When one year ends and the new one begins, I always enjoy reflecting on the good things that have occurred in the prior year. I choose not to focus on the bad, as there is no changing those things now, I can only learn from them and move forward. The good things, however, offer hope and promise for even more good things and give me hope for what could be in the coming year.
During 2012, we finally got some rain. It wasn't a lot, and it definitely wasn't enough... but, after the dry period of 2011, it was great to see water in the creeks and grass in the pastures (and a fair number of weeds). As I write this column on December 28th, the forecast is predicting rain chances for New Year's Eve and Day. If that's a promise of how the rainfall will be in 2013, it's an omen I'll gladly take.
There were new additions around the News office family. For Dewey, there was a bride as Shannon became a Stockbridge. For Donna, there was a grandson as Wyatt arrived just before Christmas, giving the Nelson clan something to look forward to for many years to come. New family is always a wonderful way to start a new year. There are new faces, new personalities, new names and new chances to do the things with family that we've sometimes forgotten with those family members that we've had around for decades.
The Punchers gave our community a second year of football excitement. Each football season in a small town is like the beginning of the social high season in large urban areas. We plan our Friday nights around their games, and we pack the stands at home and away games to show our support. One of the blessings I count is the number of people Mason can send to an away game, often outnumbering the hometown fans. It is wonderful to hear comments from the referees and chain crew as they watch the Mason faithful arrive - in groups and clumps, with walkers and wheelchairs, in purple and white. One quick glance is all it takes to understand that our town is a family in all that we do.
We got ourselves a new intern at the News office. After two years, Gideon Gonzales headed off to college in Georgetown. As he departed, he trained his replacement, Jackie Drazan. She has proven to be a capable, intelligent and entertaining addition to our group here on the southeast corner of the square. She is hard working and creative, and never at a loss for ways to improve on the way that we do things. And, she actually understands our humor and our foibles, which makes her the right person for the job.
We made it through another election cycle. It doesn't matter if your guy won or lost. When it comes to elections, I often feel that the battle is best seen in the mirror of history. When we're in the middle of an election, we're too personally involved and too emotional to make good decisions. We listen to people we don't even like that much, and we believe the things they say. Once an election is over, we realize that our country has gone through this same process many times, and it will continue to do so in the future. As we now know, the Mayans were only recording the end of a calendar period, not the end of time, and the overlap of the election was only a coincidence!
One of the most pleasing blessings I had in 2012 was seeing Bruce and Susan Wheltle again after an absence of many years. An addition to that blessing was that I was able to take my friends from Mason with me to visit them and to enjoy the beauty of New England in the summer. We ate too much seafood, drank too many cocktails, walked on too many beaches and drove too many miles. And it was a wonderful trip. It reminded me that, as much as we who live here in Mason love our home, every place you go is someone's home and is just as special to them.
I count my blessings and see that 2012 was not a bad year at all. I have enjoyed the things that have come my way, and look forward to 2013 with anticipation and excitement.
It’s all just my opinion.