As the new year has kicked off, Mason is poised to begin with a few changes of its own. Even as I compose this column on Tuesday morning, there are optimistic rain chances for this evening that could bring respectable rain totals to the entire area. That is a change that affects not only Mason County; but, could help change the direction for a good part of central Texas.
Just across the road from the News office, the anchor of the south side of the square has become Mason Bank, dropping the "National" as their move to a state chartered bank becomes effective. We've changed the wording on their ads, they have begun changing out all the stamps and forms, and, most tellingly, the sign on the front of the bank has been updated to reflect their new name and legal status.
Over on the northeast corner of the square, The Commercial Bank is well underway with their facelift, and they comfortably operate from their temporary position next door waiting on the construction to progress. The construction has started to reveal some of the external details and we all anxiously await the "big reveal" when it's all completed.
Sitting in the middle of it all is the solid dowager of the square, the Mason County Courthouse. For several months, the work crews have been focusing on the roof areas visible to the public, and the shingles are going up at a steady pace. Just after Christmas, the electrical system was replaced with very few hiccups. And now, as they move to complete the shingling, the centerpiece still remains - the dome. Very soon, they will replace the metal of the crown on the building, and our old structure will be on its way into a new century of service to the county.
I've spoken of the Mayan calendar and the opinion that it, obviously, did not herald the end of time; but, that it simply marked the beginning of a new epoch. As some things end, others begin. That is the way of our world. We attend a funeral on Tuesday, and a christening on Sunday. Things don't really end, they simply begin over once more. Quite literally, the "circle of life."
With all new beginnings, there is a certain amount of discomfort as we make adjustments to our new situations. With the Courthouse, we've had to adjust to using some doors and avoiding others, or overcoming some adjusted hours of operation as a minor inconvenience.
With the banks, we've had to adjust to new locations or new names; but, all small items in the bigger scheme of life. We will learn to use the right building, or to use the correct name, it will simply take some time.
With births and deaths, the adjustments can take longer. Learning not to look for some people in the room, while learning to accept others. Adjusting to one fewer at family gatherings, or finding space for one more at the table. It is the very basis of our family dynamics - it is what, precisely, make us families.
Some changes are painful and can take our breath away. Some changes are joyous, and fill us with warmth and joy. All of them are necessary in order for us to truly live our lives. We can not have the one without the other.
So many of us say that we do not like change. We don't like the fashions, the styles, the food, the cars, the architecture or the manners. We are nostalgic for "what was," and think that we can dig in our heels and resist it forever. But, we can not do that, for the world continues turning. Our lives go on, and so do we.
Accept the changes, retain the basics, and move forward. It is life, and it is what we've learned to do so well.
It’s all just my opinion.