In any subjective evaluation of 2011, the drought and its devastating effects upon the county would have to be at the top of the list of newsworthy events.
We had a record number of hot days. We had a record low rainfall. We had a record number of wildfires across the state. And, we had record numbers of cattle being sold off as producers tried to ajust their stocking ratios to deal with the lack of forage. The year may have ended with some small rainfalls that helped ease the severity; but, overall, the year will go down in the record books as hot, dry and brutally destructive.
And, on the opposite end of the spectrum would be the 2011 Mason Punchers. A team that, on paper, was probably going to be second or third in our district defied all expectations. Under a first-year head coach, with most media ignoring us, the Punchers had a triumphant unbeaten season that took them around the state before ending, just a week before Christmas, at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington where they won the state title.
That football victory won't just be at the top of the list for the year 2011; but, will be remembered for many generations to follow. It was a victory for the team, and a high point for the entire community. It was the perfect way to end a very tough year.
Along the way, there were the many things that fill a year up, and make it complete. There were births and deaths, weddings and divorces, successes and failures. New businesses opened, and some others closed their doors. In a city, we might miss these comings and goings; but, in Mason, we are acutely aware of the many changes, and just as often, we are involved to some degree in those life events.
And now, we stand on the cusp of 2012. According to the the Mayan calendar, there might be a "blip" once we reach next December. The 21st, to be precise.
It would appear that the Mayans ended their date calculations with the date of December 21, 2012. According to their eons-long cycles, that date is not the end of the world; but, rather, is the end of the current cycle of events, and the beginning of a new cycle. Hollywood has had a lot of success interpreting the Mayan calendar as a dramatic vehicle. As is typical with most Hollywood stories, the embellishments have little or nothing to do with fact and more to do with stunning special effects.
I've had some very interesting conversations with folks who have combined Biblical prophecy with the Mayan calendar and have, subsequently, worked themselves into a bit of a lather over the prognosis for 2012. After warning them to avoid combining pagan mythology with Christian prophecy, I also advised them to reread the Biblical warnings of Armageddon, which also caution the reader to not try to name the day or date of the "final days."
I, for one, prefer to look a bit further ahead. As far as I'm concerned, 2012 will be just another year. It will be the year that I turn 53. It will be the year that the championship Punchers attempt to repeat their amazing season. It will be the year that we figure out if the drought is going to continue, and if so, how we're going to deal with it as a long-term situation that most likely will extend for several more years.
So, I offer up the greeting that I expect to be offering up again in another 52 weeks - happy new year! May you have a life of happiness, joy and success, and may you know love and laughter during the days ahead.
It’s all just my opinion.