops, and soccer clubs are starting their practices in whichever gyms are available(2). Even though we still have a couple of months of winter weather, we know what is coming next, and we are waiting anxiously for it to come. As we celebrate the blossoming of apple trees in Spring, we also choose three young ladies to represent the Wenatchee Valley. They are from High School, and have to compete to be voted for. It is like an election campaign. They are judged on their character, intellect, community involvement, and future goals. It is quite different from a beauty contest, thankfully. It isn't just the(3) prettiest girls who become Apple Blossom Princesses. The selection process is quite rigorous, as the girls really need to show what they know, and communicate what they care about. This year's ladies have just been chosen. They will receive scholarships for college, and opportunities to visit businesses and organizations in the town. And they get the opportunity to dress up and look beautiful for a season. It's an American thing, and these ladies are our princesses for a year. 

1. 'To long for' is 'to yearn for' or 'to wait impatiently for'.

a. He longed for a reunion with his family; he hadn't seen them in so many years.

b. She longed for him to hold her hand.

c. We longed for rain; the crops wouldn't grow if the rain didn't come.

2. Use of 'whichever'.

a. You can take your food to whichever till is available, and then pay there.

b. I will have to take whichever plane is available, as mine has been cancelled.

3. 'It isn't just the ...' can be followed by a singular or plural subject.

a. It isn't just the ice that's a problem for traffic, it's the freezing temperatures also that affect the vehicles.

b. It isn't just the students who need new computers; it's the teachers and staff as well.