This is one of my favorite times of year in German Village. There is so much going on, so many opportunities to look and do our best and so many chances to catch up with neighbors not seen since winter pushed everyone inside. Having moved to Georgia, it's kind of a bummer to be so far from 43206 in the spring, but I am doing my best to stay involved, even if it is just from the periphery.

This is one of my favorite times of year in German Village. There is so much going on, so many opportunities to look and do our best and so many chances to catch up with neighbors not seen since winter pushed everyone inside. Having moved to Georgia, it's kind of a bummer to be so far from 43206 in the spring, but I am doing my best to stay involved, even if it is just from the periphery.

Jazz and Juleps, the Garten Club's only fundraiser, is Friday, May 7. Each year I worked in the Meeting Haus, this event brought such energy to the platz. Garten Club volunteers set up all day, staff members got to sneak a few peeks at the goodies for sale and, more often than not, ringleaders saw to it that we got some of the pizza that was ordered for lunch

This presale for the Garten Markt on May 8 has an incredible variety of flowers, herbs, garden "stuff" (for lack of a better word) and of course, juleps, jazz and fabulous food. My very first Mother's Day gift was purchased at Jazz and Juleps, and every time I look it, I remember a really fun, albeit rainy, night. The gift is the quirkiest little black and white penguin watering can. I don't have a thing for penguins and I don't have anything to water, but I love it and I have no idea why. Maybe I love it because I picked it out in the company of good friends, great music and beautiful plants.

The Saturday of the Garten Markt will be a busy day to be in the village. Residents: Be prepared to give directions to Schmidt's! Not only will the Garden Markt sale be taking place on the Meeting Haus platz, but Mother May I, a signature event of the German Village Business Community, will be going on, too.

Shops will have special treats dedicated just to moms. Mother May I is a wonderful opportunity to buy any mother in your life a unique and meaningful gift in addition to the plant you may get her at the Garten Markt! Stop at your favorite neighborhood businesses for more information on Mother May I. Definitely plan to go it's a charming event that really rolls out the welcome mat for shoppers.

That Saturday evening (or Sunday afternoon of Mother's Day), residents and visitors alike may attend the Village Singers' spring production, "German Village: The Musical." What better celebration of the Society's 50th anniversary than a musical homage to those who laid the groundwork for us, warts and all? The Village Singers put on such a great show. I heard many rehearsals in my evening hours at the Meeting Haus, and while it sometimes made getting work done a little tricky, their singing was a unique perk of working in a neighborhood center.

Just three days later is the "Caretakers of a Legacy" awards reception, which I wrote about last week, so I won't dwell too much on it here. The reception is a collaboration of the German Village Society and German Village Commission and it honors those who have done standout work on their homes in our historic district. If you are interested in historic preservation, architecture or the architectural review process, plan to attend the party. You don't have to be receiving an award to appreciate these accomplishments. The reception is Wednesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. and RSVPs are appreciated.

As it has for years, the third Saturday in May (May 15 this year) is reserved for Village Valuables, a dizzying array of garage sales that feature everything from children's toys to bridesmaid dresses from decades past to furniture to barware. People come early and they come ready. My first year at the event, I was floored to see people arriving with wagons, lawn-size garbage bags and any other professional shopping accoutrement imaginable. These buyers are serious and since a map of sales is printed in advance, they'll have their routes planned.

Selling is a blast, too, because you get to see everything and everyone and catch up with neighbors from the other end of the village. Plus, sellers can make some cash to pay for dinner that night at any of German Village's incredible restaurants. You know you'll want a Mother Mohawk after all that hard work.

All day long May 15, the German Village Business Community will be hosting sidewalk sales at neighborhood businesses, so if yard sales are not your thing, look for good deals there. Leave your car parked wherever you can because with such an influx of visitors, no spot will be vacant for long. And, again, be prepared to give directions to Schmidt's!

The next day, May 16, is the society's annual meeting followed by a potluck on the platz. Plan to be informed, ask questions and celebrate the year's accomplishments.

After the annual meeting, we take a breather. It's about time because there are these little things called pre-tour and the 51st Annual Haus und Garten Tour coming up the last weekend of June.

Both events will, of course, be fabulous. Pre-tour will give a great opportunity to see inside the homes or gardens of some very generous hosts and participants get to eat a delicious, creative and fun-themed meal. As for the tour, well, you don't host 51 tours and not consider yourself a pro.

Our Haus und Garten Tour is one that has inspired other communities, tour visitors and, quite frankly, the society, year after year. Always the last Sunday of June, mark your calendar to attend the tour, volunteer your time in a home or invite out-of-village guests to see what we are all about.

This is a busy time of year, but a rewarding one in that it reminds us of why we do what we do. Spring in German Village is all about the sense of community, the camaraderie and the energy that hits our brick streets and sidewalks that gets us ready for warm weather, alley parties and concerts and plays in the parks.

Call the Meeting Haus at (614) 221-8888 or visit www.germanvillage.com if you have questions about any of the spring events and plan for a busy, busy May!

Jody Graichen is director of Historic Preservation Programs for the German Village Society.