The fall of 2011 was, without compare, a great season.There was the unbeaten football team. After months of sweltering heat and oppressive drought, we finally got cooler temperatures and some very welcome rainfall. And the holidays were pleasantly uneventful for the most part, allowing everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's happily and without incident.And then comes January 2nd.There's a brief flurry of activity with the stock show; but, then everything begins to slow down. Late January, February and March are slow months in the newspaper business; but, they are also slow for hotels, tourism and restaurants, which means slow times for retail stores as well.It's not that there aren't lots of things going on. This is the season of fundraisers for many of the charitable organizations in our community. Those fundraisers are events in themselves and they provide a spark in otherwise dull daily routines.Traditionally, these are some of our cooler, and hopefully, wetter months. They are overcast days with a chill in the air that beg for curling up in a chair with a book, or leaning back in the recliner watching television. At night, hot meals followed by comfortable beds. Not exactly the kind of activity that takes off the pounds!We start dreaming of the days when we can go outside without a coat. We think about wearing shorts and sandals. Rather than sitting in front of a fire to stay warm, we fantasize about making a small campfire to make coffee and roast marshmallows. The thought of jumping in the river excites us rather than causing a sympathetic chill.The National Weather Service has issued long term predictions indicating that the summer of 2012 could be very similar to 2011. There is good reason to believe, according to those same experts, that rainfall will be scarce and temperatures will be high. Sounds unsettlingly familiar.So, during this slow time of year, it might be prudent to start making plans for those days ahead. When you know that it's going to be hot and dry, you can start looking at your water supplies and making sure that all the pumps are working, the troughs don't leak and the plumbing is solid. In the pastures, you can work on tanks to catch what rainfall we do receive, get the feed plots and fields prepared for a rough growing season, and get our business ready to handle a busier season when it finally occurs.The cycles of life are circular. Slow times are followed by busy, fallow by plenty. Though we know that, after the bad, the good will return, sometimes we get impatient and tired of waiting. Our pessimistic side seems to have no problem expecting bad to follow good; but, we are less willing to acknowledge that bad times will pass away and the good will return.If this last fall taught us anything, it should be that good things do come to us if we are willing to prepare and to work for them. Kade Burns and the entire Puncher coaching staff, along with the players, the trainers, the band, the cheerleaders, the flag corps and the fans knew that we could win. We couldn't just sit and wait for it to happen, we had to figure out our strengths, prepare our plans, work to improve our skills, and then execute our plans to make everything happen.So, I'm ready for another BIG championship. This time, it won't be football; but, maybe it will be tennis, one act play or track. Maybe it won't even be school-related - we have artists, authors, sculptors and quilters in our community that do incredible work, and they could be our next champions. We have business people that have lasted through many good, and bad, seasons, and they continue to find ways to succeed, even when they shouldn't be able to!Welcome to the 2012 slow season. I've decided to call it the 2012 Championship Season. It's a much better name, and it gives me something positive to shoot for in this new year!
It’s all just my opinion.