There was no big party to ring in this past year for me. I went to bed early as usual. It’s been a year of many changes for a person who doesn’t like change. I did have a few good things happen this year but for most part, I’m glad to see it end.
I am, however, still grateful for a lot of things in my life.
Despite not drinking all year, it seems like a great big blur. But here are some things I do remember:
• My daughters turned the exciting ages of 11 and 23. Me — just another year older.
At the top of the Legislature’s agenda for 2012 will be several budget matters that affect drug courts, district courts and the Forestry Commission staff.
Finding a stable source of revenue for the state’s 41 drug courts is a concern. Until now, supporters of drug courts have been able to locate a pot of money here and there to provide funds for drug courts on a year-to-year basis.
I confess — I’m a resolution maker.
I’ve found that I’m significantly more successful if I stick to just one realistic resolution. Case in point, “I’m going all organic” in 2003 was a total bust. I was back to Quik Trip corn dogs by mid January.
I’ve found the best resolutions, those where I reap immediate and lasting benefits, are when I set goals for improving my side of an important relationship.
Here’s our modest annual list looking at 2011 — a list that might help guide us in 2012.
Best New National Scene Republican: Former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman. Some GOPers never forgave him for having served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China, but he offered the kind of thoughtful conservative Republicanism that could have roped in independents. He would have had a better chance running 10 years ago.
Since when do the eight members of the City Council (two of which were appointed, not elected) have the right to ignore the people of their wards based on their personal feelings? Since when do they have the right to enact measures that affect all citizens without it going to a vote? Apparently, since December 13th.
One of the most interesting feats performed by an eccentric daredevil was the walking on the waters of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in “pontoon shoes” by “Professor” Charles Oldrieve in early 1907.
It seems the “professor” or inventor or whatever he was accepted a $5,000 bet that he could walk on water wearing his shoes down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Cincinnati to New Orleans within a specified time limit.
I write this final column for 2011 during a momentary and much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. When your family is spread across the country like pinpoints on a map, during holidays, your vehicle and body seem to be in a competition with each other as to which one will wear out first. Presently the score is tied: my vehicle is in dire need of cleaning and an oil change and I’m in need of a shower and an attitude adjustment.
On this cold, Christmas season morning, I am reflecting on what makes me thankful.
I am thankful for rural life — where I run into friends who tease me, tell me jokes or lend a friendly smile at the store or my son’s basketball game. I am thankful for a sense of place, that I am firmly rooted in the American Heartland. I am thankful for being raised on the land and having all around me its subtle beauty.
An old year is fading and a new year is upon us again. Each year I go kicking and screaming into the New Year, and not because I am against change. My pants pocket is full of change.
I simply cannot remember to change the year on the checks I write until May. By the time, I remember the correct year I have forgotten to make deposits into my checking account. I need a reality check, which with any luck will not bounce as high as my checkbook.
While working families struggle to make ends meet in this sluggish economy, there is a bright spot on the horizon: On Jan. 1, the minimum wage will increase in eight states, raising wages for more than 1.4 million low-wage workers.
The increases in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington are a result of state laws that adjust the minimum wage upward each year to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
We came out to the barn on that cold December morning to find the cows’ waterer broken, the water flooding the barn and icing over. It was a huge mess.
My dad cussed. “Not again! This is the third time this week!”
The waterer had a small trough on the top of it that filled automatically as the cows drank. A waterer was essential since no tank was big enough to hold the water needed for the 80 cows in our herd. Each cow could easily drink 30 gallons per day.
Journalists used to be easy to identify, in life, in the law — heck, even in the movies.
Not that many years past, journalists were the people carrying notebooks and pencils and maybe wearing a “Press” badge or card. They were newspaper reporters, magazine writers and the occasional wire service correspondent.
On the big screen, they often wore a trench coat and almost always were “on deadline.”