I was running my Valentine's Day errands when the first true sign of spring in Maine caught my eye.

My neighborhood Dairy Queen, the one in South Portland on Cash Corner, had opened for the season, and it was only February 14th.

Dairy Queen knows how to bring the joy and they know when Mainers need it most.

While other ice cream shops are waiting for warmer weather, Dairy Queen knows that the promise of a Dilly Bar or Blizzard on the way home from school or work makes this time of year just a tad more bearable.

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When I was pregnant with my first baby I ate great; a salad with fruit every day, lean meats and plenty of water. Where I struggled was around 8pm when my desire for a Brownie Earthquake Sundae from D.Q. would hit.

This monster of an ice cream treat satisfied every hormonal taste bud. If you've never experienced the B.E.S., that means you have either never been pregnant or heartbroken. This is an emergency caloric splurge for the most dire of situations. When Ben and Jerry's isn't making a dent in an emotional or hormonal hunger, call in the big guns, the Brownie Earthquake Sundae. The sundae is an Oreo brownie with vanilla soft serve, marshmallow topping, hot fudge, whipped cream and then sprinkled with crushed Oreo cookies. Just describing it made me gain a pound and a half.

When I'm driving and I spot a Dairy Queen, I still get the little rush that I did when I was a kid. I grew up going to the one on Rt. 1 in Saco and the Butterscotch Dilly Bar was my favorite for a very long time.

Look at this picture and then check your pulse, you're excited aren't you?

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After reading D.Q.'s sign I pulled in to see if they were open yet.

I might have been their first customer of the season. I ordered a Peanut Buster Parfait and was practically giddy. I ate it on the couch at home looking out at our bleak winter backyard and was transported for a minute, imagining enjoying it on our way home from the beach and complaining about the sand in the car.

Thank you, Dairy Queen. You made my day today.