Thursday, December 25, 2008

The times, they are still a' changin'...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Amen, Charlie, depending on who you listen to.

I don't recall a more polarizing year politically. After every election there is some grumbling from the losing party and chest thumping from the winning party. This year the winners are predicting even better times than they predicted when Bill Clinton won the election, and the losers are predicting even worse times than they predicted when Bill Clinton won the election. I think most Libertarians are convinced that we won't be able to tell a whole lot of difference between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain in the final outcome.

Politics aside, it was a pretty good year from a personal standpoint, even with a few ups and downs.In February we got a new grand baby. In July, we celebrated Dad's 80th birthday and Mom and Dad's 60th wedding anniversary.

We were able to work for some really nice people this year, and we have couple of businesses that survived another year (even without a bailout).

On the down side, we had some family that moved away this year. We knew it was coming, and as difficult as that is, I'm thankful that modern transportation makes the world as small as it is. I've often wondered how people coped with seeing family move far away 150 years ago, knowing that they would probably never see them again.

And some things just seem to slip up on you. I've lost a few friends over the years, and while it was always a shock, I could always, up until now, explain it away as one of the "unexplainable" tragedies that befall us in life.

But this year I started noticing a lot of obituaries about people that were younger than I am. This year I lost one of the first friends I had when I made the transition from Millville Grade School to Greensfork Junior High School. This week I lost a friend of 50 years, and the best man in my wedding. I guess I could factor in our age, and make it a little easier to explain. It doesn't make it any easier to accept.

I don't know what 2009 is going to bring. I know there are some changes I will have to accept, whether I can explain them or not. I also know there are some changes I can never accept. And I know I'm going to keep working to change the things I can, and hoping to change the things I can't.

And personally, I'm hoping 2009 brings 2010.


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