Happy New Year 2009
m certainly not sad or sorry that we've left behind 2008. The forecasts for our immediate future are almost anything but encouraging. Mr.President Elect, enjoy your time with the children now, relish your snow-cones and sun-drenched days in Hawaii, because in the very near future the world's worries, wars and problems will be amazingly on your shoulders. It's something more than hope that drives my enthusiasm about our incoming President; it's instinct and hope. I feel, deep down, that he's a good man with the right ideas. Certainly a fresh approach seems assured.
The Christmas tree is begging to be bagged and stashed away in the garage for another year. Yes, the Jacksons succumbed to the artificial tree that sheds no pine needles and does not stand the risk of catching fire. Now they have a spray with artificial pine aroma, but I swear I'll do well without that product. It's a little like the aroma given off by those cut out, mirror-hanging trees that are supposed to work in the car. They are more eau de porta-potty than fresh-cut pine needles. I am always amazed at the energy and effort put into the gifts we give others and receive. Alana works at the task of preparing for the holiday season from about July. She keeps meticulous records of who gave what to whom and what we received. This year one of the gifts was the worst. It was not from a friend or relative, it was from a company that purports to be stylish. Along with a heartfelt message came the tie! Fried eggs on a tropical sunset. I do hope you don't receive it from us next Yuletide.
According to the stats just issued by the nation's Census Bureau we had an increase in population during the year gone by of 2.7 million. At midnight the total of United States residents topped 305 million. A new birth occurs here every 8 seconds and a death each 12 seconds.
We like to think of each year as "epochal" (come to think of it, I hardly ever get the chance to use the word except when summing up or dismissing a year concluded). 2008 was, without a doubt ,a historic one, with so many unexpected twists.Go back just a year and Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed assured of the Democratic party nomination for the presidency. It looked pretty certain, as did the likelihood of her winning the election, whoever opposed her. Remember all those experts who tried to convince us that we would be able to avoid a worldwide recession.? They were wrong. Five years after our entering the war, Iraq seems to be getting a little better from the US standpoint ,at the same time that the war in Afghanistan deteriorates, This year gone by Fidel Castro sort of faded away. Michael Phelps won the most gold medals at an Olympiad; eight!
Yes, 2008 was an epochal year in the wars, in politics, and with the economy.
On so many levels, the economic bubble burst ;in the housing market, corruption and greed on Wall Street appalled the nation and one man, Bernard Madoff, lost, we are informed, some 50 billion dollars with his Ponzi scheme. There'll be others implicated. Golden parachutes for executives became a repugnant sign of the times. Gasoline prices, which but a year ago appeared to be constantly rising and likely to be that way permanently, have seen (maybe temporarily) a drop of something over $100 per barrel.
Dog lovers, a beagle became the first of its breed to win the Westminster Dog Show title. Its name, Uno.
I'd wager that during these past twelve months worry about the economy has replaced concern about the war in Iraq as our number one issue.
Remember Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani?
This past year gave us near bankruptcy of the Big Three auto dealers, a 700 billion dollar bail-out of some of Wall Street's problems.
So many questions.
Can there be peace in the Middle East?
Is China still a good place in which to invest?
Probably not for a while.
Will this nation miss the Bush administration?
Will the recession end during this coming year?
Will Obama's "New Deal" work.
Yes, I expect so.
Will the banks be taken over by the state?
I suppose that would depend on the severity of the recession.
More to follow in my bright new calendar.
There is so much more to the year before.
It's a year I shan't forget... Will you?
Happier New Year in the best of health.